Day One Acquired by Automattic »

Paul Mayne, writing on the Day One blog:

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Day One is being acquired by Automattic Inc. This is incredibly exciting news. For the past 10 years since I started Day One, I’ve worked to not only create the best digital journaling experience in the world, but one that will last. By joining Automattic, I’m now more confident than ever that the preservation and longevity of Day One is sure. This acquisition will provide Day One access to the same technological, financial, and security benefits that WordPress.com, Tumblr, and other Automattic entities enjoy.

If someone had to acquire Day One, Automattic seems like a pretty good home. That said, the concern I have is that Day One would be absorbed into the larger company, but Mayne says that won’t be the case:

I’ll be remaining at the helm of Day One, leading the same passionate team that has been responsible for the development and design behind the app today. This means that the Day One you rely on to save your thoughts, photos, videos, audio recordings, and more isn’t going away. Instead, it’ll only get better, with future integrations with Tumblr and WordPress.com. Rest assured there are no current plans to change the privacy of Day One; safely protecting memories and creating a 100% personal space is the foundation upon which this company was built.

I’ve got over 10 years worth of memories in Day One, and I don’t plan on moving on from it after today’s news. I have no desire for Tumblr or WordPress integrations in my journaling app, but as long as the team behind it keeps a focus on privacy and other features to make it easier to use Day One, I think it’ll be just fine. Hopefully.

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Mac Power Users #592: WWDC 2021 and the Future of Mac Automation »

This week’s Mac Power Users is a special one:

WWDC 2021 has brought new versions of all of Apple’s software platforms, with a large number of features coming to them all at once. Stephen and David talk through the changes, and speak to Apple’s Vivek Bhardwaj about the new Shortcuts for Mac and what it means for traditional (and future) Mac automation.

It was great to talk with Vivek and hear how Apple thinks about automation and the tools that many power users rely on each day. I came away from this interview encouraged that many people will find exploring these technologies easier than ever.

Here’s a full transcript of the interview:

David Sparks:
We’re so excited today to have Vivek Bhardwaj on the show. Vivek is with Apple, and here to talk to us today about Shortcuts on the Mac. Thanks so much for coming by, Vivek.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Oh, thanks, guys. And thanks, David, really appreciate this.

David Sparks:
I have to admit, when I was on the team of saying, “Don’t bring Shortcuts to the Mac, just keep making it awesome on iPhone and iPad, because we have all these automation tools already on the Mac.” But now having used the beta a few days, it’s obvious to me that this is something that had to happen. Not only is this great for the Mac, actually, I can see some of these new actions that were created for the Mac already coming back to the iPhone and iPad. And I have to say, I have to admit, I’m excited to see this now coming to the mac.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Oh, we are too. I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen from the keynote, the buzz this week has been incredible. I’ve been looking online, and just so many people out there who have enjoyed, as you mentioned, automation on the Mac for such a long time are really enjoying the announcement this week. And so we’re just so excited.

David Sparks:
I’m also impressed so far with the quality of the application. I’ve worked with a lot of the folks on the Shortcuts team, and even back when they were workflow before they joined Apple, and they’re these scrappy young programmers, and now they’re making Mac apps. I think that’s kind of awesome.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Oh, yeah. And it’s not just any Mac app. It’s a full native app. They’ve done an incredible job, and I think people are just going to love using Shortcuts on the Mac. As we mentioned earlier this week, it is the future of automation on the Mac, and we’re really excited with the app and kind of how we’re starting this year.

David Sparks:
It’s SwiftUI-based, correct?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Yeah, it is, and that helps. It makes it so much easier for developers who want to work with and build shortcuts for Mac, for iOS. There’s just a lot of compatibility across the platforms, which is really cool.

Stephen Hackett:
Shortcuts has been on iOS, and an important part of iOS, for several years now. What led to this being the year for it to be on the Mac as well?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
We’ve been working towards this for some time when we first launched Shortcuts, and I think bringing it on iPhone and iPad was powerful. It was a great opportunity for all of us to get some great feedback. Those are devices, as you know, that you carry with you everywhere, and automation on those platforms didn’t really exist before Shortcuts. And so it was a great opportunity to kind of test it out, bring it out there, work closely with the developer ecosystem, get them excited about all the different shortcuts that they can go build, and then really bring it home to the Mac. And I think we learned a lot, we took a lot of feedback, and we’re now building on this really, really strong foundation. So we feel that it’s just the right time to really bring Shortcuts to the Mac.

Stephen Hackett:
It’s really interesting to see the platforms kind of grow together, and Shortcuts is just another bridge where you can move fluidly with not only your apps, but now your workflows between iPhone, iPad, and Mac. But the Mac of course has a lot of history of its own, and it has this ecosystem of applications that aren’t necessarily available on those other platforms. What can users expect to see in terms of the type of apps on the Mac that will be able to support Shortcuts?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
There’s a ton of them, and we’ve already seen people online who are kind of getting into the developer beta as you guys are, and testing this sort of stuff out. We focused on a few things. The first was really making sure that we were bringing over a lot of the most common, most popular actions that people have been familiar with, from Automator and scripting and all sorts. And so that’s definitely something you’ll see in Shortcuts day one, and people are already enjoying that through the beta, but the second was really making sure that we built some really great Mac shortcuts. And if you think of the Mac user, think about the things you spend your time doing. You’re managing all your different windows, files, documents, all of that good stuff, and that’s where Shortcuts can really shine.

So you’ll find a ton of shortcuts to manage your windows, manage and interact with files through Finder. There’s things for PDFs being able to batch images into PDFs, do way more. And actually, I just had one the other day from a person in my team who was asking… And this is kind of that classic example. You’re asking for how to connect to a server, and so you text someone, and you give them all the step-by-step instructions. “Hey, go to this folder. Login, do this, do that.” Well, you can use a shortcut, and so I think that you’ll find a whole ton of great Mac shortcuts. We’ve organized the gallery in the Shortcuts app, which is just a great place to get started, and so you’ll find a whole host of Mac shortcuts.

You’ll find a ton of compatibility coming across from Automator and AppleScript and shell scripts. And then what’s really compelling, and I think, David, you mentioned this, we’re already adding shortcut capability for features we announced this year. So if you take something like… Focus is a great example of a really powerful feature coming this fall to our users. You can use Shortcuts with that. You could set up a work focus, or set up a focus for some personal time, and then that can become a trigger for a shortcut. So it’s really great to kind of have this broad base of devices and platforms where we can bring existing actions over. We can have some really great, deep Mac shortcuts, and then a whole bunch of new ones from features from iOS 15 this year.

David Sparks:
I do really appreciate the fact that this is across the spectrum of Apple hardware. It’s not just a Mac thing. This is really true integration, and Focus is a great example of that. On the subject of Automator, I think there is… A lot of listeners are going to have questions, because a lot of folks have been automating for a long time on the Mac with traditional tools. There’s AppleScript, there’s JavaScript and others, shell scripting, and then there’s Automator, which was kind of a simplification, or pulling that stuff together. Now, the way I am looking at it, it seems like you guys are doing your best to kind of duplicate a lot of the Automator stuff in Shortcuts, and I understand we can bring scripts in now from Automator to Shortcuts. What’s involved with that?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
It’s a good question. When we were looking at kind of the Mac and building Shortcuts on this as you mentioned, there’s a long, deep history of automation. And so the decision was an easy one to make sure that we were going to support all those technologies that people love, and obviously have invested a ton of time and energy into. So that was really important for us, and it was a no-brainer for the team to think about how we bring those workflows across. And I think, honestly, they’ve done an incredible job. The way that they’ve looked at this is to make sure that as you’re bringing those workflows over, it’s a really easy conversion process. You can, in fact, open your automated workflow file right in the Shortcuts app. Hey, you can even drag and drop your workflow file right onto the Shortcuts app icon, and it’ll pop right open.

Just making that really easy from the get-go was important. But beyond that, if you think about really the steps inside an automated workflow, as you mentioned, David, people have set these things up a long time ago. They’ve been relying on them for some time, and perhaps they’ve even forgotten all the actions that are built into those workflows. And so with Shortcuts, it really evaluates all of those actions. It takes the time to look at all the sequence of steps, and then match that in the Shortcuts app. And what most users will find, and we’re already seeing this just in the last few days, is people are migrating over. Shortcuts is able to kind of get a little more granular than you would perhaps with Automator, and actually show you all the different actions it’s pulled across. And so we think that migration is going to be easy for many users, and so that’s just a great opportunity for us to kind of start with Shortcuts on the Mac day one.

David Sparks:
Now, at an opposite extreme, there are users who never used Automator, but instead they had very complex Apple scripts. The keynote wasn’t over, and I was getting emails from listeners. And one of them said, “Hey, I’ve got this publishing workflow. I paid a guy thousands of dollars years ago to put together an Apple Script. I don’t even understand what it does, but I’m in trouble if this stops working.” Can you put his mind at ease?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Oh, sure. I think one of the things that we wanted to pay close attention to was, obviously, Automator. But to kind of set the record straight, there’s no changes being made to Apple Script. That’s there, it’s fully supported in Mac Os, as it always has been.

I think Craig called it a multi-year transition, is really about Automator and Shortcuts, right? How do we help users migrate over? For those users who invested in scripting, that’s always going to be there. And they can continue to use that. Our focus is really helping those folks bridge that jump from Automator to Shortcuts.

David Sparks:
And as I understand it, you guys have actually embraced Apple Script. You have actions now where the users can run Apple Script in Shortcuts. At least on the Mac.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Inside the Mac, yeah, you’ll see all of that pop right up in the Shortcuts app. So yeah, we’ve definitely embraced it. And it’s a core part of the platform. And so yep, definitely can put those minds at ease for those that have invested in that technology.

Stephen Hackett:
What about Automator actions that may not have corresponding actions in Shortcuts? Looking through Automator here on my Mac, I’ve got actions from Applications that may not be ready for Shortcuts, and may not be for some time, for people who are going to need to rely on Automator for a while, what would you say to them?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
This is a really passionate, enthusiastic community. And we’re going to be listening closely and working with them. I think that’s part of this transition. We’re not trying to move fast so that we can cut people off. Automator is there, and it will be, but the more important thing is we’ve focused really heavily on, I guess I’d say, the most common actions, things that we know a lot of people rely on. And so those are there. And we encourage folks to test that out in the beta. And as we continue to listen to the community, those are the things that we’ll pay close attention to.

But if there are some things that aren’t necessarily supported day one, Automator is there. You can continue to use that. And we’re going to keep encouraging feedback to come in. And I’m sure you’ll get feedback from your listeners, and so I encourage you guys to pass that onto us too. But we will be working closely with everyone to make this transition as smooth as possible.

David Sparks:
I’ve already submitted multiple tickets. You’re good there.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
There you go.

Stephen Hackett:
Yeah. I think that’s really reassuring to people who do rely on this, not only to speed up a little task, but like David said, a lot of people have whole workflows that just aren’t feasible to do otherwise.

I think about the days when I was doing print media. And it’s like, we have all these Apple Scripts to do all these things with all these files. And you could do it by hand, but it wasn’t efficient to do so. So I’m glad to hear that all that stuff is sticking around. I do want to backup for a second though. We’ve talked about the Mac-centric actions you all have added to Shortcuts, which I was super excited to see. In the session, there was a slide of all these different actions adding to Shortcuts, like, yeah, that’s everything I needed to deal with files and servers, and finder and everything. But what about apps that may be written in AppKit, these more traditional Mac apps? Will those developers be able to add Shortcut support? Or is this something that is only really for Mac Catalyst and iOS apps on M1?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Yeah, it’s a great question. Absolutely. I guess our message is, no matter how you’re building your app, there is a path to Shortcuts. We’re paying close attention to that.

When you think of Catalyst apps, iOS apps, iPad apps, those on the M1 Mac, for example, use the existing frameworks from iOS. So that’s going to make it easy. AppKit, pure SwiftUI apps, these also use the same frameworks. And so again, our Intents framework, as you may know, helps with a lot of the shortcut building. That’s exactly the same and will remain that way. And again, as we talked about earlier, the Shortcuts app itself is built in SwiftUI, and AppKit on the Mac, and SwiftUI and obviously UIKit on iOS.

And so that’s great. It actually is going to let people write code, share it across platforms, and is really going to make it seamless. And so I think that’s important for developers to know that there is a path, no matter which way they get started.

I think the second thing I’d say is, we’re kind of going through this journey and, a great example is the Shortcuts editor. We’ve built that in SwiftUI. And there are some things on Mac that are a little different, from a design perspective, that are unique to that platform, whether you’re hovering over on a mouse, or rollover and controls, whether you’re using a keyboard to focus on on-screen elements.

And those are all things that we’ve paid attention to in the Shortcuts app itself. And developers will do the same. And so that’s really the most important thing for developers to know, that there is definitely a path across the different platforms, and certainly a path to Shortcuts. So that’s hopefully a positive message for all the listeners.

David Sparks:
One thing I like with the beta so far is all the ways you can launch Shortcuts. And on the iPhone and iPad, that’s a very opinionated user interface. But the Mac is different. People work with Macs with their keyboards and their mice.

At this point in the beta, you can launch a shortcut from the menu bar, you can attach it to a quick action, which is historical automation for folks who have been automated a long time. You can make a quick action out of a shortcut. And you can even add keyboard shortcuts to launch your shortcuts. And I just really appreciate the time and effort that was put in to bring in Shortcuts, launching and interaction, to the historical methods of input to a Mac.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
It’s one of those things that, at Apple, we pay a lot of attention to that kind of deep integration. We’re not just building an app for the sake of building an app on Mac. This is about deeply integrating it into the OS. And some of my favorites is actually a shortcut popping up in Finder, based on the files and things you’re looking at. That’s just such a Mac thing, and feels just so at home. Same with the menu bar. And I don’t know about you guys, but I use Spotlight a lot on the Mac. And I think a lot of our users do. It’s just that place you go to launch your apps, find your documents. And shortcuts will show up there as well.

I think that deep integration was really something that we knew would be a really compelling experience for users. And I think it’s also one of those things that helps build familiarity. One of the things we want to encourage Mac users who have long had the automation set up, that Shortcuts across your devices, whether it’s iPhone, or iPad, or even on your Apple Watch, there is these familiar points within the UI that you’re going to be able to act on a shortcut.

And I think that’s really important for developers to know, to know that their app is going to get engaged in those different areas. But I think it’s just great for users, right?. Whatever they’re doing, it’s not something that they have to go… Can you imagine the last thing we’d want is to run a shortcut yet you always have to open the Shortcut app?

And so I think the fact that we think deeply about the OS and all those touch points, is just something really unique that we can do at Apple, which is exciting.

David Sparks:
Now there is going to be some inconsistency, however. Like if you’ve got a window management shortcut, one of the new actions, which is really cool, is you can size your window on your screen. And it’s not just left and right, they’ve got multiple locations you can put a window on the screen. But when you go over to the iPad, for instance, that’s not the way that user interface works. So those scripts that you write for Mac, aren’t going to necessarily work an iPad. And then there may be some app-based shortcuts on iOS that don’t necessarily work on the Mac. How will users be able to navigate that with this new system?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
If you look at each of our devices, each of our platforms, they are unique. They have some things that obviously shared, but there are unique experiences on them. And when you look at the iPad, especially the updates we announced this year for multitasking, those are things that people are quite comfortable, as users, are quite comfortable using on the iPad, split view, slide over, these are kind of the sizes and the view that people expect.

Whereas when you switch over to the Mac, you’re not necessarily thinking of the iPad UI, you’re thinking about the Mac UI, and I think we encourage our developers to think the same. They think about building the best possible experience for each of those platforms. And the users just inherently know this because it’s intuitive as they move from device to device.

David Sparks:
Well, I do appreciate that because I feel like that adds a degree of complexity that you have to figure out, “Well, I can’t do this kind of thing on this kind of device,” but the other option would have been to go to the lowest common denominator, and not have those device-specific actions, and my hats off to the Shortcuts Team for not taking that road.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
The Shortcuts Team and many folks at Apple, it’s just the way we think about our platforms. And we do think of them as unique, distinct experiences. And so yeah, I think users are going to love moving between devices, interacting with shortcuts, and taking advantage of everything each platform can give them.

As you mention, there’s also this notion that things do transfer across. There’s a lot of shortcuts that will work seamlessly across these devices. And when you think of like Macs powered by M1, for example, you’re going to have those iPhone and iPad apps available on the Mac, and so you can actually configure your shortcuts, you can set up and manage your shortcuts across those devices. We even have in the app, as I’m sure you’ve seen, the ability to just drag and drop shortcuts to things like your Apple Watch.

And so as you’ve set one up, let’s say you set up a really fun multi-step shortcut on the Mac that you really want on your Apple Watch, you can just drag and drop that into the Apple Watch folder, and it’ll sync right up and away you go. So there’s definitely some commonality, but then there’s that unique experience for each of them as well.

Stephen Hackett:
One new feature that I definitely wanted to touch on is the addition of next action suggestions, so someone is putting together a workflow or an automation, shortcuts is there to help them bring that to the next level. And I wonder you could talk a little bit about what y’all think that means for people who are maybe getting their feet wet with automation for the first time?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Yeah it’s funny, when I think of next action suggestions, it’s kind of like shortcuts helping shortcuts. it’s a really a fun experience for folks that perhaps don’t know anything about coding. At first glance if you open up the editor, it could be overwhelming, right? If you know nothing about any of this, but you want to dip your toe in, how do you get started? And when you take a step back, suggestions has kind of been something we’ve been building across our devices and experience for years. Shortcuts itself get suggested based on where you are and what you’re doing. A lot of features that we build that are powered by on-device intelligence are also suggested based on a whole variety of signals coming from your device. And so this notion of suggesting something to the user is really powerful and we know they take advantage of that.

And so it was kind of a no brainer to bring that into the shortcuts app. And it really is easy, when you’re doing kind of simple shortcuts where you’re trying to get a file, or open a certain file in a certain configuration or window, you’ll get the next action suggestion, you’ll see a dedicated section for suggestions. And it really does intelligently understand that kind of next step.

It’s like building LEGO. You get started with the base, and then brick, after brick, after brick, and before you know it you’ve built a ginormous structure. And so I think that’s really kind of a great opportunity for people who know nothing about shortcuts or automation, and they can kind of just click, drag and drop, get the next suggestion, and keep building. And so we’re really excited about that. And I think that’s something that we pay close attention to and we hope our users enjoy.

David Sparks:
Well it definitely solves a lot of problems for me as an automator, because there are a lot of apps that are on all three platforms that have great shortcut support that, with all the Apple script in the world, I can’t automate. Like FoodNoms is the one I track my food with, and I’ve been struggling with automating that on Mac, and coming up with these real contraption-based automations that don’t work. And now it just showed up with shortcuts when I installed it on a Mac. And I think this is going to really solve a lot of problems for people, especially making those simple two to five step automations with just an app that they’re already using and they want to just make it easier on their Mac.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Oh yeah, it’s all about making it easier. And that’s one of the things that we looked at this year for sharing shortcuts. Like you guys know, people just love sharing their shortcuts. And I think there’s, if you take a step back, it’s kind of like human nature; the moment we find something that saves us some time, we just can’t wait to tell someone else about it.

Whether it’s navigating to some place, or whatever it might be, it could be a really simple task, it to be a really complex project, but I find that as humans we’re all about helping others save time. And I think that there’s nothing truer than that with shortcuts. And as a result, you’ve got this really passionate community that, some of them just build shortcuts just so they can share them. They may not even be using themselves, or they might be, and they’re like, “Hey, this saved me a ton of time. I’ve got to tell someone else about it.”

And so that was another driver this year to make the shortcuts easier to share, just send a link. You can mail it to someone, you can AirDrop it, you can message it, just like you share anything else on your device. And so you’re right David, I think lot of people are going to kind of stumble into this a few steps, a few actions, and they’ll step back and be like, “Whoa, that was amazing.” And then hopefully they tell others about it, which is really cool.

David Sparks:
One of the nerdier ways that Mac guys and gals like to script is what we call UI scripting. And a lot of times apps don’t have good automation tools, but if you can have a scripting tool that can select an item from the menu bar, or type of keyboard stroke, a lot of times I can get you a long the way towards getting automation built. Do you see that as part of shortcuts at some point, building those types of UI scripting tools in?

Vivek Bhardwaj:
It’s always tough for us to talk about the future-

David Sparks:
Sure, yeah.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
… but as we mentioned earlier, shortcuts is definitely the future of automation on the Mac. I think part of what the team has looked at in our approach here, I’ll give you a great example, next action suggestions is a great example, but even things going way back to like the magic variable, or more recently, the variable snapping, these are areas that we’ve looked at which do get a little more complex, you get a little deeper, it’s kind of like scripting, you’re going down a level. And even in that space, we wanted to make sure with something like variable snapping, that we could help users move from one action to the next, understand the data coming out of one action as an input to the next.

Those are examples of where we’re paying attention to those users who do go deeper, who do want some of that advanced scripting capability. And so that’s something we’ll continue to invest in. But it is really just about making this easy for everyone. And one of the things that I’ve always loved is, you see this with our developer community, right? We have the five-year-old kid who’s built the app and the 80 year old grandma who’s built the app and the business. And I think Shortcuts is that same thing. You’ve got this wide spectrum of users and some folks can go real deep. Some just want a few steps and actions, and we’re going to do our best to help all of them along. And so whether it’s advance scripting capability or even just suggesting a few next actions, those are both things that we’re definitely passionate about.

David Sparks:
And you honestly don’t have to worry because us nerds are going to be writing AppleScript snippets for Shortcuts, where we’re going to get that stuff anyway, we’re just going to write it in as AppleScript. And that’s really, to me, the beauty of this whole thing that you’ve done is you have made simple scripting available to everyone. You can bring a skillset over from your iPhone to your Mac now, and this is the big thanks from me is that you’ve left the door open for all the traditional scripting methods, shell scripting, AppleScript. All that stuff is still there, which means for the nerdier folks, they can go as deep down that stack as they want and Shortcuts can or cannot be a tool for them. It just doesn’t matter.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Yeah. No, exactly. People love some of those technologies. They’ve invested a lot of time there. They’re passionate about it. And it’s one of those things when you get really passionate about some of this stuff, you could just go deeper and deeper, and we don’t want to exclude anyone. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome. I think Shortcuts is just a great example of that on the Mac. Like you said, it’s just such a big audience and we do love them all. So yeah, we’re excited about that.

Stephen Hackett:
David and I were speaking yesterday and we were trying to come up with, what’s a technology from Apple that has been in macOS the longest? And we actually both think it’s AppleScript. I mean, it goes way back. And so it is cool to see it in this new era being right alongside these other automations. And I think what Shortcuts offers, and I think you all would agree with this, is it offers a range that Automator and other tools just couldn’t.

So you can start with simple building blocks, like you said, like LEGO snapping together. I really liked that as an analogy, but you can also just drop a shell script on it and do your thing at the command line. And Shortcuts actually comes with command line tools on the Mac, which when I saw that in the session, I just laughed. That is so awesome. I know our audience is going to love that. And so I think that range is really what I’m most impressed with having read and watched everything y’all have put out about Shortcuts for Mac this week. That it really seems like it’s been designed to meet the needs of as many people as possible and I’m sure that was just so much work to get it there, but I do think people are really going to appreciate it.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Yeah. I agree. I mean, hats off to the team. And I think it’s a reflection on the community and the Mac users out there. They deserve this and the team has really stepped up, but I think one of the other things that is just so exciting and another great example is what we’ve done with Swift. If you look at Swift Playgrounds and it started as this ability for anyone to learn how to code really simple, really easy, straightforward, right there on your iPad. And you look at what we announced this year, which has got a lot of buzz is you can build entire apps and submit them to the App Store right from your iPad. And so Shortcuts is kind of that same vein. You’re right, Stephen, people get started and they do a few things, but they’re curious. Curiosity is that thing and they get deeper and deeper. And the great thing is Shortcuts is there to support them along that journey. So, yeah, it’s so exciting and we can’t wait.

David Sparks:
Yeah. Well, our hats off to you guys. Again, I think this is really great for automation on the Mac. It’s taking the ball of Automator and running with it, and I think that’s going to make it much easier for a lot of folks. I was just thinking of my sister who’s not [inaudible] called me and I told her that she needs to declare a variable in AppleScript. She’d just hang up on me, but if I got her started with Shortcuts, I think she could actually build automations that she would need. And that’s exactly, I think, the audience that everybody should be able to do this stuff. And I love that Apple has this long history of automation and that they’re continuing to work on it.

And again, I know this was a lot of work and I just love the way that we’re already seeing bounce back to the iPhone and iPad that things you built for the Mac are now able to improve our quality of life of automation on the iPhone and iPad too. It’s just very nicely done.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Oh, thank you. Yeah, we love it. I think it’s a huge passion project for a lot of folks at Apple and we’re invested in it. So it’s exciting. This year and the announcement, great opportunity for so many people to get stuck into Shortcuts. So yeah, we cannot wait.

David Sparks:
Well, we appreciate you taking the time to come on and talk with us and our audience. I know you’ve made a lot of people feel better that are AppleScript warriors, and I think you’ve made a lot of people hopeful who are not. So thanks again, Vivek, for coming on today.

Vivek Bhardwaj:
Oh, thank you guys. I encourage all your listeners to hopefully pull down the developer beta, get stuck in and we look forward to the feedback and yeah, it’s been great talking to you guys. Thank you.

Stephen Hackett:
Thank you.

On MailKit »

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

As part of WWDC this week, Apple introduced a new MailKit framework for macOS Monterey that enables developers to create Mail app extensions that block content, perform message and composing actions, and help with security.

These new plug-ins have to fall into four categories:

  • Compose: Extensions that provide new workflows when composing emails
  • Actions: Extensions that apply custom rules to incoming emails, such as an email being color coded, moved to a separate inbox, marked as read, or flagged
  • Content Blocking: Extensions that serve as WebKit content blockers for emails based on specific criteria in an email’s HTML code
  • Message Security: Extensions that sign, encrypt, and decrypt emails when sending and receiving mail, with signed and encrypted icons below emails

Older mail plug-ins are still supported in macOS Monterey, but will stop being supported in a future release of macOS.