iOS NFC Shortcuts

The iOS Shortcuts app for iPhones everywhere has a cool feature called automation triggers.
These triggers allow iPhone users to instruct their device to perform a range of actions whenever a trigger fires.

Here is a list of triggers available in iOS14. Some of these can be set to run automatically without user intervention.

Name Runs Automatically
Time of Day Yes
Alarm Yes
Sleep Yes
Arrive No
Leave No
Before I Commute No
CarPlay Yes
Email No
Message No
Wi-Fi No
Bluetooth No
App (open/close) Yes
Airplan Mode Yes
Do Not Disturb Yes
Low Power Mode Yes
Battery Level Yes
Charger Yes

NFC Lego Dimensions with Your iPhone Shortcuts

As I was walking around my basement, I recently stumbled upon some Lego Dimensions pieces. Curious about it, I wondered if it used Near Field Communication (NFC) tags so I pulled out my phone and tried to add a NFC automation trigger in the Shortcuts app. It worked!

iOS NFC Dimensions

The Lego Dimension NFC tags can trigger an automation shortcut to do things like have your phone say something out loud, play a song, send a text, or even call someone. It’s up to your imagination!

Steps to Setup

iOS NFC Shortcuts Open the Shortcuts app on your device, and follow the following steps:

  1. Tap on the automation tab
  2. Tap on the Create Personal Automation button
  3. Tap on NFC
  4. Tap on Scan and then scan your NFC tag giving it a name
  5. Search and add Speak Text
  6. Toggle the Ask Before Running switch and tap Don’t Ask
  7. After tapping done, touch the NFC tag with the top of your phone to test

Additional Notes

I did find that the screen had to be on in order to scan the NFC tag. However, the phone didn’t have to be unlocked for it to work.

Last modified: 09/01/2020