It was announced this week that Apple has purchased DeskConnect, the start-up business behind popular iOS app, Workflow.
The app allows users to build custom actions that involve multiple apps, for example, linking Maps and messages so your phone sends an automated text to a contact to let them know when you’ll be home, based on your location. At present, the app supports more than 200 actions and integrates into Apple apps as well as third-party apps including Facebook, Dropbox and Evernote.
While the acquisition figure has not been disclosed, TechCrunch, the media outlet that broke the story, reported that it was set to be a “solid payday” for the Workflow team and a respectable return for its investors. The deal means Apple has also acquired Workflow founders Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, Ayaka Nonaka and Nick Frey who will continue to work on the business.
Following news of the acquisition, Apple made the unusual step of not only keeping the app available to users on the App Store, but making it a free download where it used to cost $2.99.
It’s been clear for some time that Apple has had its sight on Workflow. In 2015, the app won an Apple Design Award due to its outstanding use of iOS accessibility features. This is no mean feat considering Apple has always retained tight control over iOS meaning apps are only able to interact in certain manners and only if Apple allows it. Workflow’s developers found a way to work within Apple’s imposed rules and were able to successfully link apps together to automate tasks.
Apple’s acquisition of Workflow means users can expect even greater functionality from the app and insiders are speculating what it might mean for the next iOS update.
On the acquisition, Workflow released the following statement: “We are thrilled to be joining Apple. We’ve worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kick-starting 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.”
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