Help with very simple shortcut

Can anyone help me set up a shortcut where I can send a text message to multiple at the same time? Or even better through WhatsApp, if possible.

I am a teacher and I need to contact parents often through SMS or WhatsApp in a fast way on my personal iPhone and/or iPad. But I don’t want to put all the parents’ contact information in my private phone.

I hope this makes sense and that someone can help me make a simple shortcut that I can multiply for each student in Siri Shortcuts.

Unless I’m missing something that should be just a one step shortcut. There’s a default “Send Message via WhatsApp” step. Just create a new shortcut and drag that over and add your recipient. Create one for each student/parent with their name as the title of the shortcut.

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I’m not sure if you can easily add multiple recipients if they’re not in your address book.
This shortcut should do the job. (I’ll remove this link one day possibly).
You could get fancy with a dictionary to ask you which student it is and then lookup all the related recipients.

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I posted a simple option in your cross-posted thread in the Automators fourm.

Here is the link to the shortcut posted in this other thread:

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You will have to have their contact information on your phone somehow, or else the iPhone won’t be able to access it. (Well, I suppose you could put it in an AirTable database, but I’m not sure that’s any better.)

I don’t use WhatsApp so I can’t comment about it, but this seems like something you could do with a list… oh and I see @GraemeS has posted an answer like what I was going to suggest.

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Hi, thanks for all your help! I think I’m going to go with @BrainyLiving because I cant install WhatsApp on my iPad, despite @GraemeS great help, so I won’t be able to send messages from my iPad…

So I assume that I just need to edit @BrainyLiving shortcut with each kid’s parents phone numbers, right?

@andreasl - yes, you need to edit that Dictionary action to include the parent’s names and phone numbers. The names aren’t used anywhere else in the shortcut… they are simply there to serve as a meaningful key for each phone number. Let me know if you have other questions — jay

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My friend has a company that does this specially for teachers.

He was a teacher for Yes Prep and found that it was best to communicate with parents over text message and created this app to help solve the problem. It will also translate the message into a preferred language.

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This might be exactly what I need as I often need to translate messages to Arabic

Hey! I sent your friend an email, a request to join the app I think, with a link to this discussion as to how this app might serve my need. But I haven’t heard back from him.

So, I have finally set up shortcuts for each student to write SMS messages directly to the parents. I cannot tell you the amount of work this shortcut will save me, and how much this will improve my over all job as a teacher.

Thanks to everyone, especially @BrainyLiving whose shortcut I have customised for each student with a simple text already in place when firing the shortcut. Pure wizardry! These parents won’t know what hit them from now on :grinning:

I might have more questions as I begin using this shortcut for real, but for now I just wanna ask this:

When I fire up the shortcut by typing in the kids name from Spotlight on iPadOS, then I get this dialogue each time (!)

Isn’t there a way to bypass this “Start” button? I just want to be able to hit enter and then the shortcut is fired up.

I want to ask you @GraemeS if its possible to create a shortcut that sends a message to a specific group in my WhatsApp. Is that something which is possible to do?


I don’t actually know as I only investigated using WhatsApp like this to respond to the original question. A quick look suggests the answer is maybe.

I would try making the recipient in the shortcut as the group name rather than a number and giving that a whirl, it may work.

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As for now WhatsApp doesn’t provide a sufficient “Send Message” action in Shortcuts. Currently it is a simple wrapper for their URL-scheme, which accepts the number of a single contact as an input.

WhatsApp will however suggest you a limited amount of Siri Shortcuts, based on your most recent chats. This can include groups. Once this Siri Shortcuts action shows up in the Shortcut app you will be able to use it.

The problem is that those donated Siri Shortcuts actions won’t be able to handle text as an input. They basically just open the WhatsApp group for you.

The Workaround would be to put the desired text message into your clipboard first in Shortcuts before you have it open the WhatsApp group for you. Pasting + sending then has to be done manually by you, but that shouldn’t be too much work.

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