How will "Apple Shortcuts on the Mac" affect our usage of our use fo Apple Scripts, Better Touch Tool and Keyboard Maestro?

Interesting article and intereting thought: The Idea of Shortcuts on the Mac — MacSparky

The linked article is really summing up my thoughts very well: The Mac needs Shortcuts – Six Colors

Automation needs to get more simple and “sexy”.

Lets really hope the feature will come.

Now my question is: How will “Apple Shortcuts on the Mac” affect our usage of our use fo Apple Scripts, Better Touch Tool and Keyboard Maestro in the long term? Is there any third party “shortcut” plugin you would like to be kind of integrated into macos itself?


You would think all those would grow a “Run Shortcut” capability. Even AppleScript.

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Yes that would definetivly come. However I am thinking about whether an Apple Shortcuts could / would “kill” or lower the need to use non-apple Apps like (keyboard maestro, BTT, Hazel etc.) in the next 5-10 years if Apple Shortcuts is being developed. The next years may be very interesting.

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I don’t think so. Shortcuts exists on iOS, but people still prefer Pythonista or Scriptable in some cases, and use things like Toolbox Pro and Data Jar to enhance it. There’s always room for other tools. And I can’t imagine Shortcuts for Mac supporting things like the Stream Deck natively.


Agreed. I wouldn’t mind Shortcuts on macOS, if only to prompt devs into baking more automation in their apps, but my go-to tool for automation is KM.

Right. Most of those other things are launchers. I suppose Shortcuts could follow the example of JXA and use Apple Events (Mark 2?) And I would expect Applescript to also participate.

Frankly, I’d rather write in AppleScript for many things (or at least JXA) than write Shortcuts. Though I’m not averse to Shortcuts.

The other question is how much of what we think of as Shortcuts would translate. Not all the actions would make the transition. So, as with Drafts, some notion of iOS-only vs Mac-only vs Universal is to be expected.

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Hopefully it will be like programming languages. By that I mean, you can use pretty much any language to do anything but all languages make tradeoffs to make some things easier (and may unintentionally make other things harder). The BTTs and KMs of the Mac ecosystem will continue to specialize and shortcuts will lure people into the world of automation.

Applescript and Automator will recede into the history books, and Shortcuts and Javascript (and/or python) will take over I guess.

Which will put all platforms in a better position.

Just hope they keep folder actions around…

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I’m now on chapter 2 on AppleScript 1-2-3. Is it to late learn AppleScript and I should jump into javascript instead?

Yes I think alike – if Apple Shortcuts arrive it seems unlogical for Apple Scripts or Automator to survive – especially if Apple is thinking about making Automation easy for the masses.

I take a more economic view of the company. It’s more expensive, and less stable, to develop several scripting options. So why would they spend the money developing Automator any further?
Apple is probably seeing a very popular shortcuts App right now, stemming from the interface scripting (custom homescreens) that was (is?) very popular and got people into shortcuts. Not sure if that will last, and my fear is Shortcuts / Automation investment might also go down then.

But Javascript support is now built in to all of the OS’ and imo is the way forward, and shortcuts more or less slots right in.

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I agree on “develop further” for Automator (and probably AppleScript). What I don’t agree on is that AppleScript would stop being supported. That would cause stuff to break. And customers don’t like that.

depends on the percentage of customers actually using it.
I’d be very, very surprised if the % of Apple customers actually caring one bit about applescript even gets above 0.01%
Not sure they would be willing to spend any money on that percentage of customers. They might not actively remove applescript, but just put a deprecated sticker on it and remove it 1 or 2 years later to give the automator audience a chance to move their scripts to Python or Javascript.

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I don’t know the exact numbers but it’s similar to the Mac Pro issue - small # of customers, but a segment important to Apple as influencers.

That said, there is a larger % who use Applescript than who “care” about it. In other words, there are companies who depend on Applescript for enterprise apps used in their organization. It would be chaos if Applescript were decommissioned. But yes, it could be deprecated.

However, Automator cannot be the replacement. Automator is pathetically limited in what it can accomplish - indeed often you need Applescript in your Automator workflows!

If Apple were to bring the equivalent of Shortcuts and Scriptable to macOS and allow a few years for transition, THEN it would be possible to convert Applescripts to Javascript. Then the world would be all good.

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