Advanced: Performing actions through an automation

Total time: 7 Minutes

This How2 explains how to add and save additional smartphone actions to an existing automation.

In our example, we have created an automation that creates an audio recording after contact with an NFC chip. So far nothing happens with this after the recording. It is not stored, or shared, for example.

To make our example more suitable for everyday use, we want the audio recording to be saved on the iPhone after it is finished. To do this, we need to link another action to the action chain.

Within an automation, the actions are executed chronologically from top to bottom.

Add another action

To add another follow-up action, we tap If Record is detected, then tap Record Audio. In the following screen we tap the + to add another action.

Add another action

Search for follow-up action

This time we want to save something and therefore enter Save at the top of the search function. We select the search result Save file.

Search for follow-up action

Configure follow-up action

The follow-up action has been created and now appears under the existing action Record audio. Our new action therefore automatically refers to the previously recorded audio file.

In addition to Service, a storage location can be specified here in advance. In addition, you can set whether you want to be asked for a storage location each time. In our example the recording should be saved directly in the "iCloud Drive" without further confirmation, so we deactivate Ask Where to Save.

Configure follow-up action

Testing and saving automation

Before we finish the sequence of actions, or the automation by tapping on Edit, we want to test if everything works as we want it to. To do this, we click on the small symbol at the bottom right. The action sequence is then executed once.

After finishing the recording by tapping on the screen, the audio recording appears as another follow-up action under our previously created action "Save recorded audio".

Our short command chain works, an audio recording has been created and saved.

By using + you can create as many further follow-up actions as you like at this point. Each follow-up action builds on the previous one.

Finally, we tap on Edit Automation, deactivate Ask Before Running, so that the desired automation is started immediately by contacting the NFC tag "Record".

Testing and saving automation


For the sake of clarity, we end the automation at this point and therefore select Done in the upper right-hand corner.

An overview of the automation is displayed.


Our application example is now completed. When the smartphone contacts our NFC chip "Record", an audio recording is immediately started. As soon as this is stopped by tapping on the screen, the audio recording is automatically saved as a file in the iCloud Drive in the "Shortcuts" folder.

This application example is only one of many possibilities to link individual operating steps. Each step can be configured in small steps - of course also afterwards. In further articles we will take up some typical everyday examples of how NFC and shortcuts can make everyday life easier.

We will explain a further example of use by automatic music playback via a Bluetooth box with NFC start.

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« Start music playback via a Bluetooth box with NFC | Basics: Creating short commands and triggering them with NFC tags »