TIL that iOS Shortcuts is a bit particular when it comes to photos

A few months ago I’ve built a simple iOS shortcut for quickly snapping a photo and sending it to a fixed email address. Its first action/block was “Take Photo”, it had always worked fine, right from the start.

Fast forward to today when I had just finished setting up my new iPhone. I triggered the shortcut, a picture was taken and then … an error message: The file “Camera 2021-07-10 09-10-11.png doesn’t exist." I’ll spare you the story about the ensuing hour of debugging but in the end, it was a simple fix.

I just had to open the Camera app and manually snap a regular picture once. Apparently that then created some hidden folder behind a dusty curtain in the darkest depths of iOS which Shortcuts needs but can’t create itself. On the previous iPhone I had used the camera for weeks before getting into Shortcuts, so that issue never arose — but on the fresh device I hadn’t bothered with the Camera app and instead went straight into automation mode.

After that, my shortcut just worked fine. What an obscure bug, though.

Tags: #til #ios/shortcuts #ios/automation

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Carlo Zottmann @czottmann