iPhone, iPad users can now automate their lives for free as Apple buys Workflow app

Apple has snapped up task-automation tool Workflow and, unlike its practice with other acquisitions, hasn't yanked it off the App Store but instead is offering it for free.


Workflow is a utility that helps iOS users cobble together repetitive tasks between several apps.

Image: Workflow/DeskConnect

Apple has acquired Workflow, an automation app for the iPhone and iPad that helps users program tasks between other apps.

Two years ago Workflow won an Apple Design Award and got a glowing review from Apple's accessibility engineer due to the app's support for iOS accessibility features. Today, the app and its developers are part of Apple.

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The acquisition gives former iPhone jailbreaker and Workflow creator Ari Weinstein a tidy payoff for developing a utility that helps iOS users cobble together repetitive tasks between several apps.

Users of the service IFTTT would call them 'recipes'. Office users might call them macros.

Unlike previous acquisitions, Apple isn't removing the app from the App Store but rather is making it free. It used to cost $2.99.

Apple confirmed the acquisition to TechCrunch.

"The Workflow app was selected for an Apple Design Award in 2015 because of its outstanding use of iOS accessibility features, in particular an outstanding implementation for VoiceOver with clearly labeled items, thoughtful hints, and drag/drop announcements, making the app usable and quickly accessible to those who are blind or low-vision," Apple said in a statement.

One potential direction for Apple to take Workflow is integration with Siri. As the publication notes, the app's automation capabilities are due to its use of deep links within each app that it instructs to complete different tasks.

Workflow developers will now have greater access to the Siri APIs that Apple has not made publicly available.

Apple has not disclosed how much it paid for the app.

VIDEO: Apple buys Workflow, an iOS automation app

Apple buys Workflow, an iOS automation app

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