The Workflow app and its team are going to Apple

As first reported by TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matt Panzarino, Apple has acquired the iOS automation app Workflow and its entire team.

Workflow the app is being acquired, along with the team of Weinstein, Conrad Kramer and Nick Frey. In a somewhat uncommon move for Apple, the app will continue to be made available on the App Store and will be made free later today.

Panzarino makes some smart points in his article about Workflow's potential inside Apple: The app is one of the most innovative ways to chain multiple app activities together in iOS, and I use it every day to make my iPad a more effective work tool.

I'm relieved to see the app remain on the App Store for the time being, though this isn't a unique circumstance for acquisitions: The original Siri app stayed on the store for more than a year after its April 28 2010 acquisition, finally shutting down on October 14, 2011 — 10 days after Apple introduced Siri functionality into the iPhone operating system.

Could it be that Apple plans to introduce a version of Workflow — or better yet, use its technology — in future versions of iOS? As someone committed to the future of the company's touch operating system, I sure hope so.

We'll have more on the deal later, but in the meantime, I do highly encourage reading Matt Panzarino's full take on the subject.

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

18 Comments
  • As I read this I received an email notification from AppShopper that the app was free. Youbguys are quick. This is great news. I and many others were worried about Apple and automation. This sends a clear message. I just downloaded the app.
  • This doesn't send a clear message at all. Sal was on the Mac Automator team, not iOS. If you think this app is going to evolve now I think you are mistaken. They will use the members of the team for other features they want and this app will languish. Besides, if you're just downloading it now how much could you really have been thinking about or using automation?
  • I hope Apple isn't like Google, Dropbox and Microsoft and completely mess up the app and/or discontinue it.
  • Every time I try out a new calendar app, because I still haven't found the perfect replacement for Sunrise, I hate MS a little bit more. Sent from the iMore App
  • They already released a new version that locks down the mapping actions to Apple Maps only, no Pocket action, along with some others. The gig is up.
  • Sadly, I think you're right. Seems like Apple are going to lock it down and make it as uptight as a Republican at a rave. Thing is, they're so inconsistent. Based on the release notes for the latest update; - Maps actions are now powered by Apple Maps
    I get it. Google are competitors and Apple wants to lock users down to their own (inferior) mapping solution. No surprise here. - Translate Text is now powered by Microsoft Translate
    Yeah, I know Apple hates Google, but personally never understood why they suddenly got so chummy with Micro$oft. Credit where it's due though; MS Translate has gotten pretty good over the years. - Get Street View Image, Google Chrome, Pocket, LINE, Telegram, Uber, and Workflow Gallery submissions are no longer supported.
    Now this one I don't get at all. I can see why they'd want to cut off read-it-later services and have users employ the Safari Reading List (even if it's inferior), but why only drop Pocket and not Instapaper? Same for iMessage competitors. LINE and Telegram are bad but WhatsApp and WeChat are okay? Uber does deserve to disappear off the face of the planet though, so good call there.
  • I love Uber, I use it loads. I can't complain with cheap taxis that I can track the position of on my phone, whilst using Apple Pay to pay for them
  • Workflow is one of the greatest apps ever to grace the app store. I really hope Apple don't f*ck this one up. They could extend iOS automation a long ways now that Workflow is first-party , but they could also just take it's best bits and kill off the app. I truly hope it's the former here. Oh, and while you're at it, Apple, please acquire Parallels and make it free as well.
  • Free Parallels would be great. Sent from the iMore App
  • Why would Apple buy Parallels? And then make it free?
  • Parallels is very popular, so I could see Apple buying it. As for making it free though…
  • Whats in it for Apple? They only buy companies for their staff or tech. What does parallels have that apple would want?
  • Because I'm cheap and like free stuff?
  • This is awesome news so log as Apple doesn't f--it up. I was thinking yesterday that allowing Workflow access to more parts of the system/hardware would have the potential to make the iPad Pro more capable for serious work/productivity. This news bodes well for that. Hopefully it also means that Apple will integrate it into iOS and maybe a version to replace Automator for macOS. Sent from the iMore App
  • I wonder how long the talks between Apple and DeskConnect have been going on and if they have anything to do with the DeskConnect app being discontinued. Sent from the iMore App
  • It seems like the Workflow app was the key to turning the iPad into a a true productivity device. I know a lot of creative pro's (and even the iMore staff) that use it on a daily basis. I think the next logical step would be for its functionality to be baked in to iOS and close / narrow the gap between "real" computers and the iPad.
  • Great let's see how long until apple kills this app.
  • Here's the workflow...you buy a Mac or iPhone, the CIA makes the factory install spy into firmware, and we are all screwed. Wonder why Tim Cook hasn't addressed this yet? Hm...Wikileaks has never been proven wrong...EVER. Steve Jobs' last middle finger at his customers. https://wikileaks.org/vault7/darkmatter/?cia