Using Siri Shortcuts with the Buffer mobile app (iOS)

We’ve built custom actions that you can use to build your own Shortcut in the Shortcuts app on your iOS device! A key thing to note is that Shortcuts that include Buffer exist outside of Buffer. That means you don’t go into the Buffer app to set them up. Instead, developers can provide custom actions for apps - and those show in the Shortcuts app. From there, you can use them however you like!

Here are the actions we have today in Buffer. If you open the Shortcuts app, and the go to Apps → Buffer you can see them all listed out:

List of Buffer Shortcuts

What can you do with Buffer shortcuts?

We’ve got a few shortcuts to choose from that can be used in many interesting ways. For example, you can pause all of your queue with the “Pause All Channels” shortcut. By choosing that shortcut, you could say “Siri, pause my Buffer queue” and then it’d be done. Another popular option is the Create Post shortcut. With it, you can create an entire post right from a Shortcut!

Automation menu in app

Shortcut options

Of note is that “Show. When Run” option. If you turn that off, you can run this Shortcut totally in the background and you will not see a pop up. Otherwise, a Shortcuts notification will pop up every time you run this.

It's also common to pass data from action to action as we hinted at above. So, for example, you could grab a random photo from Unsplash, and then pass it to our Create a Post action, and use it for the image!

Why is there a Shortcuts section within the Buffer app?

While it's true that there is a Shortcuts section within the Buffer app, it was originally created when Shortcuts were much more limited. At that time, all you could do was provide a URL for your app to open, and then you could handle it. To that end:

  • Buffer Clipboard
  • Dictate & Compose

…were made using this legacy method, and shouldn’t really be used at this point. Both can be replicated using the “Buffer a Post” action so it doesn’t require Buffer to open at all, and can be used with Siri, in Widgets, etc.

We hope that you'll use our custom actions and Shortcuts to do all sorts of amazing things! 

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