It's iOS 12 release day and the time has come to do something many people feared as long ago as March 2017 - it's time to say goodbye to Workflow. I'm extremely happy to have had Workflow - and what's more I'm happy to say goodbye to it because today Shortcuts launches and we have nearly everything that was in Workflow - and a way for app developers to hook straight into the app and the operating system.

What are we losing?

This question was what came to my mind at WWDC, I try not to be negative but a concern for many of us Workflow and automation nerds was "what won't work anymore?". Thankfully there are only a few things which we have truly lost:

  • File manipulation in Box
  • Triggering IFTTT Applets
  • Post to Slack
  • Save to Transmit (as the app is no longer on the iOS App Store it's not a surprise)
  • Post to Tumblr
  • Edit Image
  • Send via DeskConnect (also unsurprising - the service was shut down long ago).

The only one of these that really causes difficulties is the edit image action, while you can still crop images and various other actions you can no longer do so in an interactive manner as part of a Shortcut.

What have we gained?

We have gained a lot in Shortcuts, here's a list of actions which to my knowledge didn't exist in Workflow but are part of Shortcuts - but aren't donated to Siri by an app developer.

  • Add to Draft (Drafts 5)
  • Get Contents of Draft (Drafts 5)
  • Open Draft (Drafts 5)
  • Run Drafts Action (Drafts 5)
  • Markup
  • Request Payment
  • Run Javascript on Web Page
  • Send Payment
  • Set Airplane Mode
  • Set Bluetooth
  • Set Cellular Data
  • Set Do Not Disturb
  • Set Low Power Mode
  • Set Wi-Fi
  • Show Result

The last action is most interesting to me - it works like an alert if you run a Shortcut from Shortcuts, but will display the answer in Siri if you call the shortcut from Siri. The dictation action has also had an upgrade - allowing it to stop automatically after a pause, or a short pause, or on a tap (you can choose). This makes Shortcuts much more useful if you're using it via Siri.

What's still to come?

The possibilities here are seemingly endless - I've already seen many of the apps I use daily updating to support Shortcuts, from Waterminder to TripIt, Carrot to Working Copy, and many more. What we get now will be up to the app developers - but they seem to be making the most of it!