How to Launch Right into Movie Mode on your iPhone Camera


Straying from my usual FileMaker blogging routine here, I decided to do something on the Camera app on iPhones for a change.

Wouldn’t it be great to have an app that launched your camera app and put you immediately in video mode and start recording immediately? If you are a biker and concerned about crazy drivers, or just like to catch your baby or infant doing something new and amazing and you want to share it with their grandparents. Well, I am here to tell you that there is a simple and free way to achieve this feature. Even better, you can integrate this ability with Siri, so you can just say something like “Video NOW” and Siri will launch your camera app and start recording. Cool huh?

You used to have to purchase an app in the iOS App Store to achieve this, but now it is available via Shortcuts, the new automation tool, that Apple integrated into iOS. Shortcuts is a free app. If you don’t already have Shortcuts, download it now from the link. Shortcuts requires iOS 12.0 or later and a compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Launch Shortcuts

Once it has downloaded, or if you already have it installed, launch it. Scroll to the bottom of the list of Shortcuts you may already have in your Library. Tap on ‘Create a Shortcut’.

A new Workflow Shortcut will appear.

Midway down the screen is a search field. Enter ‘Video’ in this field.

Search for the word ‘Video’

Tap on the item called ‘Take Video’ to get started in creating your Shortcut.

Configure the Take Video step. 

The Shortcut defaults to the Back Camera, Immediate Video recording and Medium Resolution. I changed a few of these, but suit yourself.

Switch to High Quality

I recommend leaving the option for Start Recording Immediately as the default. This will speed things up and get you recording quick as a wink.

Settings Area

At the top right is an icon to edit some of the Settings for the Shortcut, including naming it, giving it a Siri command and adding an icon to your Home Screen.

Setup Siri Command

With the latest iOS version, Apple allows you to add your own Siri Commands. In this case, I used the words “Video now” to launch this Shortcut.

Name the Shortcut

I called mine “Video NOW”.

Turn off ‘Show in Widget’

Show it Widget is optional. I turned mine off, to speed up the Shortcut. 

Add an Icon and Give the Icon a Colour

I chose bright Green. Whatever you think will be eye catching when you are looking for the icon quickly.

Add a Glyph, something that will make it easier to identify.

I chose the movie icon, but it could be the camera icon as well.

Add the Icon to your Home Screen.

The third screen is a little confusing. It launches you into Safari with a page explaining what to do. Scroll to the bottom and tap the Share icon.

Scroll to the right in the bottom list of options to get to ‘Add to Home Screen’ button.

Tap ‘Add to Home Screen’

Video NOW on your Home Screen

You might want to move the icon to your first Home Screen, so it is readily available. Tap and Hold until the icon goes giggly. Then Tap and Drag it to your first screen of icons. Tap Done, when it is positioned where you want it.

Test Your Shortcut

I have paused the video above to take a screenshot, but ideally the red circle will be a square, if you left the Start Immediately option on.

I hope this is useful and you catch some great video with this Shortcut. Thanks Apple for adding this kind of automation to iOS.

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