Workflow for iOS aims to simplify automation of complex multi-step tasks

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 2015
A newly launched iOS application dubbed "Workflow" enables users to drag and drop combinations of more than 100 different actions to create automated and complex workflows.




As part of a "launch special," Workflow is currently on sale for $2.99, which is 40 percent off the planned regular price. Unlike IFTTT, which restricts users to one action per service, Workflow allows for multiple actions and services to be connected, creating more elaborate automated processes.

Upon launching Workflow, users are given a tutorial to build an automation for creating an animated GIF with three photos taken from the iPhone camera. Once the pictures are taken, Workflow assembles them into a GIF and the image can be exported as desired, or saved to the Photos app.

Workflow ties heavily into the extensions capabilities baked into iOS 8 by Apple, allowing third-party applications to tie seamlessly into the automator tool. As a result, it requires a device running iOS 8.0 or later.




Among the more than 100 actions possible with Workflow are options related to native iOS apps Contacts, Calendar, Maps, Music, Photos, Camera, Reminders, Safari and Safari. It also ties into AirDrop, Twitter, Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, and iCloud Documents, among others.

And by using Safari home screen icon bookmarks, Workflow even provides a workaround that allows users to add automated tasks to their iPhone's home screen for quick access.



Examples of tasks that can be accomplished with Workflow, as noted by developer DeskConnect, include:
  • Add a home screen icon that calls a loved one
  • Make PDFs from Safari or any other app
  • Get directions to the nearest coffee shop in one tap
  • Tweet the song you're listening to
  • Get all of the images on a Web page
  • Send a message including the last screenshot you took
Once an automated task has been created within Workflow, users can launch them from within the app, or via other apps using a Workflow Action Extension, in addition to the aforementioned home screen shortcut.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Too bad Apple doesn't have a system for timed free trials.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Hurray up and get it before App Review rejects it.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    [@]boredumb[/@], Yeah, I bought it.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    Essentially Automator for iOS. I purchased the app yesterday and looking forward to playing around with it. The back story about these two high school developers is interesting also (DuckDuck Go it)
  • Reply 5 of 11
    I do not find this very useful since I have to open the app to perform these workflows/shortcuts. This kind of functionality is something Apple should allow or provide natively like "right clicking" on your computer.

    I want to live in my OS not in my Apps.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    tenlytenly Posts: 707member
    orange3324 wrote: »
    I do not find this very useful since I have to open the app to perform these workflows/shortcuts. This kind of functionality is something Apple should allow or provide natively like "right clicking" on your computer.

    I want to live in my OS not in my Apps.

    Did you read the whole article? It clearly says you can launch a workflow from a home screen icon.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    Can it be used to manipulate Settings? I'd love a "shortcut" for toggling Location Services on/off.
  • Reply 8 of 11

    If you follow along with the tutorials there are two ways to save the automations, one is through Safari as a separate icon, and the second is to use action extensions (the ones that pop up within other apps when you select the box with the up arrow).  

     

    Here is a nice overall summary of the program that provides much more information:

     

    http://www.macstories.net/reviews/workflow-review-integrated-automation-for-ios-8/

     

    Note that this is v1.0 (it is brand spanking new), but even out of the box it has considerable functionality.  By the time they get to v3+ this thing is going to be amazing...

  • Reply 9 of 11
    icoco3icoco3 Posts: 1,454member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by EMoeller View Post

     

    If you follow along with the tutorials there are two ways to save the automations, one is through Safari as a separate icon, and the second is to use action extensions (the ones that pop up within other apps when you select the box with the up arrow).  

     

    Here is a nice overall summary of the program that provides much more information:

     

    http://www.macstories.net/reviews/workflow-review-integrated-automation-for-ios-8/

     

    Note that this is v1.0 (it is brand spanking new), but even out of the box it has considerable functionality.  By the time they get to v3+ this thing is going to be amazing...


     

    Apple buyout and fully integrated into iOS....

  • Reply 10 of 11

    Whereas Workflow is rather good for personal use, I still can't get how to use the one effectively within multiple departments of our company.

    I'm looking for a workflow solution that will make our office work more effective. Many advised us to try https://pyrus.com/ and https://asana.com/ though I tried the one within my small team and it doesn't look to have enough workflow functionality. Any thoughts on Pyrus?

  • Reply 11 of 11
    donci27donci27 Posts: 1member
    It has workflows to automatically move and reprioritize reminders. And these changes will even be reflected in your iOS Reminders app. E.g. If you have a "Call" list and you say to Siri "Remind me to call mom" then it will automatically move it in there. Or you can set up a rule to move reminders containing your boss's name into your "Work" folder.
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