WorkflowsFriday, December 19, 2014
I’ve been having a lot of fun with Workflow since its release last week. If you haven’t heard of it, think Automator for iOS. It packages a lot of built-in functions from iOS into blocks that can be chained together to perform tasks. Your workflows can be run from the app, saved to the homescreen, or run from Workflow’s action extension. I thought I’d share a couple that I’ve built so far.
Save & Share GIF
I sometimes find images1 that I want to save and possibly link to. To facilitate this, I have two Dropbox accounts. My main account, and a secondary account that I set up on my web server. The two accounts share a folder. When I save an image to the folder from my main account, it gets shared with my secondary account and pushed to a folder on my web server. A process on the server notices when there’s a new file in the folder and copies it to another folder on the server that’s publically accessible.2
This workflow takes an image (or a link to an image), prompts you for a file name, then saves the file to Dropbox. Then it creates a URL based on a template and saves it to the clipboard. You can download it here.
Now, you might be reading that and thinking to yourself, “Huh, an app that uploads an image and returns a URL sounds awfully familiar.” If so, I’m flattered you know my work. So yes, one of the first things I did was make a very basic version of Shoots & Leaves. It’s really cool in a kinda depressing sort of way. But hey, if that does what you need, great! If not, you know where to find me.
My wife handles the bill-paying in our house and tracks expenses. Whenever I buy something I give her the receipt. If you’ve ever paid for gas at the pump, you know your odds of getting a receipt are around 50%. When I don’t get a receipt, I text my wife the information she needs.
I thought this one was pretty clever. This workflow uses my location and looks up gas stations near me. Then it prompts me for the amount, and presents a menu so I can select which card I used. Then it puts all that information in a text message. You can download it here.
So far, it works pretty well. There’s always the possibility that the location search will find the wrong gas station, or fail completely. But I can deal with that the rare times it happens.