Exploring IDEs for Apple Shortcuts: A Look at Jellycuts and Cherrilang

Exploring IDEs for Apple Shortcuts: A Look at Jellycuts and Cherrilang

Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) have been crucial tools in the software development world, providing programmers with a robust suite of tools to write, test, and debug code in one place. Traditionally associated with computer and mobile app development, IDEs are taking on a new role in the Apple ecosystem through innovative applications like Jellycuts and Cherrilang, designed to work with Apple Shortcuts.

What is an IDE?

An IDE, or Integrated Development Environment, is software that combines common development tools into a single graphical application. It includes a text editor for writing code, a compiler or interpreter to execute and test the code, and a debugger for tracing errors. IDEs are designed to maximize programmer productivity by providing compatible components within a cohesive user interface.

Apple Shortcuts

Apple Shortcuts are automated scripts created to perform specific tasks on iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS devices. These can be as simple as sending a predefined message to a contact or as complex as coordinating several apps to organize a daily schedule. Until now, creating these Shortcuts has mainly been done through the "Shortcuts" app, which uses a graphical drag-and-drop interface.

The Need for IDEs in the World of Shortcuts

As users seek greater flexibility and power in their automations, the standard interface of the "Shortcuts" app can fall short for advanced users or those accustomed to traditional programming. This is where tools like Jellycuts and Cherrilang come into play.

Jellycuts: An IDE for Shortcuts

Jellycuts is an IDE that allows users to write Shortcuts using a text-based programming language called Jelly. This approach offers several advantages over the standard graphical interface:

  • Flexibility: Jelly enables complex control structures and advanced data handling that can be cumbersome in a graphical interface.
  • Efficiency: Writing code can be faster than configuring multiple blocks in a graphical interface, especially for complex processes.
  • Ease of Review: Written code allows for simpler review and maintenance, especially in lengthy workflows.

Jellycuts not only facilitates the writing of Shortcuts but also integrates features such as autocomplete, syntax highlighting, and real-time preview, making it a powerful tool for automation enthusiasts.

Cherrilang: Expanding Possibilities

Cherrilang, while less known than Jellycuts, offers a similar approach to coding Shortcuts. Its purpose is to enable users to use a programming language to create Shortcuts more efficiently and with greater control. Although it shares several features with Jellycuts, each tool has its unique quirks and may be preferred depending on the developer's personal style.


The introduction of IDEs like Jellycuts and Cherrilang into the Apple Shortcuts ecosystem is an exciting development that opens up new possibilities for personal and professional automation. By offering a code-based approach to creating Shortcuts, these tools allow advanced users to fully leverage Apple's automation capabilities, marking a turning point in how daily tasks can be managed and optimized.