• Lowell

Meet Me Halfway

I've begun tinkering with the Shortcuts app on my iPad/iPhone. The Shortcuts app became available with Version 13 of the Apple operating system and allows you to program multiple actions using tap or drag/drop actions on your device. In short, it's a way to program tasks without being a programmer.

A while back I read about a Shortcut that finds the halfway point between two locations. The article posted a link to add the Shortcut to my device, but I decided that's too risky, not knowing the author. So, I built the Shortcut myself, after a good bit of trial and error.

The Shortcut icon looks like this:

When you tap it, a screen opens that displays some Starter Shortcuts and any Shortcuts you may have already created.

The Meet Halfway Shortcut consists of four actions, located in the left pane of the screen. These actions were placed there by tapping various options within the eight action categories shown at the top of the right pane. Notice, in the upper left corner of each action on the left, there's an indicator of its location within the eight categories from the right pane.

Warning - This Shortcut does not find the halfway point along roads/highways. It finds the straight line distance between the two points. You'll need to scroll the map around to find a meeting point near roads.

A link to a 5 minute video showing how I built the Shortcut is below, but it's gonna take you longer than that to work through creating the Shortcut. The video will automatically pause just before completing a step, except for a couple of spots where I type some sample text for you (feel free to type your own text).

You may also see a Picture-in-Picture icon appear over the video as it plays. If your device supports this, it may help you follow the steps while creating the Shortcut on your device.

  1. When the video pauses, an aqua colored Continue button will appear in the bottom left corner. Click this button after you have completed the step and the video will "catch up with you."

  2. You will name the Shortcut, create it, and then do a test run.

  3. When you test the shortcut and are asked to enter the second location, you may type a state, a city, or a specific address. The more specific the address, the more accurate the halfway point calculation will be.

  4. If you move your mouse cursor over the video, you will see playback controls appear at the bottom. These include Play/Pause, Back or Forward 10 seconds, Mute (there is no audio), Player Speed (gear icon) and Full Screen playback. The Esc key on a computer will revert to normal screen playback.

  5. The video is designed so that maybe you can view it one device (computer, maybe) while creating it on another (your iPhone or iPad). But, if you're adept at switching between apps or using Picture-in-Picture on your Apple device, you can view the video and create the Shortcut on the same device.


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