If you want your Apple iPhone to do something new, you usually just head to the App Store and find a pre-made tool get it done. When smartphones came out, that was all you needed — an app for that.
Today you might view a photo attached to a text on your Apple Watch, drag and drop individual files between iCloud folders on your phone, download them to PhotoShop on your Mac to manipulate and recombine them, and re-upload the final versions to the cloud. Life today, in short, is more complicated.
What if you want one app to do something to another app? Say, call an Uber every time you order Seamless for pick-up? Or what if you want one device to do something to another one — like having photos from certain iPhone camera roll folders automatically download to your Mac?
That gets messy. There are few ready-made solutions that meet the Steve Jobs criteria of "three clicks or less."
Now, Apple is getting back to those roots, said John Feland of consumer experience analytics firm Argus Insights.
The App Store took a novel interface — mobile — and simplified the portal connecting phones to the internet. Apple's newest acquisition, Workflow, has the potential to do the same thing on a higher level for the smart home, particularly for voice, by simplifying the way we connect our devices to each other, Feland said.
Workflow is an app that allows you to automate certain actions. (Here's a guide to how it works.) TechCrunch first reported Apple's takeover of the app, which Apple said had "outstanding use of iOS accessibility features, in particular an outstanding implementation for VoiceOver with clearly labeled items, thoughtful hints, and drag/drop announcements, making the app usable and quickly accessible to those who are blind or low-vision."