iOS Shortcut Party! Location & Mono audio examples

Recently switched to the light side. After a dozen years, I finally had enough with Android and Google’s lack of will for innovation.

Ten years ago, I was flying out of Chicago and couldn’t help but overhear the conversation next to me; the words that I should have taken to heart: Apple makes their own hardware, so they don’t need to worry about a thousand smartphones made by 3rd parties.

One inexpensive but frustrating bout with Google Fi as my phone provider later, here I am. But there is one thing that’s missing from iOS: the ability to toggle your location setting easily. Android users can do that from the drawer in a snap. Apple doesn’t want you to touch it, and forces you to acknowledge a warning each time you toggle the option.

The other thing I prefer, that Android doesn’t provide built-in, is mono audio. Hear-through earbuds aren’t my jam and I want to catch every note when I listen to one side!

Luckily, iOS provides an easy way to toggle these options, and many others, using Shortcuts.

Shortcuts can be intimidating to a new user. The app was obviously designed by people who are familiar with the iOS ecosystem. I’m used to old-school AppleScript, so I assumed that baked-in system actions would be available under Shortcuts > New > Scripting. Wrong! Now we navigate using a URL.

For this tutorial, open up the Shortcuts app, then click the + sign to create a new shortcut.

Next, choose “Web”. The select Safari > Open URLs.

You’ll see a new screen. Click “URL” in dimmed blue and enter the following text depending on which action you want to take.

Location toggle:


Mono toggle:


Pretty straightforward — root is the top-level System Preferences item and path is the specifier.

Next, rename the shortcut to an easily identifiable name. Then long-click on your home screen, add a widget, and choose Shortcut from the long app list. It will be near the end. Select “Shortcut” and then add the specific one you just created.

Test, and enjoy!

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