Apple Shortcuts-focused ‘Automation April’ event returns with contest, exclusive content, more

Apple Shortcuts-focused ‘Automation April’ event returns with contest, exclusive content, more
Written by Techbot

Our friends over at MacStories have officially kicked off their second annual Automation April event. This event is focused on helping you use automation to make your devices your own, in the “spirit of tinkering, customization, and building something better.”

Automation April is a month-long event that MacStories began hosting last year. Throughout the month of April, the MacStories team, including Federico Viticci and John Voorhees, will offer a collection of content focused on Shortcuts, automation, and much more.

Great automation is about more than efficiency. It’s also about making your devices your own, so they suit your needs better than off-the-shelf apps can by themselves. The spirit of tinkering, customization, and building something better is what Automation April is all about, which is why we’re pleased to be spending April showcasing automation on Apple platforms alongside developers and MacStories readers again this year.

This includes the Automation April Shortcuts Contest, which is a “way to showcase the best shortcuts from the automation community.” Submissions are open and free to everyone, and there are four different categories this year:

  • Best productivity shortcut
  • Best media shortcut
  • Best HealthKit shortcut
  • Best Mac-specific shortcut

Shortcuts are judged by a panel of experts including:

MacStories encourages everyone to build a shortcut and submit it to the contest, whether your a Shortcuts expert or just starting out.

Shortcuts do not need to be complex to win in one of contest’s categories. That’s true for all the categories, but especially true for the Best Everyday Shortcut category, which we created because we know from experience that some of our most valuable and frequently-used shortcuts are among the simplest.

Our panel of judges will be evaluating submissions based on originality, performance, design, user experience, and usefulness. Pushing the boundaries of what is possible with Shortcuts is certainly a factor that will be considered in originality, but, at the same time, usefulness doesn’t require complexity, which is something we’ve emphasized often in our writing about Shortcuts. So, no matter your level of experience, we’d love to see what you build.

Finally, I want to point you to this post from MacStories, which explains that this year’s Automation April event is dedicated to developer Alex Hay. Alex passed away last month after a battle with cancer at the age of 36. He developed a number of different apps and resources for the automation community, and MacStories is dedicating this year’s Automation April in memory of Alex.

So, with his family’s blessing, we’re dedicating Automation April 2023 in memory of Alex Hay, a brilliant and beloved member of the automation community who was taken from us far too early at the age of 36. MacStories is also making donations to the American Cancer Society and Cancer Research UK in Alex’s name, and we’d love it if you would join us in making a donation using the links above too.

You can learn more about Automation April on the MacStories website, alongside additional details on the Shortcuts Contest. Also be sure to check out the AppStories podcast, Club MacStories, and the Shortcuts Archive that offers 300 different shortcuts that you can download and use on your Apple devices.

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