Thursday, March 23, 2017
Apple just bought the app it once crowned 'most innovative' and made it free for everyone
If you can't beat it, buy it. That's what Apple did on Wednesday when it acquired an app called Workflow, an automation app that it had labeled "most innovative" in 2015.
Apple confirmed the acquisition to Business Insider on Wednesday but did not disclose the price or any other terms of the deal.
Workflow takes a complicated series of tasks, that would normally require opening multiple apps, and lets users press one button to get the job done. For example, if you want to let someone know you're running late, you can use the "running late" workflow to automatically find your next calendar event, get the travel time, create a text and fire off a message.
It's so powerful that at the time, Business Insider's Alex Heath called it the "Swiss Army knife for completing tasks" and said it could potentially replace entire apps on your home screen.
Workflow first caught the eye of Apple first in 2015, and now the company confirmed it acquired it on Wednesday. In a rare move, the company is keeping the app alive in the App Store and setting its price to free. It previously cost $2.99.
As part of the deal, Workflow's creators — developers Ari Weinstein, Conrad Kramer, and Nick Frey — will be joining Apple, according to TechCrunch, which first reported the deal.
"We are thrilled to be joining Apple," said Weinstein in a statement to TechCrunch. "We’ve worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting 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."