Apple Acquires Workflow

Matthew Panzarino, writing at TechCrunch:

Apple has finalized a deal to acquire Workflow today — a tool that lets you hook together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks. We’ve been tracking this one for a while but were able to confirm just now that the ink on the deal is drying as we speak.

Workflow itself has been acquired, and is now free on the iOS App Store. The team behind it, led by Ari Weinstein, will be working for Apple.

As you may imagine, Federico Viticci has written about this news:

At this stage, it’s not clear what Apple’s plans for Workflow in the long term might be. I have a few theories, but this isn’t the time to speculate. I’ll say this, though: Workflow has been the driving force behind my decision to embrace the iPad as my primary computer. Workflow is a shining example of the power of automation combined with user creativity and its underlying mission has always been clear: to allow anyone to improve how iOS can get things done for them in a better, faster, more flexible way. Workflow is the modern bicycle for the mind. There’s nothing else like it.

I have a million questions, many hopes and quite a few fears about this. Workflow is the foundation on which many like Federico have built their iPad-as-a-work-machine houses. I can see a future where it becomes more deeply supported and integrated into iOS, like an Automator or AppleScript for the modern age, but this would require Apple to really commit to making the hooks for it in iOS deeper and more accessible.

As I said on Connected this week, I believe Apple is on the cusp of making a major push with iOS in terms of making it more friendly and powerful for professionals who want to work on the iPad. Workflow being part of iOS would certainly be a good step in that direction, and one I hope Apple is ready to make. So far, things don’t look awesome, but those changes may have been out of Apple’s control.