Shortcuts Explained! Did Siri Actually Get Better?

Get a first look at the major Siri update in iOS 12 and see what's up with the new Shortcuts app from Apple – this stuff is super powerful. πŸ‘

(Sorry for the autofocus issues!)

I used to work at Workflow and have been making shortcuts for years, and now I'm sharing that knowledge so you can figure out the Shortcuts app too! πŸ”„

Subscribe to my channel to get new videos teaching you how to build custom shortcuts that you can use with your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, HomePod, AirPods, and even CarPlay. πŸ“²

I'll also share the best apps to use with Siri, great devices to use with HomeKit, and my tips & tricks on how to use Apple devices to their full potential. πŸ€–

Matthew's links:
- Twitter:
- Blog:
- Podcast:
- Gear:

Matthew's published work:
- iMore:
- The Sweet Setup:
- TechCrunch:

Other Shortcuts resources:
- MacSparky Shortcuts Field Guide:\_rhjck4fm
- MacStories coverage of Shortcuts:
- Club MacStories subscription:
- Shortcuts subreddit:

Note: Links above may include affiliate codes or link to pages with affiliate codes. If you happen to buy something after clicking, I receive a small commission.

I'm also a business strategist & marketing consultant, and I advise app developers/brands on their Siri Shortcuts integrations. Get in touch:

Music by DJ Quads:
Thanks to everyone who helped with suggestions on Twitter:

Thanks to my girlfriend Ariel and my friends Alex Cox, Dan Hawk, Brian Mataish, Alec Pulianis, Christina Warren, and everyone else who gave me words of encouragement and advice, I really appreciate all the support.

This is my first-ever YouTube video – thanks for bearing with me & my eyes darting back at the script! I left that dang microfiber cloth on the desk while filming (!) and I’m sure you noticed autofocus went a little crazy too. 😬

Feedback is welcome, DM me on Twitter at @mattcassinelli with *constructive* criticism.

Random YouTube Video Generator

 This site provides links to random videos hosted at YouTube, with the emphasis on random.

 The original idea for this site actually stemmed from another idea to provide a way of benchmarking the popularity of a video against the general population of YouTube videos. There are probably sites that do this by now, but there wasn’t when we started out. Anyway, in order to figure out how popular any one video is, you need a pretty large sample of videos to rank it against. The challenge is that the sample needs to be very random in order to properly rank a video and YouTube doesn’t appear to provide a way to obtain large numbers of random video IDs.

 Even if you search on YouTube for a random string, the set of results that will be returned will still be based on popularity, so if you’re using this approach to build up your sample, you’re already in trouble. It turns out there is a multitude of ways in which the YouTube search function makes it very difficult to retrieve truly random results.

 So how can we provide truly random links to YouTube videos? It turns out that the YouTube programming interface (API) provides additional functions that allow the discovery of videos which, with the right approach, are much more random. Using a number of tricks, combined some subtle manipulation of the space-time fabric, we have managed to create a process that yields something very close to 100% random links to YouTube videos.

 YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed potentially inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.

 YouTube and selected creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services respectively offering premium and ad-free music streaming, and ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities. As of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet, just behind Google. As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

 YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, and fluctuating policies on the types of content that is eligible to be monetized with advertising.

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