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Saturday, January 13, 2024

Creating Shortcuts with App Intents

Including shortcuts help could be a good way to distinguish your app and supply wonderful integration into the iOS ecosystem. Shortcuts enable your customers to work together along with your app with out launching and navigating into particular screens to carry out duties. Shortcuts can use voice, textual content or Highlight to perform fast duties with out a lot psychological overhead. Your customers may construct bigger workflows along with your shortcuts to perform many duties concurrently.

Previously, including Shortcuts and exposing them to the system may very well be cumbersome and time-consuming. After your shortcut was arrange and out there, you had to determine one of the best ways to tell the consumer that it existed and present the way to use it. In iOS 16, Apple revamped the method of including and exposing your app’s Shortcuts to iOS. The outdated strategy of including Shortcuts included finicky visible editors and mapping code information to Intent Definition information.

The brand new App Intents framework allows you to create shortcuts from the identical language you utilize every day – Swift! Every little thing is statically typed and ingested into iOS upon set up. Your shortcuts are instantly out there to customers by way of Siri, the Shortcuts app and Highlight.

It’s time to dive into this new easy method so as to add Shortcuts to the system!

Getting Began

Obtain the starter undertaking by clicking the Obtain Supplies button on the high or backside of the tutorial.

The BreakLogger app lets you report break instances all through the day. Open the starter app undertaking. Construct and run BreakLogger. You’ll see an empty break checklist:

Empty List

Faucet the Add button on the backside of the display screen, and also you’ll be prompted to report a break:

Add Break View

Choose a break so as to add. Subsequent, you’ll see an inventory of the breaks you’ve added — together with the one you simply recorded:

List with Entry

Proper now, the one approach to log a break is from throughout the app. However iOS has a number of different methods to work together with apps all through its ecosystem. Customers could need to log a break as half of a bigger workflow, combining a number of actions into one shortcut. They might additionally need to inform Siri to log a break with out opening the app whereas on the go. These use circumstances are doable if you happen to combine the App Intents framework into your app.

iOS 16 launched the App Intents framework. Shortcut definitions at the moment are constructed fully in Swift, with no code technology or extra steps wanted to make them out there throughout iOS. You now not want to make use of Intent Definition information or the visible editors. Get began constructing your personal along with your first App Intent.

Defining Your First App Intent

Contained in the starter undertaking, right-click the Supply group and choose New Group. Title the group Intents. Inside the brand new group, right-click once more and choose New File… . Choose the Swift File template and select Subsequent. Title the file LogBreakIntent.swift.

Create a LogBreakIntent struct that conforms to AppIntent:

import AppIntents
import SwiftUI

// 1
struct LogBreakIntent: AppIntent {
  // 2
  static let title: LocalizedStringResource = "Log a Break"

  // 3
  func carry out() async throws -> some IntentResult & ProvidesDialog {
    // 4
    let loggerManager = LoggerManager()
    loggerManager.logBreak(for: .quarterHour)
    // 5
    return .consequence(dialog: "Logged a 15 minute break")

Right here’s what’s taking place within the code above:

  1. Creates a struct to symbolize your shortcut. Provides conformance to the AppIntent protocol.
  2. Provides a title property. That is of kind LocalizedStringResource, which makes the string out there out of course of for localization lookup. Bear in mind this code additionally runs when your app isn’t in reminiscence.
  3. Provides a carry out() operate to finalize conformance to the AppIntent protocol. Signifies it returns an IntentResult and that it gives a dialog.
  4. Makes use of the LoggerManager comfort kind to log a 15-minute break. This motion additionally saves the break to the Core Knowledge retailer.
  5. Returns the IntentResult as a dialog.

With the present setup, a consumer can create a shortcut and the intents from BreakLogger will seem as out there actions. These actions run by themselves or as half of a bigger shortcut composed of many actions. As quickly as a consumer installs BreakLogger your intents can be found as shortcut actions.

Construct and run to make sure the up to date code installs to the simulator. Subsequent, background the app with the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + H. You’ll see the Shortcuts app on the identical display screen. Open Shortcuts.

Faucet the + button on the highest proper. The New Shortcut view masses.

New Shortcut

On the New Shortcut view, faucet Add Motion. Within the segmented management on the high, choose Apps.

Add Action

Choose BreakLogger from the checklist, then faucet Log a Break.

Log a Break Action

Faucet Finished. The view dismisses and takes you again to the Shortcuts tab within the app. You’ll see your new shortcut on the display screen now. You’ve created a shortcut along with your first app intent!

Log Break Shortcut

Faucet the Log a Break shortcut to run it. You’ll see a dialog drop down after a second or two with the content material you arrange within the carry out() operate.

Shortcut Run Confirmation

Faucet Finished, shut Shortcuts and open BreakLogger once more. You’ll see the break you simply logged added to the checklist.

Break Logged Confirmation

Properly performed! You added Shortcuts integration into your app with just a few Swift information in just a few steps. Subsequent, you’ll add an app shortcut to BreakLogger.

Including an App Shortcut

Again in Xcode, add a brand new Swift file to the Intents group you created earlier. Title the file BreakLoggerShortcuts.swift.

Add the next:

import AppIntents

// 1
struct BreakLoggerShortcuts: AppShortcutsProvider {
  // 2
  static var appShortcuts: [AppShortcut] {
	// 3
      // 4
      intent: LogBreakIntent(),
      // 5
      phrases: [
        "Log a break",
        "Log a (.applicationName) break"

Right here’s what this code does:

  1. Creates a struct that conforms to AppShortcutsProvider. This lets iOS know to index the shortcuts right here.
  2. Provides a static property that returns an array of AppShortcut situations. For this instance, you’ll solely be offering one.
  3. Creates an AppShortcut.
  4. Makes use of LogBreakIntent because the intent behind the shortcut.
  5. Offers an inventory of phrases that may set off this shortcut. Word the usage of the particular token .applicationName, which resolves to the localized identify of your app.

Now, construct and run.

Background the app. You’ll be capable of begin Siri on the simulator and say, “Use BreakLogger to a break” and have the shortcut run instantly.

You’ll see a immediate asking you to allow BreakLogger shortcuts with Siri:

Enable Shortcuts Dialog

Then, you’ll see a affirmation dialog:

Confirmation Dialog

Lastly, open BreakLogger once more. You’ll see your second logged break from the shortcut you simply ran.

Log from Siri

Word: Siri could be finicky on the simulator. You might have to reset the system and take a look at a number of instances to get the shortcut to run by way of voice. Additionally, be certain there isn’t plenty of background noise within the room you’re working in.

Subsequent, you’ll create a customized affirmation view to indicate at any time when the intent has run.

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