Whenever Apple announces its newest generation of iPhones, it tends to drown out everything else as devotees scramble to get their hands on the latest and greatest from the Cupertino tech giant.
But this year, there seems to be almost as much excitement for the latest installment of Apple's mobile OS, iOS 12.
One new feature that has everyone talking is Shortcuts, a Siri-integrated app that allows users to stitch together action scripts across different apps to create powerful new user tools.
Whether you're downloading from Instagram or YouTube, controlling your other smart devices, or ordering pizza, Shortcuts promises to make Siri more nimble and versatile than ever.
Several forums for sharing, creating, and modifying the user-generated scripts have already popped, and popular shortcuts are changing how people use their phones — including a wildly popular shortcut that automatically records interactions with police when users get pulled over.
Developed by Robert Petersen of Arizona, the shortcut, simply called Police, has quickly become one of the most popular downloads for the new iOS app.
When a user gets pulled over by the police, all they have to say is "Hey Siri, I'm getting pulled over," and Siri does the rest.
The script will pause your music, turn down the brightness on your phone, and switch over to "do not disturb mode." It also sends out a text to a predetermined contact, letting them know you've been pulled over. On top of that, it'll start recording from the front facing camera and email the video or save it to Dropbox once recording has stopped.
With just a short phrase, Siri quickly turns your phone into a body camera for civilians.
Speaking with Business Insider, Petersen talked about why he created the script:
It seemed to me that if you're getting pulled over it couldn't hurt to have a recording of the incident. The police these days in many places have body cams, so this could be the civilian equivalent.
The response has been mostly positive, with many users looking to adapt it to other potentially threatening situations.
One woman planned on using the shortcut to help with a stalker issue she was having with an ex-boyfriend so that she could send her location to family quickly should anything occur. That's one of the great things about Shortcuts: Anyone can edit a shortcut someone else has made to suit their specific needs.
The shortcut's popularity quickly had everyone talking about Petersen and his script.
Though, eventually, it got to be too much for Petersen.
But Petersen had some advice for those looking to create their own scripts:
The platform has a lot of potential, and if you read the Apple user guides and consult with others on forums, or just look at how other people's shortcuts work and 'reverse engineer' them to your own needs, you can learn a lot quickly.
If you have the Shortcuts app already installed, you can download the Police shortcut here.
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