There is a growing divide in the world. Let’s call it a digital divide. No, not the divide between those with digital gadgets, an online presence, and access to the internet. That’s a different divide.
This one is less obvious. It’s the divide between average users and power users. You know which one you are by walking through a simple test.
For Mac users, do you use the mouse or trackpad? If you do, you’re not a power user. The keyboard is the dividing line. Mac power users adhere to the keyboard, use keyboard shortcuts to avoid moving the hands to the trackpad or mouse.
For iPhone and iPad users, do you use Siri Shortcuts? No, not just asking a few questions about the weather or sports scores. Shortcuts is what makes you a power user.
Frederico Viticci walks through a review of Toolbox Pro, a utility for anyone who uses Siri Shortcuts.
Toolbox Pro is a new kind of “headless” app – a utility whose sole purpose is to complement and extend Apple’s Shortcuts app with over 50 new actions, providing a native implementation of functionalities that Apple hasn’t brought to Shortcuts yet.
For those iPhone and iPad users experimenting with Siri Shortcuts, it’s like this is how they’re used.
Shortcuts actions are seen as a nice plus to the core in-app experience – another type of extension that, akin to widgets and share sheet actions, lets an app better integrate with the rest of the system.
I love extensions and Siri Shortcuts is a huge plus, but Toolbox Pro goes beyond those basics.
Toolbox Pro is different: the app itself is merely a container of actions, which you can use in the Shortcuts app as part of your custom shortcuts. You’ll only open the Toolbox Pro app itself to read documentation for each action, download examples created by developer Alex Hay, and tweak a few settings
It’s as if you’re creating the extensions yourself, extensions that run on Siri Shortcuts, but do more than the basics.
Here’s the only real problem with Siri Shortcuts and Toolbox Pro. Both appear daunting, not exactly simple to implement without reading the step-by-step. Once you’ve created a few Shortcuts then it’s easy to create more.
Likewise, Toolbox Pro works similarly. Once you’ve downloaded a few, figured out how they work, then all the others become standard fare.
The difference between actions that run in Shortcuts and those that launch Toolbox Pro are explained in the Toolbox Pro app, which acts as a compendium of sorts to understand the purpose of each action with richer documentation than the short descriptions provided in the Shortcuts app. In the main Tools page, you’ll find a list of every action offered by Toolbox Pro; you can search for an action by name, or you can tap on one to open the full description, which shows helpful labels that indicate whether an action is available for free, runs in Shortcuts or Toolbox Pro, and requires an Internet connection.
This is exactly the type of tool that starts to change how you use iPhone and iPad, how to go beyond mere finger tapping and get into power user status. It’s just that there’s a hump to get over, some actual learning process.
Toolbox Pro is tip-ware free, but the premium actions you want are a one-time In-App Purchase (still cheap).