How to Create iPhone Shortcuts with Launch Center Pro

A handy app called Launch Center Pro allows you to create shortcuts to anything on your iPhone, and gives you quicker access to app and settings.

Everything is pretty easy to get to on your iPhone, thanks to the simplicity of iOS 7, but there are some things that you just wish you could create shortcuts for. Luckily, that’s where Launch Center Pro comes in.

The app is essentially a launcher that you can put in your iPhone or iPad’s dock, and tapping on it with pull up a grid of all the shortcuts you have set up. You can do simple things like launch apps or turn on the flashlight, but Launch Center Pro goes much deeper than that.

Here are a few ways that you can create shortcuts to just about anything on your iPhone, and some examples that you may want to take advantage of.

Setting Up Launch Center Pro

Launch Center Pro has versions for both iPhone and iPad, with each costing $4.99. This means that if you want to get the app for both iPhone and iPad, it’ll cost you $10. It’s a steep price for sure, but you’ll definitely get a lot of use out of it.

Once you have the app installed, you can begin customizing it and making it your own. Launch Center Pro will have a short tutorial for you to show the basics of how the app works. That should at least get you going and allow you to create basic shortcuts without a problem.

iPhone shortcuts in Launch Center Pro

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The app is comprised of two basic elements: Actions and Groups. Actions are the different shortcuts that you create, and Groups allow you to put a bunch of actions into a single folder of sorts. So when you have a group of actions, all you have to do is open up Launch Center Pro, tap and hold on a group, and then slide your finger over to an action.

To create an action, simply tap on the pencil icon in the upper-right corner and tap on the + sign of any empty square. You’ll be asked to create either a Group or an Action. If you just want to create a single action (rather than a group of them), tap on Action.

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Next, tap on Action Composer and this where you can browse all of the available actions. We recommend that you start with Featured Actions, as they’re already set up and ready to go, and it allows you to get a feel for Launch Center Pro. You can also go into System Actions, which are actions based on default apps and settings in iOS. Installed Apps consist of actions based on the third-party apps that you have installed.

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Once you select the action you want, you’ll be able to change the icon, schedule the action for a specific time, make it a location-based action, and even give it a notification sound for when you trigger the action.

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Launch Center Pro Shortcut Examples

So you now know the basics of Launch Center Pro and probably already have made some basic actions, like posting to Facebook or simply just adding an app so that you can access it quicker. However, Launch Center Pro can do so much more. Here are some examples.

  • Create a Group for Daily Routines: You can create a group full of actions of something that you do every day. You can have a “Workout” group that contains actions such as opening up a music playlist, and a toggle for switching to Do Not Disturb so you won’t get distracted with notifications.
  • Get Quick Directions Back Home: If you’re in the middle of nowhere or aren’t sure where you’re at in the big city and need to get home, you can set an action that instantly gives you directions back to your place with Google Maps.
  • Create Shortcuts for Favorite Contacts: If you have a small group of contacts who you call or text frequently, you can set up actions that allow you to instantly call a friend or family member without having to open up the Phone app.
  • Quickly Tweet a Photo: The process for tweeting a photo isn’t really streamlined, but Launch Center Pro makes it easy. You can set up an action that takes you directly in the Twitter app or Tweetbot and asks you to choose a photo to tweet.
  • Bookmark Favorite Websites: You can put bookmarks for your favorite websites right in Launch Center Pro that will take you directly to that website. No need to open up Safari first and then find the bookmark in your bookmarks folder.

Of course, these are just only a few examples that I’ve used, and there’s so much more you can do with this app. If you have any actions of your own that you use, feel free to shout it out in the comments below. We’d love to hear about them!

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