Apple Acquires Workflow Automation Tool for iPad, iPhone

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Late Wednesday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) closed a deal to acquire automation app Workflow for an unspecified sum. The iPad and iPhone app let users create macro commands using functions built-in with other apps to automate tasks. The app is also compatible with Apple Watch.

Workflow has been available in the App Store for about two years at a cost of $2.99. As of Thursday morning, it is free.

Ari Weinstein, one of the Workflow team members who will be joining Apple as part of the deal, said in a statement cited by TechCrunch:

We are thrilled to be joining Apple. 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.

Integrating Workflow’s capabilities with Siri is, according to TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino, a virtual no-brainer:

If you spool out the thread here it’s not hard to see Workflow being integrated heavily with Siri, allowing even more seamless activation and composition of actions now that the team has access to Apple’s private APIs, which are more robust than the tiny bit of Siri that’s public so far.

Examples of how the app works are available at the Workflow website. Here are the guts of a macro called “Running Late”:

  • Find calendar events
  • Get travel time
  • Text
  • Send message

Provided that you’ve associated a person and a phone number with the calendar event, a single tap on the Running Late icon will execute that string of commands.