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Anybody who happened to read one of my blog posts about Automator on Mac OS will know that I’m a big fan of automation. Today I will throw some light on Automators “little brother” on iOS – the app “Workflow”. It is not build into the system like on the Mac (it is not even made by Apple), but you can get it from the App Store.

First of all: Workflow is by far not as powerful as Automator, but it offers a lot of useful actions to compose a workflow of. If you are looking for examples there are a bunch of pages on the Internet which showcase possible workflows (like http://www.workflowgallery.co).

Let’s take a look at a useful example. For this let us assume you want to send your current location to a certain friend on a regular basis. To do this manually, you would:

  1. Open the Maps app
  2. Hit the share button
  3. Find the button to send a message (and tap it)
  4. Select the recipient
  5. Add some text (hey – just sending the location would be a little bit rude, right?)
  6. Send

How about to cut this short into these steps:

  1. Open the according workflow within “Today”
  2. Send

What we would need to get there would be to create a workflow from these actions:

  • Get current location
  • Get Maps URL
  • Text
  • Send Message

Like so:

workflow

Nice! Anyhow the most useful “workflow” (actually it is just one action!) I created jet is my “Save to iCloud” workflow. It consists of the one action “Save File”. I saved this workflow to be an “Action Extension” (Options are “normal”, “Today Widget” or “Action Extension”), so I can fire it wherever there is an “open in…” button (for example in the Photos app) and save the current file to the iCloud (normally a long-winded task).

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Download on the App Store Workflow for iOS

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