Workflow Brings Powerful Automation To IPhone And IPad, Keeps It Simple

A new app launched onto the App Store yesterday promising to bring powerful automation to iPhone and iPad while making the process of automating tasks simple: Workflow. The app aims to maximize the capabilities of iOS 8′s extensibility and make more efficient every day tasks and actions by allowing users to create custom, or download curated, workflows.

iOS automation can be a daunting prospect for many iOS users and has historically been taken advantage of mainly by power users and the ever-so-slightly nerdy.

However, iOS 8 makes it easier for apps to communicate meaning its also easier to get apps and service to work together — the software can now do the legwork and you don’t have to spend all day fiddling with URL schemes, Python scripts or IFTTT recipes.

Workflow ios app extensionsInstead, Workflow simplifies the process to an easy to understand drag-and-drop interface where you build workflows out of individual actions. You can create efficient solutions to complex tasks and have them available at the tap of a button.

What’s best is you can save individual actions to your home screen for quick access or get to them through the iOS 8′s share sheet extensions.

There are over 150 actions that Workflow can take advantage of and combine.

The resultant output could be a GIF, a PDF created from a webpage and saved to Dropbox, getting directions to the nearest coffee shop with a tap, a download of all the images from a webpage you’re viewing, a tweet of the currently playing song with album artwork, a quick bill/tip calculator, the ability to quickly look up and share your availability…

All of these tasks and way more that can be created bring an efficiency lacking in iOS — what would have taken multiple taps, switching back and forth between apps, finding data and so on, can now be done in a much more time-defective way. Set the workflow going, sit back and relax.

Having only used Workflow for a day or so, I can vouch that the barrier to entry is much lower than previous automation tools. There is still a learning curve, and the geeky will take to it more easily than those without a technological bent, but the drag-and-drop UI and the ability to install pre-set workflows makes onboarding a little easier.

If you spend a lot of time on iOS, find yourself switching between apps to do the simplest things, give Workflow a look. It might just save you a few minutes — and over a week, month, or year, those few minutes will add up.

Workflow is available in the App Store now with a 40% launch discount at $2.99. It’s a universals app so will work on iPhone and iPad — there’s no syncing of workflows across the two devices yet, although that is coming in a future update.

Read more about Workflow at or check out Federico Viticci’s in-depth review at MacStories for a deep-dive into how the app works.

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