What’s a Shortcut?

A Shortcut is a custom automation created by users on Apple platforms (Mac, iPhone, etc.). It is composed of metadata, and “actions” which each perform a task on the device based on the configuration similar to a programming language with functions and control flow. In this way, it becomes a way to program custom software for Apple devices without needing to write an app in Swift and wait for approval from the Apple App Store.

What makes Cherri different from other Shortcuts programming languages?

Its primary platform is macOS. The restriction where Shortcuts must be signed, which unfortunately discontinued many iOS app-based Shortcut languages, has shown that a Shortcuts language will likely be more sustainable with fewer restrictions placed on macOS (and only macOS can sign Shortcuts). This also creates a better developer experience (no tiny tapping!).

Why macOS Only?

Since iOS 15 and macOS 12 Monterey, Shortcuts must be signed to be shared with and run on other Apple devices.

As far as I am aware, you can only sign Shortcuts using the shortcuts binary on macOS.

A benefit is that Mac Shortcuts are synced to iCloud and therefore synced to all of your other devices, so just compile your Shortcut and import it into the Shortcuts app on macOS. It will then be synced to your other Apple devices.

However, I have made a Cherri Playground that lets you play with the Cherri compiler on any platform. It has a signing server and will turn out valid Shortcuts on any platform with a web browser, primarily for those looking to write and compile Shortcuts on their iPhone or iPad.


You can use the --hubsign option on Unix-like systems to use the remote service HubSign provided by RoutineHub to sign the compiled Shortcut so you can then move it onto an Apple device through the iCloud web app or a file server.

This may work on Windows but has not been tested so you may experience issues.

Why not other *nix systems or WSL?

You can only run the shortcuts binary on macOS, and as it relies on private macOS frameworks, not even macOS emulation will work. It also relies on being signed into iCloud, so it needs to be an actual Mac due to the valid serial number requirement.

Is it possible to build and run on other platforms?

Of course, you can still build and run the compiler on any platform the Go programming language will compile on. Cherri will skip signing the compiled Shortcut but it will still compile. I don’t make builds for those platforms so that no one is confused and thinks that Shortcuts compiled using Cherri on other platforms will be able to be imported and run on any of their Apple devices.

Also, the compiler is currently developed and tested on macOS only, so it will otherwise work best on a Unix-like system that can compile Go code, like Linux or BSD.

Why No iOS App?

  • Maybe I could link the compiler to an iOS app but I doubt iOS will like it.
  • Compiling on a remote machine via the app would be slow.
  • I cannot at present justify the cost of the developer program to publish a possible iOS app.

Cherri’s primary platform is also macOS and this is on purpose. The intent is to give developers the freedom to develop Shortcuts easily on the desktop with desktop-class tools they already enjoy.

However, playground.cherrilang.org solves this problem. You can use it on any platform you prefer that has a web browser and load Shortcuts onto any Apple platform device.