Wouldn't it be good if your shortcuts could run on an automatic schedule, in the background without any further intervention on your part? Cronios makes it possible by bringing some impressive planning powers to your IOS automation scripts.
Shortcuts Focus is the iDB's column dedicated to iOS automation through the shortcut app, formerly Workflow. We strive to overflow inspirational shortcuts created by users worldwide who save you time and increase productivity. Some of the ones we've covered so far can find something cool to look at Netflix or Amazon, delete completed reminders, enforce PiP on YouTube, bypass article payment options, turn on Apple TV, get dark mode on any website, bulk report multiple recipients, add some Apple Music albums to your home screen and more.
If you are familiar with Unix on which macOS is based, you probably know about "cron", a time-based job planner who may be used to run tasks such as housekeeping and other recurring operations at regular times, dates or intervals .
Well, Cronios by Adam Tow is basically cron for shortcuts.
Bringing the cron's scheduling power and flexibility to iOS, Cronios lets you run your favorite iOS automation scripts at fixed times, date ranges, and intervals. Trust me, you get a surprising amount of work on the iPhone by planning repeated tasks with Cronios.
Without further ado, let's get started with Cronios.
Shortcuts, meet cron jobs!
With Cronios, you can schedule other shortcuts to run on an automatic schedule, in the background, and without absolutely no intervention on your part. Your own shortcuts can be configured to run on specific dates, times, intervals, and intervals you specify.
"No more buttons on icons, messages or links," the author mentioned. "No longer telling Siri what you want it to do. Now tell your iPhone or iPad what to do and when to do it."
But first watch the embedded video to watch Cronios in action.
To download and install this super-handy shortcut, visit the iCloud download page at to use Safari on your iOS device and press the blue button marked with the text Get shortcut . Don't have shortcuts installed on your device? Download it for free from the App Store.
After the script is downloaded and opened in the shortcut app, you can find it under the Library tab along with your exciting shortcuts, synchronized via iCloud across all devices.
iOS Automation with Cronios
So now you have a fourth method of running shortcuts, in addition to the Siri, Home screen and the shortcut app itself. The ability to run shortcuts on a schedule, in the background, opens some interesting options, such as the following usage cases:
- Back up your shortcuts every 3 hours from 9am to 5pm during the week.
- Turn on Do Do not disturb mode based on events in your calendar.
- Provide a custom alert when the battery level reaches a certain limit.
- Collect information from the web while you sleep for review in the morning.
- Send email on your behalf during the day.
- Take a photo on a regular basis and send it to you.
- Play an audible alert every 5 minutes with interval training to push it hard for one minute.
- View a time status report on things like current time, online status, battery level, weather, upcoming events and reminders and step count.
Cronios works with two of Adam's shortcuts, GeoCuts and WatchCuts, to add automatic placement-based and remote release of shortcuts, respectively
Running Scripts in the Background
The shortcut has almost 3000 actions, so you may want to read full documentation.
"There is a lot of information on how to keep Cronios active for as long as possible," the author wrote on RoutineHub, one of our favorite places to buy good iOS automation scripts. "I personally had Cronios running uninterrupted for up to four hours," he added.
iOS does not support running shortcuts on a schedule so you can solve some issues, especially in low-memory situations when IOS can decide to clean the Shortcut app from memory. Some shortcuts can also prove difficult, if not impossible, to schedule, such as those that require user input or are subject to timeouts.
If you create a home screen icon for Cronios, by tapping it, it will cause shortcuts to go through all the steps, nearly 3,000 of them. You can avoid it by adding Cronios Daemon, a small 10-speed shortcut that starts Cronios in continuous monitoring mode, on the Home screen or Siri.
If you wrote some shortcuts that don't work with Cronios, do yourself a favor and read the developer documentation that contains tips on creating background shortcuts.
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