After a long love / hate story, Apple acquires Workflow the automation app with which anyone can create their own apps.
When it seemed that Apple was turning its back on its more advanced users, something that certainly did not seem to matter much to its shareholders, the company announced by surprise that it had acquired Workflow. An app that, in the purest IFTTT style, allows creating advanced workflows in a simple way by chaining small actions. Or what is the same, a little bit of maa you can get this app to handle the most repetitive and complex tasks you do on your phone.
Why is the acquisition of Workflow so important?
If you are not an advanced user in iOS, it may be the first time you hear about the app, but the truth is that it is a very important acquisition.
Shows Apple’s intention to continue evolving iOS
Hence, the acquisition of an app that has revolutionized the way in which many users work with their iPhone and iPad is so important. Workflow has been a breath of fresh water in an ecosystem as closed as iOS. The relationship between the two was not always the best, the app was repeatedly rejected by the App Store for doing things too advanced, but in the end Apple has ended up completely changing its opinion: first it was highlighted as one of the best apps, then it was awarded the prestigious Apple Design Award and finally it was acquired. If someone wanted proof that Apple is still betting on taking iOS further, here it is.
A more integrated Workflow in the system
If Apple maintains this rate of constant evolution and allows the app to access parts of the system that until now had been banned, we can be at the doors of a new revolution on iOS. Something that many advanced users expected as May water.
The app could have more actions to choose from, it could be accessed from more places and even third-party apps could be allowed to integrate directly into it. Or what is the same, Workflow could do more for you faster and easier.
Automation can reach more people
The ability to chain different actions in a simple way (drag and drop) has removed many access barriers from automation. With the direct help of Apple, famous for making complex simple, and direct integration with the Workflow system can reach even more users. Just look at the example of Swift and Swift Playgrounds, which have substantially simplified programming so that more people can learn it.
What can I do with Workflow today?
If today is the first time you hear about Workflow for iOS and you’re still not sure what the app can do for you, here are a few examples (some I use every day):
- Create reminders. When I put the washing machine on, this workflow is responsible for creating a reminder that alerts me when it finishes and I have to hang clothes.
- Add a song to a list. I usually listen to music randomly and when I find a song that I like this workflow allows me to save it to one of my playlists from the Apple Watch itself or the lock screen of my iPhone.
- Archive an invoice. When I receive an invoice by mail on my iPhone, I share it with Workflow so that this flow takes care of renaming it according to the date and filing it in the corresponding Dropbox folder. It is so fast and simple that I don’t even turn on the computer.
- Saving data in Health in a comfortable way. In my case I use a flow that allows me to record (even from the watch) my blood glucose level (I am diabetic) to keep a detailed record on the phone. It is as simple as pressing a button, write down the amount and confirm.
- Prepare photos for articles. As with all media, the photos we publish in these articles must meet specific characteristics. Doing it on the Mac / PC with Photoshop is quite easy but on iOS it is complicated. This workflow, which I used for photos from my previous project, took care of everything for me.
These are just some examples, in the Workflow app itself (in the gallery section) you can find hundreds of them.
If you want to try Workflow, you can download it for free in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.