Apple acquires automation app Workflow, title to remain on App Store for free

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2017
Apple on Wednesday finalized a deal to acquire popular automation app Workflow and its three-member development team for an undisclosed sum, and is for now leaving the title on the App Store where it will be free to download.




As part of the acquisition, Workflow's team of Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer and Nick Frey are headed to Apple to work on unspecified projects, reports TechCrunch.

"We are thrilled to be joining Apple," Weinstein said in a statement. "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."

Interestingly, Apple will not only keep Workflow on the iOS App Store, but plans to make the title free to download later today, the report said. The company followed a similar course of action when it bought Siri in 2010. Siri the app remained on the App Store until it was officially integrated into iOS in 2011 as part of iOS 5.

Whether a similar fate is in store for Workflow is unknown, but Apple could easily roll out an Apple-branded version of the automation software or bake the technology into an existing product.

Confirming the Workflow deal, Apple said, "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."

Workflow accepted its Apple Design Award at WWDC 2015 alongside other big-name apps like Crossy Road, Shadowmatic and Vain Glory. Apple later threw a spotlight on the app by featuring it among a handful of titles that deeply integrate VoiceOver technology.

While the company did not comment on what the Workflow team will be doing in Cupertino, TechCrunch postulates Weinstein and company might be applied to Siri. The idea is bolstered by Workflow's existing set of macro creation tools.

As AppleInsider noted in November, Workflow allows users to cobble together powerful actions by tapping into backend integrations with other apps. The result are strings of commands, or workflows, accessible at the touch of a button.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Cool. Good for them. I don't know the app, but this seems like a good sign.
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 28
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 545member
    just downloaded it...great customization to create widgets
    watto_cobraalbegarc
  • Reply 3 of 28
    Cool. Good for them. I don't know the app, but this seems like a good sign.
    It's an awesome app. Highly recommend.
    watto_cobraalbegarc
  • Reply 4 of 28
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 400member
    Great news and congratulations to the Workflow team!  I have used the app since it first came out and it is amazingly simple to "program" routines (I find it easier than ITTT, but I use that also).  If Apple integrates this more deeply in iOS and MacOS it will replace, and much improve upon, Apple's old Aufomator program.  Exciting stuff
    andrewj5790watto_cobraalbegarc
  • Reply 5 of 28
    Brilliant.

    Workflow was already great, but giving it deeper access to iOS (which is what I'm assuming will happen) will only make a great App that much better.

    Who knows - maybe this will be part of iOS 11?
    andrewj5790propodwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 28
    Great acquisition. I've been using this app since it was released (around 2 years ago). I do everything from uploading images/GIF to Imgur (to share like I'm doing here), downloading YouTube video onto my iPhone, downloading files via Safari, create an Apple Music playlist based on the artist to on Beats 1 (or any other Apple Music radio station), Scan QR code etc. Here's the workflow widget on iPhone (which covers half what I do with Workflow as it also works as Share extension):
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 28
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
  • Reply 8 of 28
    This is actually significant news - especially for treating the iPad as a more general purpose computing device. App extensions are great for single-minded interactions (apply this filter from this app), but they're not a replacement for scripted events which are essential for tying up the loose ends in a business' IT environment. iOS automation apps are inherently limited, an Apple-supplied solution is going to be significantly more useful, while having the attractive security features of the iOS ecosystem.
    edited March 2017 douglas baileysphericwatto_cobrafrantisek
  • Reply 9 of 28
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 251member
    Makes a lot of sense for HomeKit and Siri 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 28
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    Gracious isn't the word I'd use.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 11 of 28
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    Yeah, and just because I bought my Mac Mini before Apple started bundling iWork with Macs, I guess you suppose they owe me retroactively, too?
    /That's not how this works.
    //That's not how ANY of this works.
    toysandmelolliverwatto_cobracaliStrangeDaysfastasleepdamn_its_hot
  • Reply 12 of 28
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,588member
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    First thought: Yeah, that's gonna happen... followed by: Why did he buy the app? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 28
    patsupatsu Posts: 422member
    Yes !

    Make it work with Siri, HomeKit, Swift Playground, CarPlay, and Apple TV please !
    watto_cobradamn_its_hot
  • Reply 14 of 28
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    While they are processing your request maybe Apple could also consider refunding my SoundJam license, which I bought shortly before it got transformed into iTunes.

    Have another martini on me while you're waiting!

    :-)
    edited March 2017 JinTechStrangeDaysicoco3
  • Reply 15 of 28
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,468member
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    Yes, because when the price drops on the laptop I bought a year ago, then every customer should have the difference refunded. 

    I'm still campaigning for some sort of compulsory testing before people are allowed on the internet. 
    sphericsmiffy31watto_cobraai46pscooter63damn_its_hot
  • Reply 16 of 28
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,606member
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    Is it broken now?
    Is it Apple's fault that you never used it?
    kiltedgreenwatto_cobraasdasdpscooter63StrangeDaysicoco3damn_its_hot
  • Reply 17 of 28
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    Yep. You should be refunded for that album you bought that you have never listened to  as well as that book you bought 5 years back but never found the time to read.

    Sigh.
    watto_cobrapscooter63StrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 28
    What I find curious about this acquisition is that after 20+ years, apple recently closed down their Mac automation division. So, does this imply no automation for macOS but only iOS. If so, that would be some turnaround.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    I just downloaded it just now. No idea of what it does yet, but it is free! Will give it a test drive soon.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 28
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 321member
    I bought this app and I've never used it once. I think it would be gracious of Apple to refund everyone's money.
    While they are processing your request maybe Apple could also consider refunding my SoundJam license, which I bought shortly before it got transformed into iTunes.

    Have another martini on me while you're waiting!

    :-)
    Ah SoundJam. I remember when Apple acquired them. I actually worked at Apple at the time and when iTunes 1.0 came out, it was stripped of so many features. I wrote up an enhancement request for so many features and it was closed immediately with the the lead developer stating "be patient, it's all coming back over time plus more" and eventually he was right lol
    cali
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