Shortcuts offer so many possibilities that Apple may not have considered them all. So much so that we can replace the iPhone camera button on the lock screen with almost any action we can think of. All of this is possible thanks to iOS 15.4 and the Shortcuts app that comes standard on iPhone.

iOS 15.4 removes a major obstacle for automations

The first beta version of iOS 15.4 was released a few days ago and its final version will be released this spring. It brings many new features, such as unlocking the iPhone with a mask or the integration of COVID vaccination certificates in Health. It also brings a small but promising improvement to significantly speed up automations with shortcuts.

This is the ability to suppress notifications that appear when a shortcut automation runs. Before this change was made in the iOS 15.4 beta, Shortcuts would notify us whenever an automation was running. And now Apple has decided that we can choose whether or not to show the notification.

This assumes removing a small obstacle at runtime. As we know, the speed at which automations are performed is essential for them to be useful to the user. With that, now that time is dramatically shortened, opening up other uses and opportunities for the platform.

There are already those who have taken advantage of this possibility. And it wasted no time showing off handy features to speed up shortcuts.

Open anything other than camera on iPhone lock screen

Florian Bürger is the developer of the photo app Fjorden, which is not yet available on the App Store. Bürger has already tried replacing the official camera app with his own on the iPhone lock screen, with near-instant results.

iOS 15.4 Beta lets you remove the notification (and delay) when performing personal automations via shortcuts…

This means opening Fjorden (or any other camera app) from the lock screen is now super fast and nearly seamless 🤩

— Florian Bürger (@FlorianBuerger) February 7, 2022

The speed is incredible, now that we no longer have to “endure” notifications that interrupt this process. This same system can be used to make the camera button work just about anything else. To do this, we must follow these steps:

Have iOS 15.4 beta installed on the iPhone. We open shortcuts and go to the Automation section and create a personal one. We choose the “App” automation, we choose the Camera application and the “Open” option. In the “Do” section we will have to choose which action will be performed when opening the Camera application. For this example, we chose to open Twitter. An option will appear to Ask for confirmation, which we will disable. Immediately, a button will appear to notify the execution, which is disabled by default.

From now on, when we open the camera from the lock screen, this action will be executed. As the developer himself indicates, we can choose to open our favorite camera application, if we do not use the one we have from Apple. We also tried performing other actions, such as opening a specific webpage (Applesfera in our tests) and even activating a HomeKit environment.

Surely there are other much more useful uses, which we will see in the coming weeks. But this new feature promises a lot.