Creating an iOS shortcut to launch an app and set settings

I finally got around to creating a Shortcut on my iPad to automatically set various settings when I want to launch a particular app, and it was pretty easy and straightforward, so I thought I would post about it.

Background: When I launch the Simply Piano app, I’ve been doing a couple of things manually: Turning off rotation lock, setting the volume fairly high. And while I’m using the app, I often get distracted by notifications.

So I opened up the Shortcuts app, and I tapped the + button to create a new shortcut, and I tapped the Scripting button to create a new sequence of steps to follow.

Within Scripting, I set up the following items, by tapping icons and then setting parameters:

  1. Turn Do Not Disturb On until Turned Off *
  2. Turn orientation lock Off
  3. Set volume to 79% **
  4. Open SimplyPiano
  5. Exit shortcut with Result ***

Then I tapped the three-dots button in the title bar and gave the shortcut a name (“Start Simply Piano). I also gave it an icon (used to be able to use an image for the icon, but I’m not seeing the option to do that now). Then I tapped “Add to Home Screen”.

So now when I want to launch Simply Piano, I can tap the “Start Simply Piano” icon, and it will automatically set the settings as I want them and then launch the app. Pleasing.


* What I really wanted here was to turn Do Not Disturb on until I exit the Simply Piano app. But that doesn’t seem to be an option. My second choice would be to have it turned on for (say) half an hour, but that also doesn’t seem to be an option. So I set it to “until Turned Off,” because it’s not a big deal if I forget to turn DND off on this device. …Update: Unfortunately, turning on DND doesn’t stop notifications from appearing, so this step doesn’t do what I meant it to do. Not sure whether there’s a way to use a shortcut to turn off all notifications from other apps.

** I was aiming to set volume to about 80%-85%, but the setting control is a slider, and it landed on 79%, and I didn’t bother trying to get it more accurate than that.

*** I’m not sure whether I need this step; maybe just reaching the end of the shortcut would have the same effect.

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