Powerful automation tool – for iPhone owners that want more control
For a while now, iOS device owners have been calling out for a truly powerful means of automating repetitive tasks on their iPhones and iPads. It’s been a long time coming, but fortunately our prayers have now been answered thanks to the release of one new app: Workflow, a smart piece of software for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, can be downloaded now on the App Store. And trust us – this is an application you don’t want to miss.
Workflow’s name should give you an idea of what the app itself is all about. Essentially, the application is a lot like an iOS version of Automator – the powerful (yet largely underused) Mac app that lets OS X users link individual applications and commands in order to produce powerful, automated “workflows.” As such, when you first launch Workflow you’ll be guided through exactly what the app can do – and as you might expect, this includes a range of different modules which are ready and waiting for users to activate and link together.
There are modules for practically every aspect of Apple’s iOS: some can grab your current location and pass it into another app, while others can access the iOS Photos application in order to hand photos off to contacts or connected services. By dragging individual modules from one screen to another, users can build and create iOS workflows which make working from Apple’s mobile OS a whole lot easier.
I’ve configured workflows, for example, which save my last captured image to Dropbox, which grab a Google Street View image of my current location and pass it into the Messages app, and which combine individual images from the Photos application and make one single GIF file (which, in turn, can be shared). You can also set workflows to create PDFs of rich text, text, and URLs, and which search out particular places of interest nearby. Usefully, while the limits of what you can create using Workflow are fairly limitless, a “Gallery” tab shows off some of the latest and greatest workflows created using the application.
After configuring a workflow you like, users can run the workflow itself from within the application using a “play” button at the top of the page. On the other hand, however, iPhone owners can give their workflow more of an iOS app feel by creating a shortcut for that workflow and adding it to their iPhone’s Home screen. Finally, workflows can also be added as app extensions under iOS 8, allowing for more convenient and native access.
We’re lucky to have an app like Workflow on the App Store – in fact, the app itself had been struggling to make it past Apple’s App Store review team for some time before it finally gained approval. Regardless of whether you’re an expert automator or a newbie to the world of workflows, this is an app we’re highly recommending.
Price: $4.99 / £2.99
Platform: iOS Universal