Apple acquires popular iOS automation app Workflow


Workflow is now an Apple app.
Workflow is now an Apple app.
Photo: Workflow

Apple has completed a deal to acquire Workflow, the popular utility app for iPhone and iPad.

It’s unclear exactly how much the Cupertino company paid, though it was reportedly “a solid payday” for the team behind the app, which includes former iPhone jailbreaker Ari Weinstein.

Workflow made its App Store debut in December 2014 and picked up an Apple Design Award the following year. The app takes advantage of accessibility features baked into iOS to allow users to automate common tasks using multiple actions.

You can use it to create buttons that will fetch you directions to the nearest coffee shop, upload the last photo you snapped to Dropbox, create animated GIFs, turn a webpage into a PDF, and lots, lots more in a single tap.

“When I first saw the app, I was just like man, this accessibility is cray-cray,” said Apple Accessibility engineer Dean Hudson during the 2015 Design Awards. “This is off the charts!”

TechCrunch was first to report the acquisition, which has now been confirmed by Apple. The company will obtain the app itself, as well as the team behind it, which includes Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, Ayaka Nonaka, and Nick Frey.

“We are thrilled to be joining Apple,” Weinstein told TechCrunch. “We’ve worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting our company as students attending WWDC to developing and launching Workflow and seeing its amazing success on the App Store.”

“We can’t wait to take our work to the next level at Apple and contribute to products that touch people across the world.”

Workflow wasn’t the first app to automate tasks on iOS, but it became incredibly popular thanks to its ease of use and impressive design. Its compatibility with an exhaustive list of third-party apps and services also helped it grab attention.

The acquisition is even more notable following the departure of Apple automation czar Sal Saghoian last November. His position was eliminated after he left the company, leading many to believe Apple was no longer interested in developing automation technologies.

Since Workflow became an Apple app, its $2.99 price tag has been dropped, allowing new users to download it for free. If you haven’t already started using it, then, now is the time.


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