iOS Shortcuts: Actionable Notifications

Two actionable notifications (via Pushcut and Toolbox Pro) on my iOS device.

Simple Notifications

The native ‘Show Notification’ in iOS Shortcuts produces a non-actionable notification. It doesn’t allow for any customization to open anything, so it is purely a notification to show you information.

Native notification

There might be times when you need more customization and power with your notifications. This is where we can take advantage of third-party actions from different Apps.

Powerful Notifications

On the left, we have Pushcut, a free option that lets you customize three actionable notifications from within their application before you have to pay for a monthly subscription (or a hefty one-time cost – $55 USD). On the right, we have Toolbox Pro which has their 'Show Notification’ action locked behind a $6 USD one-time in-app purchase.

I personally have used Toolbox Pro a lot in the past in my shortcuts. I’ve recently stumbled upon Pushcut and seem like a good option as well (especially if you have any usage of their other triggers/server features).

To note, these aren’t the only two applications that allow for these powerful notifications. If you look around I’m sure there are many others that might better suit your needs.

Actionable Notifications

The beauty of actionable notifications is that they can open URLs. URLs then let you take advantage of URL Schemes. I’m going to pull some quotes from a previous article I wrote that describes them:

URL Scheme links (also called x-callback-url), which are defined by an application. For example, Things has an excellent article on how you can use URL Scheme links to interface with it.

Each application provides its own URL Scheme, although this site does a decent job cataloging URL Schemes of popular applications.

This makes it so you can tap on a notification and have it open an application. An example of this can be seen below, where I go from a notification to the Just Press Record application:

Actionable notification

To go even further, you can have the URL Scheme trigger other iOS Shortcuts using shortcuts://run-shortcut?name=shortcutname!