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How to Reduce Screen Time but Still Get Things Done| GuyWhoKnowsThings

Concerned about smartphone addiction After seeing your latest screen time stats? Nowadays, a certain amount of phone use is usually necessary, but repetitive tasks add up in minutes. Google Assistant Routines and Apple's Shortcuts app are two free options that can help by condensing multiple actions into a single tap or command. Here's how to get started.

Let's say you'd like to start your day with a personalized audio briefing, such as the day's weather forecast, travel conditions, your meeting agenda, and a news briefing or podcast. You would prefer to listen while you get ready for work, but you don't want to continue interacting with the phone. This is where the Google Assistant for Android either iOS enter, with an easy way to do all that in a routine.

Download the app if you don't have it, then open Google Assistant settings by voice (“Hey Google, open Assistant Routines”) or by tapping the Settings icon; choose Apps, then Assistant, then Routines. The Routines screen offers several suggestions for different scenarios, such as a routine for those work-from-home days, a routine that plays music and adjusts your smart thermostat when you get home, and a routine for winding down before bed. Tap “Set Routine” on the one you want to use and edit its actions to your liking.

You can also design your own routine from scratch. Tap the + button at the top of the screen, and then from the menu, select the actions you want to include. Choose an initial phrase or condition that activates the routine and follow the rest of the on-screen instructions.

apple Shortcuts application for iPhone, iPad and Mac allows you to chain separate actions for a larger task in a small script. The app has become easier to use over the years and recently updates They have added more features. Simply ask Siri to “open Shortcuts,” scroll through the screens until you find it, or download it from the App Store.

The app includes a large collection of ready-to-use shortcuts that do things like estimate travel time to meetings or convert text to audio. To view the included shortcuts, tap the Gallery icon at the bottom of the screen. To add a shortcut to your personal collection, tap the + button on your tile.

In the app, tap the Shortcuts icon at the bottom of the screen to view your collection. You can activate a shortcut by tapping it or ask Siri to run it. Some shortcuts appear in the Share menu, or you can add icons to them on the Home screen. Your shortcuts sync with other devices that use the same Apple ID, including an apple watch. Additionally, shortcuts can run automatically when requested by a specific time or event.

If you don't see an existing shortcut for something you want to do, create your own (such as a shortcut to open the Google Assistant app). Start by tapping the + sign in the top right corner of the Shortcuts app. Next, add steps (in the order they should occur) from the Actions and Apps menu.

For example, if you have a regular FaceTime call with the same group of friends, you can condense those multiple steps into one. Tap the Add Action button, select All Actions from the menu, and choose FaceTime from the list. Tap the grayed out Contact button and add a name from your Contacts list. After adding the name, tap the + button and repeat the steps until you've added everyone else. Give the shortcut a name and then tap the Done button.

You can save the shortcut to your home screen by tapping the Share menu icon and choosing Add to Home Screen. Tap it to call all group members or tell Siri to run that shortcut by name.

Certain shortcuts can be complicated to build, and it may take a few tries to get your creation working. He Shortcuts User Guide Apple's support site has detailed instructions for creating more complex sequences for tasks you want to automate, such as transcribing voice memos into notes.

Routines, shortcuts, and other automations probably won't cure a serious smartphone addiction. However, they can Help you spend fewer minutes squinting at a screen and save time in the long run.

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