I quite enjoy scripts and things that make my computing life a we bit easier. I’ve blogged a few times about AppleScript which I find very handy on my mac. On my iPhone I’ve never really found a way of automating things that stuck with me. I’ve downloaded and played with a few apps, but mostly they have felt a bit too convoluted for me.
I do regularly combine application to get a result, the so called app smashing, although I prefer the less destructive sounding playflow (I think I am the only person who does).
I’ve now found an application which looks like making this sort of thing on iOS a bit simpler: Workflow.
Workflow is more like Automator than AppleScript as it uses the same sort of block steps. You can combine any of the actions to create workflows. These steps or rather actions can deal with images, text, maps in all sorts of ways.
The think that makes this application stand out is that it has arrived hot on the heels of the iOS 8 improvements to inter application communication. You can set the application to the a Action Extension, this means it can be run from the share sheet in other applications. As you can set the input for a workflow to accept different things you can control the sheets where it will show.
In the screenshot below I’ve selected 2 photos and then hit the share button. When I click the Run Workflow button I can choose a workflow from the next screen(shown on the right) . In this case one choice is a simple workflow I made to downsize image an save it to the camera roll.
These workflows are made by dragging and dropping action blocks onto a workflow. Workflows can be set to be run from a icon added to your home screen, the Launch Center app or from share sheets in other apps. The latter can be set to accept different types of data and will then show up in the appropriate apps.
So far I’ve only made a few very simple workflows with two or three block, but there is potential to loop and have if-then type decision making.
There are over 150 actions you can use to build a workflow:
I’ve only scratched the surface of workflow over the last week or so, but it looks like it could make iOS more fun and effective.
A few links: