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One of the most useful new features of iOS 12 is the addition of Siri Shortcuts. With shortcuts, you can essentially program a series of actions on your phone when you give Siri a specific command. You could set a shortcut to adjust the temperature and start playing your wakeup playlist in the morning (“Siri, get me ready for the day,” for example) or to make it easier to share information with a loved one when you copy a link on your phone. One redditor created a Siri Shortcut that preps your phone to record police interactions.
The instructions come via RobertAPeterson on Reddit. He created a shortcut called Police, which you can get for your own iOS 12-running device here. The aim of this shortcut is to make it easy to document an interaction if you’re pulled over by the police.
This shortcut does a handful of different things, according to the description on Reddit. First, it pauses music playing on your iPhone, then turns down its brightness and switches on Do Not Disturb so that incoming phone calls won’t disrupt you. It then sends a text message to one of your contacts (whoever you choose when you set up this shortcut) saying that you’ve been pulled over by the police, along with your location. Next, it opens up the front-facing camera to record your interaction.
Once you’ve stopped recording, it sends the video to a specified contact and then readjusts the phone back to its prior brightness and music settings. The latest version of the Police shortcut also sends your latitude and longitude to your designated contact, along with an option to upload the video to either Dropbox or iCloud Drive.
If you decide to download this shortcut to record police, you can easily tweak it to your own liking. Peterson, for example, chose the front-facing camera because he keeps his phone mounted while driving in his car. Others could swap it to the rear-facing camera, if that made more sense.
There are likely other uses for this shortcut and its variations than just recording police. If you’re interested in exploring other shortcut ideas, but perhaps not this one, you can also visit this subreddit where people are aggregating and sharing their own Siri Shortcut recipes.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.