Workflow on iPad

Workflow for iPhone and iPad is Apple's powerful automation app, letting you create or get other people's workflows that you can use to speed up tasks on your devices.

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But you don't have to be able to create workflows to benefit from them – you can add them from the Gallery or import them from other people, just run those, and still get a lot of benefit from using Workflow.

Just getting started with Workflow? Here's what to do first

Whether you're new to Workflow or have some experience, here's a few tips on getting workflows onto your devices.

Workflow has a built-in Gallery featuring hundreds of workflows, organized into curated collections and across pages in the rotating banner for different categories.

The main view of the Workflow Gallery on iPadView of the Apple Music banner page showing five curated collections

The Gallery contains collections like Must Haves, Getting Started, Around the House, and more. For the banner pages, there are 5 collections for music, 4 under widgets, 6 for sharing, and 3 for social, and 2 for action extensions.

When you're browsing the Gallery and see a workflow that looks interesting:

  1. Tap on a workflow to show its details.
  2. Examine the description and scroll through the actions to see how the workflow works.

    Highlight of a workflow in the GalleryPreview of a Gallery workflow's description and actions

  3. If you want to add the workflow, tap Get Workflow.
  4. Tap Open to open the workflow composer, where you can tap the Play button to run it right away or edit the sequence of actions; or...

    Workflow detail view showing it's been downloaded and available to openView of the downloaded workflow in the Workflow Composer

  5. Swipe the workflow preview down to dismiss it.
  6. Tap My Workflows to return to your list, where you'll find the workflow at the bottom of your list.

    Screen capture of a workflow detail view being dismissed mid-swipeHighlight showing to tap My Workflows to leave the Gallery view

If a workflow already exists by the same name, you'll be prompted to Replace or Keep Both, which creates a second copy.

If people want to share their workflows as links so others can add it when they click on the URL, they can: * Tap the Share icon in the top left corner of a workflow; or... * Tap the Settings icon in the top right of a workflow and tapping Share Workflow.

Screenshot of a workflow showing callouts for the Share button and the Settings button in the iPhone version of WorkflowHighlight of an individual workflow's setting screen showing to tap on Share WorkflowHighlight of the share menu showing to tap on Share as File to create a .wflow file

From the Share menu, tapping Copy will generate a link from https://workflow.is – it may take a moment, so don't tap away before it's finished.

When someone clicks on that link, anyone can tap it, see a preview of the actions, and get the workflow for their collection.

When you're on mobile, tapping on a workflow link will take you into the Workflow app and add it to your collection.

When you're on desktop, the word "Get Workflow" takes you to the App Store to download the app. To add it to your collection, use something like Reading List or AirDrop to send the link to your phone instead and open it there, where you can add it like above.

Filling out Import Questions

If the original creator of workflow wants new users to fill in their own personal details, they can add Import Questions to the workflow before sharing it.

Preview of an Import Question on a workflow that's asking for the user's addressSecond step of the Import Questions showing for a user's home cityPreview of the workflow with completed Import Questions filled out in the Street Address action

When you go to add a workflow with Import Questions and tap Get Workflow, you'll be prompted with their series of questions and fields to fill out.

Once you're done, the changes will be inputted into the workflow and added to your collection.

(More on Import Questions in the Workflow Documentation)

Getting workflows as files

It's also possible to share and receive workflows in the format of a .wflow file. Whether you want to share or store it locally, make available to download from your server, or archive for later, you can save a hard copy of your workflow in any file system.

To create a .wflow file from one of your workflows:

  1. Tap the Share icon in the top left of a workflow
  2. Choose the action extension Share as File to generate the .wflow file

    Highlight of a workflow showing the Share icon in the top bar of the iPad version of WorkflowHighlight showing the first Share menu that pops up when sharing a workflow with a callout on Share As File

  3. A second sharing menu will open for the new file, where you can choose a share extension to send off that file to another app
  4. If you tap Files, you can choose from different document providers and save your .wflow in any file storage app

    Highlight of the second sharing menu that pops up when using Share as File on a workflowPreview of saving the newly-created .wflow file into Files using a popover in the workflow

Once you have a .wflow file, tapping on it in Files for iPhone and iPad will open it into Workflow and add it to your library immediately.

If you want to share .wflow files from a server location, you can set up an import deep link using the Workflow URL scheme to have the file (or multiple files) added when someone clicks that URL – but that's for advanced use cases.

Check out the community

Screenshot of the Reddit community for /r/workflow in the iOS app ApolloScreenshot of the member details page for Club MacStoriesScreenshot of the Workflow Field Guide detail page on MacSparky.com

If you're looking for more workflow ideas, check out the Reddit community, where people talk about Workflow and share their own links regularly.

There's also a strong fanbase and history of Workflow on MacStories, plus editor-in-chief Federico Viticci shares exclusive workflows and answers subscriber questions every Friday in the the weekly newsletter for Club MacStories.

Also be sure to check out the Workflow Field Guide from MacSparky if you're just getting started – it's a guided video course all about the app.

Questions?

Hit us up in the comments below, on Twitter @iMore, or to me directly @mattcassinelli.