iPhone Playback Device Selector

Using Apple Shortcuts.

I am a recent convert to Apple. It started with a personal Macbook Air, but now I am well and truely into the Apple eco-system having a bunch of their hardware.

When I swapped from Samsung/Android over to iPhone, one thing that seemed missing by default (I am willing to be corrected if wrong here) but is really useful is the ability to easily switch between playback devices, such as the iPhone itself, bluetooth headphones, and bluetooth speakers.

A cool way I have found to achieve this from my home app screen is to use the Shortcuts app/feature that you get with iOS to create your own macro-like runbooks.

Here is how I did it…

Create A Shortcut for each Device

  1. Opent the Shortcuts app
  2. Click the Plus (+) button at the top right to add a new shortcut
  3. In the Search for apps and actions box, type “Playback”, then select the Scripting action for Change Playback Destination
  4. Choose a playback device from the list
  5. Give your new Shortcut a name at the top of the screen
  6. Press the Cross (x) button at the top right of the screen to save the new shortcut
  7. This should take you back to the All Shortcuts screen, where you should see your newly created shortcut
  8. Repeat for each one of your playback devices

Create A Menu for the device shortcuts, Add to home screen

Next we create a menu linked to an app icon which we can place on our home screen.

  1. As we did before, in the Shortcuts app, click the Plus (+) button at the top right to add a new shortcut
  2. This time, search for Choose from menu in the search box and add it
  3. Give your new menu a promt, something like “Select Device”
  4. Add a menu item for each of your playback devices and give them an intuative name (so you know which option is for which device)
  5. Then, for each playback device, search for and add a Run shortcut action, place the action under the respective menu item, and link the action to the relevant device shortcut (created earlier)
  6. Now you should have a viable menu structure, with options that each set a different playback device
  7. The final step is to create an icon to run your new menu from the home screen. Do this by pressing the options/preference/sliders button (not sure what its exact name is), located to the immediate left of the Cross (x) at the top of the screen, and select Add to Home Screen

And hey presto! With these steps you should have created a mechanism that enables you to quickly & easily switch between your various playback devices, straight from the home screen, with a minimal number of steps involved.

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