How To Create Personal Automations Using iOS 13.1

Yesterday, Apple released iOS 13.1 for iPhone and iPadOS for iPad. The feature that has me really excited in this release is Personal Automations.

In past versions of iOS, you could set up Home Automations using the Home or the Shortcuts apps so that your HomeKit enabled accessories could react to changes in conditions around the the home. For example, you could have your garage lights come on automatically at sunset or change the temperature on your thermostat whenever you leave your house.

Personal Automations take this basic concept and applies it to conditions affecting your iPhone or iPad. For example, you can now set your iPhone to being playing a specific music playlist whenever you arrive at home. Or you can automatically send an iMessage at a certain time of the day.

I travel a lot between the UK and the US so when I am away, I have a Personal Automation that sends my children a goodnight message every day at 3PM EST (8PM UK) time.

I also love to fly drones so I have another Personal Automation that turns on Do Not Disturb as soon as I open the DJI GO app. The potential of these automations are only limited by your imagination and can include features such as creating or marking up PDF documents.

So how do you create a Personal Automation in iOS 13.1?

First, find the Shortcuts app that now comes preinstalled with iOS 13 and open it. Next, at the bottom of the app, select the "Automation" tab and then hit the "+" button at the top right to begin asdding a new Automation.

Select "Personal Automation" and you will be presented with a list of trigger types to pick from. These vary from events such as time of day or alarms to phone setting changes such as when you join WiFi or you open a specific app.

Each choice of trigger will give you further options to tweak just the way you want before you are presented with a screen to add the Actions that will occur when the trigger is fired.

There are so many Actions that I couldn’t possible list all of them in this article and more are being added by third party developers all the time. You can also also chain together different actions together into complete workflows!

Once you are satisfied with your setup, hit the "Done" button to save your Personal Automation.