Become more efficient with the Shortcuts App and its ownCloud Actions

The iOS Shortcuts App has a huge potential to automate and thereby speed up recurring tasks that take place on your iPhone or iPad. In the series of blog posts, we explain what the Shortcuts App can do in connection with the ownCloud App.

What it is

Simply put, think of the Shortcuts App as a toolbox or function library for creating your own workflows, kind of like tiny apps. iOS, the operating system, provides quite a number of basic functions. Other functions are provided for by Apps installed on your device. The possibilities are tremendous, weakening the common critique of iOS as a closed system or walled garden.

A place to start

Through the Shortcuts gallery, Apple provides a number of inspirational and aspirational examples to learn from or just copy. This is especially helpful for non-programmers and beginners as they get a glimpse into the logic of actual examples that can be adapted to their needs without completing a computer science degree first.

The Actions available through ownCloud

Let’s have a look at the Actions that ownCloud provides to the Shortcuts App:

  • create folder
  • get account
  • get accounts
  • get directory listing
  • get file
  • get file info
  • path exists
  • save file

Start building

And now, let’s start building an example Shortcut. When you choose this Shortcut in the iOS Share Sheet for files like e-mail attachments and downloads, it saves them in an ownCloud folder of your choice to help you keep your paperwork in order.

  1. Create Shortcut
  2. Tap on … button in the top right corner
    1. Enter a Shortcut name: e.g. Save Invoice
    2. Enable ‘Show in Share Sheet’
    3. Tap on ‘Share Sheet Types’ and then ‘Deselect all’, then select ‘PDFs’
    4. Tap on ‘<Details’
    5. You can customize the color and the icon by tapping the icon left of the Shortcut Name
    6. Tap on ‘Done’
  3. Tap on the + Button
  4. Tap on ‘Apps’ and select ‘ownCloud’
  5. Select ‘Get Directory Listing’
    1. After the phrase ‘Get Directory Listing for’ you can enter the path where you want to save your Invoices, for example ‘Documents’, make sure the directory exists
    2. After the phrase ‘from’, please select your ownCloud Account
  6. Tap on the + Button and search for ‘Choose from List’
  7. Tap on the + Button
  8. Tap on ‘Apps’ and select ‘ownCloud’
  9. Select ‘Get Directory Listing’
    1. After the phrase ‘Get Directory Listing for’ it should be automatically included the ‘Chosen Item’ value
    2. After the phrase ‘from’ select your ownCloud Account
  10. Tap on the + Button and search for ‘Choose from List’
  11. Tap on the + Button
  12. Tap on ‘Apps’ and select ‘ownCloud’
  13. Select ‘Save File’
    1. After the phrase ‘Save File’ remove the prefilled value and tap on ‘Select Magic Variable’
    2. Scroll to the top and select ‘Shortcut Input’
    3. After the phrase ‘to’ in the field ‘path’, tap on ‘Chosen Item’
    4. After the phrase ‘in’, select your ownCloud Account
  14. That´s it!

You can now test your shiny new Shortcut. If you come across a PDF file, you can select your Shortcut name in the Share Sheet to save it into your ownCloud. A caveat: this shortcut won’t work if passcode lock is enabled for your ownCloud App.

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