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Shortcuts, Apple’s beloved app known for its powerful automation on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, has experienced a significant development with the departure of Workflow co-founder Ari Weinstein. The news came as a shock to many in the tech community as Weinstein was instrumental in turning Workflow, a third-party automation app, into the robust tool it is today.
Weinstein’s journey with Workflow began in 2013 when he co-founded the app and managed to navigate around the limitations Apple imposed on third-party applications, making Workflow a force to be reckoned with for iPhone users. In a pivotal moment for both Workflow and Apple, the tech giant acquired Workflow in 2017, bringing Weinstein on board as a software engineering manager, primarily focusing on Shortcuts and other intelligent and “proactive” features for Apple’s platforms.
The announcement of Weinstein’s departure surfaced in a heartfelt thread on Mastodon, where he expressed his gratitude for the journey and the team that made it possible. Having been with Apple for six years, and counting nine years including his time with Workflow, Weinstein’s passion for Apple and its products shone through. Despite the tough decision to leave, he is excited to take some time off and embark on new ventures.
Workflow’s acquisition by Apple was met with trepidation by some, fearing that the app might lose its momentum and innovative edge. However, Apple took a different approach, turning Workflow into a free app that remained accessible through the App Store. To the delight of users, the app continued to receive updates and new features, contrary to initial concerns.
The turning point came with the release of iOS 12 when Apple unveiled the all-new Shortcuts app, building on the solid foundation laid by Workflow. By integrating it into Apple’s ecosystem, the app’s automation capabilities skyrocketed, removing the constraints that Workflow once faced as a third-party app.
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Weinstein’s departure might raise concerns about the future of Shortcuts. Still, the general sentiment within the tech community suggests that the app has garnered strong support within Apple, and the company remains wholly committed to its development. Beyond Apple’s walls, an expansive community of Shortcuts enthusiasts has emerged, creating impressive libraries of automation for others to explore and benefit from.