Voxmail - Voice Email with Siri

The idea for this app started eleven months ago as a collection of PHP scripts and a giant Shortcuts.app shortcut. But I quickly realized it would be best served as a real iOS app. I've been working on it off and on since February and have teased it a few times publicly on Twitter.

But now I think I'm ready for broader feedback from outside my small group of testers. And hope that feedback will show that it's useful to more people than just me.

The app is called Voxmail. And (I think?) it's the first iOS email client that you can't use on your phone.

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Talking to OmniFocus

But one significant change I have made is to my morning routine. And it was made possible by OmniFocus' version 3.4 update last year. I'm sorry that I'm just now getting around to writing about this new workflow because it's a lot of fun. And it just might be my favorite new feature Omni has ever shipped. As a user, it's wowing me with the possibilities. And as an Apple developer, I'm amazed at how well done it is.

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The App That Never Was

While using one of my favorite iOS Shortcuts the other day, it occurred to me how much things have changed in six years.

I say six years ago specifically because it was in 2014 that I made an iOS app called Upshot.

Sadly, Upshot never saw the light of day because I couldn't get it past App Review for very dumb reasons. Lucky for you though, after I show the ridiculously simple Shortcut that I now use instead, this gives me the opportunity to tell you my very favorite App Store rejection story.

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Shelley

I've written previously about using Hazel on macOS to react to a new file appearing in a synced iCloud Drive folder and running commands. But I wanted a faster solution that I could trigger from almost anywhere - including an iOS Shortcut. A way to send a command directly from my phone (or maybe any other device?) to my Mac.

What I came up with is a tiny, macOS menu bar app I call Shelley - because as a friend told me, it's a Frankenstein of a hack.

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Preparing For Work Meetings

I have too many meetings at work. (But that's a topic for another day.) And I take very detailed notes during each one so I have a running history of our project I can refer back to, so I know what's expected of our team, and what we expect from the other groups we work closely with.

There's nothing unique about that. It's just meeting notes.

But what I want to share today are two quick iOS Shortcuts I use to prepare for each meeting.

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Making Siri Shortcuts run automatically - even when iOS doesn’t want you to

Let’s talk about something fun and related to my new obsession with Siri Shortcuts and CarPlay. Namely, how to trick iOS into running Shortcut automations that the OS doesn’t typically allow you to do.

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Triage Your Email in the Car with Siri

With this script, Siri will speak a summary of your unread emails and then allow you to take action on each individual message. You can listen to the full email body. Or, you can archive, delete, mark as spam, mark as read or unread, and send a reply.

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Missing Rdio and Making the Best of Apple Music with Shortcuts

Man, I miss Rdio. I mean, I really miss it. I loved that service. When I was a teenager, I'd spend hours on the weekend and get lost in new and used music stores (CD's) just digging through stacks of beautiful album artwork and unfamiliar band names. I'd talk with other...

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