This Vision Pro app turns your shortcuts into buttons that float before your very eyes and it's available now

Shortcut Buttons Vision Pro app
(Image credit: Finn Vorhees)

The Vision Pro is finally here after months of waiting since that first WWDC unveiling in June of last year. The headset is officially on sale and people across the United States are already enjoying what Apple hopes will be a new era of spatial computing. But for that to happen, we need apps. Lots and lots of apps. Apple announced recently that the visionOS App Store would have more than 600 Vision Pro apps at launch and one of them is an absolute must if you're a heavy Shortcuts user.

That app, dubbed Shortcut Buttons and created by developer Finn Voorhees, allows Vision Pro users to place shortcut buttons anywhere in their world, making it quicker and easier to do anything that those shortcuts are capable of doing. The shortcut could be a quick way to start a new timer, add a new reminder, interact with their calendar, and more. And because the shortcuts can be locked into place they can be put in places that make sense — like a shortcut for a specific HomeKit scene near the TV, for example.

If you're a new Vision Pro owner looking for apps to try, Shortcut Buttons is available right now, priced at $7.99 without any in-app purchases or subscriptions.

Shortcuts everywhere

It's sometimes difficult to explain what apps do in text form, especially when you haven't been able to use them yourself. But Voorhees explains Shortcut Buttons as being "great for placing relevant automations nearby when working on notes, calendars, tasks, and other productivity apps." The explanation continues, saying that Vision Pro owners "can avoid switching over to the shortcuts app running in iPad compatibility mode and instead just tap a small nearby button, similar to how you might run a shortcut from the Shortcuts widget on iOS/iPadOS."

The use cases for Shortcut Buttons are many and users are only really limited by their imagination here. It's still early days for Vision Pro but one of the key things we are already starting to learn is that it really comes into its own when apps make use of 3D space and lock their interfaces within that space. A timer that stays above a pot on the stove is a great example, and Shortcut Buttons builds on that by placing interactive buttons anywhere you want them to be.

Creating the buttons includes plenty of customization options including picking from an array of different icons to help represent what the button will do. Interestingly, there is also support for a history feature that shows the most recent shortcuts that were used in the order that they were used — perfect for those of us who can never seem to remember which shortcuts they used last and what it was used for.

Vision Pro owners looking for new apps that couldn't have been made without visionOS and the features it offers should definitely give Shortcut Buttons some consideration. It'll be high on my list of must-download apps once Vision Pro ships in my part of the world, I know that much.

The Vision Pro itself is currently only available in the United States and starts from $3,499 for the 256GB model. There are 512GB and 1TB models for those who need extra room to breathe however, but it isn't yet clear just how much space people are using on their new spatial computers.

Looking to download Shortcut Buttons? You can get it from the App Store now.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.