How to use Workflow, the app that Apple just bought and made free for everyone

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Workflow

Apple bought an app called Workflow on Thursday. The app automates stuff you do all the time on your iPhone and iPad and turns those tasks into a simple button.

But instead of killing the app, as Apple usually does when it acquires a startup, Apple made it free.

Basically, Workflow is like a Swiss army knife for completing complicated tasks, which the app calls “workflows,” on the iPhone or iPad.

For example, you can use Workflow to make GIFs out of photos in your camera roll, automatically make websites into PDFs, delete screenshots from your camera roll, and much more.

Workflow is designed to make you more productive on iOS, and it has the potential to replace entire apps on your home screen.

Here’s how it works:


Workflow is now free in the App Store. It used to cost $2.99, which was a fair price.

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Tech Insider

Download it here »


Each colored thumbnail in the app represents a different workflow.

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Workflow

There’s a gallery of other people’s workflows that you can download for free. If you’re not good at scripts, this is the most useful part of the app.

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Workflow

Here you’ll find some good ones, such as these.

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Tech Insider

This workflow will make a GIF out of the last five photos in your camera roll. Handy!

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Tech Insider

Once you download a workflow, you can customize any aspect of it. For Photos to GIF, I tweaked it so I can manually select the photos I want to include and adjusted the time that each photo is shown in the GIF.

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Tech Insider

To use a workflow, access it from the share menu, which is usually found at the bottom left of an app.

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Tech Insider

You can also access workflows through a widget in Notification Center.

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Kif Leswing

And workflows can even have their own app icons on your home screen.

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Tech Insider

If you’re especially creative, you can make your own workflow from scratch. You do this by chaining together actions such as opening a file in an app or opening a webpage. Simply drag an action from the left window of the app to the Workflow window on the right.

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Tech Insider

The app can help guide you to figure out what kind of workflow you want to make.

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Tech Insider

I made this workflow, which saves a photo, video, or link to my Dropbox account and copies a link to my clipboard — all with one tap of a button. This is useful when I want to quickly save a large file to my Dropbox account and share it with someone.

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Tech Insider

Workflow can do a lot, but you have to play with it for at least a day or two to understand its real potential. It could change the way you use your iPhone or iPad.

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Workflow

If you’re interested, there’s a subreddit dedicated to Workflow that’s a good place to find other creative uses for the app.