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Home / Tips and Tricks / iOS 12's Shortcuts app looks to replace Apple's workflow for good «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

iOS 12's Shortcuts app looks to replace Apple's workflow for good «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



Apple is testing a new app for iOS 12, called Shortcuts, and it has a lot of overlap with the existing workflow app. So much overlap that we can not keep track of workflow for much longer.

Workflow, in case you did not know it, is a scripting app for iOS that connects other apps with over 200 available actions to help them automate tasks with a tap of a button. These scripts, called workflows, can be used to create shortcuts, manage media, share content from one app to another, and more.

Shortcuts in iOS 12 are virtually exactly the same as workflow and even copy the majority of workflow user interface, just with a few more bells and whistles like Siri integration and the newer "Apple Look" that matches other Apple's apps. To make it clearer, Shortcuts is workflow on steroids

Workflow's Gallery (left) vs. Shortcut's gallery (right).

This is just a hint that Apple will get rid of the workflow after the release of iOS 12. Another is that shortcuts are integrated with iOS 12 while workflow must be installed from the App Store. When you open the shortcuts on your iPhone for the first time, all of your workflows are automatically imported into shortcuts when you use the workflow.

All mine Workflows (left) have been imported and converted into shortcuts (right)

There are also other actions available Shortcuts and developers are encouraged to create new shortcut actions for their apps to help users create more personalized workflows on their devices can.

Apple has nowhere stated that workflow would actually be released when iOS 12 comes out, but the evidence is pretty clear that this is a high probability.

At the heart of new features that includes shortcuts via workflow, there is Siri compatibility. This means that any workflow created in the Shortcuts app can be assigned a Siri phrase, allowing you to automate custom tasks with "Hey Siri" hands-free. Of course, the Siri button on the Home or Side button can be used for a slightly freer operation, as well as Type to Siri if you do not like to talk to your iPhone.

Workflow does not have Siri features (left ), but shortcuts (right).

Right now, the new Shortcuts app is only available to developers (not public beta testers) who request access from the Apple Developer Web site. Upon invitation, developers will be able to install the app through the Apple TestFlight App to test new apps before they reach the iOS App Store.

Where Shortcuts are currently missing for public beta testers with iOS 12, which does not mean that there is none – a little integrated workflow in iOS, in general, that beta users can use immediately.

Apple's improved "Siri Suggestions" suggesting workflows that you like based on your past activity, location, time of day, and whether you're walking, running, driving, flying, etc., are instantly available on iOS 12 , Siri will suggest these workflows to you on your lock screen, but you can also go to the "Siri & Search for" settings to select some available shortcuts.

If you select one of Siri's shortcut suggestions, you will be prompted to create the phrase Siri will use to activate the shortcut. And that's it. If you tell Siri the sentence, she will immediately start the workflow.

Access to Siris suggested shortcuts in the settings.

When Apple acquired workflow in March 2017, it was not immediately clear that Apple would eventually shut down the app and simply swallow the development team. Shortly after the acquisition, Apple turned the paid app into a free app, but with fewer features, and went nowhere. Eventually, the workflow community grew, doubling the user base.

Almost everyone suspected that Apple would eventually merge workflow into iOS, but nobody knew how shortcuts were revealed at WWDC 2018.

While we've always figured out Apple would end the workflow in favor of something that's built right in iOS, the farewell will be bittersweet. Whether Apple likes it or not, anyone who has used workflow will probably still call these "shortcuts" workflows. And the DeskConnect team, the original creators of Workflow, will always be reminded to start something great and bring their idea into the mainstream with support from Apple and Siri.

Do not miss: 50+ Cool New iOS 12 features you do not know


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