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  • Writer's pictureOm Chachad

Introducing iFrames 2.0, featuring the iFrames API, Offline Mode, Pinned frames, and more.

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Last year, I introduced iFrames to provide a simple, fast, lightweight yet beautiful solution to making framed screenshots with your favorite Apple Devices.

I initially used shortcuts such as Apple Frames, MediaKit Screenshot Generator and more, but there have always been some compromises with these shortcuts, such as:

  • Slower Frame Generation

  • Requires you to download frames that you might not ever use

  • Take up precious iCloud space

  • No option to choose the frame you like

  • Lack of customisation

  • Unreliability

iFrames aims at remedying these issues, and providing even more amazing features. But for now, let’s talk about the stunning new additions in version 2.0.

iFrames API

Use the iFrames API to speed up the already fast process of generating frames, and skip the process of manually selecting options. This is meant for power users who are constantly generating framed screenshots for various purposes, and for them to skip the task of having to constantly select the same options everytime they run iFrames.

I’ve always wanted to add something like an API, but with the recent announcement of Federico Viticci’s Apple Frames API, I got a solid outline for the API commands. I’ve made most commands cross compatible with the Apple Frames API, while also providing more functionality through additional commands.

All Commands:

Input Commands:

&𝚌𝚊𝚙𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 Takes a screenshot instantly, and uses it as the input screenshot.

&𝚌𝚕𝚒𝚙𝚋𝚘𝚊𝚛𝚍 Uses the screenshot from the clipboard, and uses it as the input screenshot.

&𝚕𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚜𝚝 Uses the latest screenshot in your photo library as the input screenshot.

&𝚗𝚞𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛(𝚡) Use this command, to take latest *x* number of screenshots from your photo library. *Eg. &number(3) to get the latest 3 shortcuts*

Frame Selection Commands:

&𝚌𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚝𝙳𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚌𝚎 Uses iFrames’ Auto Detection feature, to set the frame to the device you are using the shortcut on, if supported by iFrames Auto Detection.

Output Orientation Commands:

&𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚘𝚁𝚘𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎 Skips asking if you want the earpiece to the left or right, if the screenshot is in landscape. Additionally, if there are multiple screenshots with different orientation, automatically sets the orientation according to the screenshot.

&𝚑𝙶𝚛𝚒𝚍 If there are multiple screenshots, merges them horizontally with 100px spacing

&𝚟𝙶𝚛𝚒𝚍 If there are multiple screenshots, merges them vertically with 100px spacing

&𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚘𝙶𝚛𝚒𝚍 If there are multiple screenshots, merges them automatically based on how many screenshots there are.

+𝚖𝚎𝚛𝚐𝚎𝙸𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜=𝙵𝚊𝚕𝚜𝚎 If there are multiple screenshots, separately outputes them without combining.

Output Commands:

&𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 This command lets you integrate iFrames into other shortcuts, the final result will be passed as a result of the ‘Run Shortcut’ action. Note: This will automatically add the &𝚊𝚞𝚝𝚘𝚁𝚘𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎 and +𝚖𝚎𝚛𝚐𝚎𝙸𝚖𝚊𝚐𝚎𝚜=𝙵𝚊𝚕𝚜𝚎 commands, to skip any user input. This is best paird with the &𝚌𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚝𝙳𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚌𝚎 command for a seamless experience.

&𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔𝙻𝚘𝚘𝚔 This command will open the final result in Quick Look, without saving.

&𝚙𝚑𝚘𝚝𝚘𝚜 This command will save the framed screenshot to the photos app.

&𝚜𝚊𝚟𝚎(𝚏𝚒𝚕𝚎𝚙𝚊𝚝𝚑) This command saves the screenshot to the given file path. (macOS Only)

&𝚌𝚘𝚙𝚢 This command copies the framed screenshots to the clipboard.

&𝚊𝚒𝚛𝙳𝚛𝚘𝚙 This command lets you quickly AirDrop the framed screenshots.

&𝚞𝚙𝚕𝚘𝚊𝚍 This command lets you upload the framed screenshots to Imgur, and copies the link to the clipboard, and also provodes it as output to the ‘Run Shortcut’ action.

Apple Frames API commands that work differently, or are unsupported:

&𝚙𝚒𝚌𝚔 Unlike Apple Frames which requires you to specify &𝚙𝚒𝚌𝚔 to get the input screenshot, iFrames automatically shows if the picker if there's no input provided.

&𝚏𝚘𝚕𝚍𝚎𝚛 and &𝚚𝚞𝚒𝚌𝚔𝚂𝚊𝚟𝚎 There's currently no way to set up a default folder in Frames, but I might add it soon.

&𝚞𝚙𝚕𝚘𝚊𝚍 This command is supported by iFrames, but by default, uploads the image to imgur, whereas Apple Frames requires you to set up your own custom actions.

Note: You can use compatible Apple Frames API commands, with the only change required being an addition of ‘&’ at the beginning of the first command.


Standard API Command

You can use the iFrames API commands through a text action, and pass it into the "Run Shortcuts" action. You can also do this via Terminal, Apple Script, URL Schemes, or any other method that is supported.

Example via Terminal: echo "&latest&currentDevice" | shortcuts run iFrames

Pass Image alongside API Commands

Passing images into the iFrames alongside API Commands is something only iFrames can do.

To do this, simply use the "Set Name" action to set the name of the input image to the API Commands you would like to use. This will perform the API Commands while also framing the input screenshot.

This, paired with the &𝚌𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚝𝙳𝚎𝚟𝚒𝚌𝚎&𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 command enables a truly passthrough mode which you can embed in your shortcuts.

Pin a Frame

In many cases, if you want to frame your screenshots with a device that is not your current device, or one that you don't already own, you can pin a device frame to the top of the frame picker, so that you can quickly choose it.

Here's how to pin a frame

Settings -> Pin a Frame  -> Select the frame to pin
Settings -> Pin a Frame -> Select the frame to pin
  1. Open iFrames

  2. Open Settings

  3. Choose Pin a Frame

  4. The Frames Picker will re-appear, but this time you can pick the frame you want to pin.

  5. That's it, your selected frame will be pinned, and synced across devices on the same iCloud account.

Offline Mode: Download Frames

iFrames has required an internet connection to work, and frames are pulled from imgur or imgBB upon request, but with iFrames 2.0, you can skip repeatedly downloading the same file every time, and also use iFrames offline by downloading your favorite frames to your device.

Here's how to download a frame:

Settings -> Download Frames -> Download Additional Frames -> Choose the frame
Settings -> Download Additional Frames -> Choose the frame
  1. Open iFrames

  2. Go to Settings

  3. Click Download Additional Frames

  4. The Frames Picker will re-appear, but this time you can pick the frame you want to download.

  5. That's it, your selected frame will be downloaded, and synced across devices on the same iCloud account.

Other changes:

  • There's now a new visual interface for choosing the screenshot source.

  • A completely re-written interface manager for the frames picker, allowing for features such as pinning and downloads, as well as the ability to quickly add new frames to the iFrames shortcut when available.

  • Added iPad 10th Generation Frame

  • Added Auto-Detection for iPad 10th generation, 14" and 16" MacBook Pro 2023

  • Settings moves to the frames picker, and won't appear when you're using the shortcut with an image input.

How to install iFrames 2.0?

If you are using iFrames 1.1, you can update to version 2.0 by simply going to the Settings, and checking for updates.

For users running an older version, or new users, you can download iFrames from here.

Article Updated on 17th November 2023: The link to the Apple Frames API was pointing to the wrong MacStories Article. Thanks to Jean-Paul Horn (@JeanPaulH) on Twitter/X for letting me know.


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