Embrace automation with Workflow [Essential iOS Apps #13]

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Workflow app Webpage to PDF action
Workflow can make the most basic of tasks incredibly simple.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

50 Essential iOS Apps: Workflow appNot all tasks are simple or straightforward. Sometimes a task involve multiple complex or repetitive steps. Having the ability to use a “program” to do these tasks quickly and easily makes you more efficient. Unfortunately, we aren’t all programmers. Workflow for iOS makes performing complex or repetitive tasks a breeze, all without needing to know a programming language.

What is Workflow?

Workflow is a visually designed, drag-and-drop automation tool for iOS. Using action extensions or user input, workflows can be built to process data, images, audio, or trigger other processes. This enables inter-app communication, as well as interaction with files in unique and customizable ways.

Why it’s great

From simple tasks like getting the number of days between 2 dates or converting a Live Photo to a gif to more complex tasks like applying a mask to an image or reformatting a large block of text and links into a blog post, the possibilities are near-endless. The easy to understand visual builder allows you to do creative programming actions without ever writing a line of code. By using easy-to-understand actions (complete with tool tips), you can create incredibly detailed multi-step programs to automate the most complex or mundane of tasks.

A Workflow iPad and the Workflow gallery on iPhone
With Workflow, you can create your own complex program, or grab one from the gallery
Screenshot: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The Workflow app’s action extension (in the share sheet) is extremely useful for passing images, text, files, or url into a workflow for processing. You can also add triggers to the app’s widget for kicking off workflows like logging health data (water or caffeine consumption, workouts), or activating an IFTTT routine.

The large gallery of community-generated workflows, and it’s integration with other apps and services also make it incredibly powerful and easy for beginners. Additionally, online communities of Workflow users are always willing to help creatively solve complex problems using the powerful iOS application.

Who it’s for

Whether you’re a tinkerer, a programmer, or just looking to be more efficient, Workflow is an incredible app. With tools for programmers, writers, photographers, and just about anyone else, it’s hard to find someone who couldn’t find a user for it.

Bottom line

Workflow is a powerhouse of iOS automation. Despite some concerns by the tech press after Apple acquired the app, Workflow has continued to gain support for new services and features, making it even more robust. The constant development and powerful automation features makes it a must-have on iOS.

Price: Free

Download from: App Store

See more of our 50 Essential iOS Apps

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