Apple has inked a new deal to acquire Workflow. Workflow is an automation tool, similar to IFTTT, which lets users hook together apps and functions within apps in strings of commands to automate tasks. It is also one of the best productivity apps available on iOS. Essentially, the special sauce of the Workflow is that it allows a user to combine actions via a drag-and-drop interface to create a string of seamless, invisible commands. Also Read - Meet Indian developer who wins Apple Design award for his classical-music app NaadSadhana
And now, in the post-acquisition scenario, the three-person developer team behind the app will be heading to Cupertino to work on currently-unspecified projects for Apple. According to a report by TechCrunch, the acquisition has been sealed for an undisclosed sum. However, unlike other similar deals where a company buys out an app solely for the developer talent behind it and then shuts down the initial service, Apple is not only retaining Workflow on the App Store, but it’s also going free. Also Read - iOS 4 is now available again on modern iPhones, complete with Home button: How to get it
“We are thrilled to be joining Apple,” said Ari Weinstein, in a statement to the publication, who is one of the developers behind Workflow and a former jailbreaker. “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.”
Additionally, Apple also confirmed the deal, and said, “The Workflow app was selected for an Apple Design Award in 2015 because of its outstanding use of iOS accessibility features, in particular an outstanding implementation for VoiceOver with clearly labeled items, thoughtful hints, and drag/drop announcements, making the app usable and quickly accessible to those who are blind or low-vision.”
What this acquisition means for iOS users is the possibility for a much more beefed up Siri. If you think of it, the functionality of the Workforce app is somewhat in line with the budding Siri API. 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.