Apple


David Sparks on the missed opportunity of text and screen effects in iOS, and specifically iMessage:

When iOS 10 was first released, I made the argument that to keep these relevant, Apple needed to constantly iterate and update them. If you've ever spent any time with Snapchat, you know what I'm talking about. Snapchat regularly releases new filters and effects that you can apply to your images. They often change seasonally and even for particular holidays. Watching my children and their friends, they all get a kick out of whatever the latest and greatest Snapchat filter is.

I think Apple had a similar opportunity with text and screen effects in iOS messaging. Why not render text with snowflakes during the winter? Why not have a screen effect with flowers blooming in the spring?

I agree with all of the points David makes, and with the recent TV ads and a bigger focus on iMessage stickers, I think they should also work on these effects a bit more. I'm not saying they should go mad, but maybe a seasonal advert, and a few extra effects every now and then would be a massive improvement. Some people don't even know that they exist, so surely just meeting that mark would be beneficial.

ON: BY: Christopher Hannah

It’s been reported by MacRumors, that the Workflow team have confirmed there will no longer be any updated for Workflow, however bugs will still continue to be fixed. It was in a customer support email, where they wrote the following:

But just so you know, we have no further planned updates for Workflow. That being said we are continuing to support Workflow's current functionality and have no plans to end support, so let me know if you run across any bugs or crashes.

This news comes under one month since Apple acquiring Workflow, and the team working on the app.

When news initially broke of the acquisition, there was various different theories, and ideas on what would happen to Workflow. Whether it would continue, be integrated deeper into the OS, or just slowly killed off.

With Workflow being such a fundamental part to many professional users, that get their work done on iOS, I’m still trying to see the good side of this. Especially as I can’t imagine Apple buying an app that is so vital to people, and then simply getting rid of it.

As David Sparks writes for MacSparky:

Whatever Apple is working on, I find it highly unlikely that it will ship with iOS 11 that gets announced in just a few months. So my guess is we'll wait until iOS 12 to get the Workflow replacement, which is most likely 14 months from announcement and 17 months away from release. Will Workflow still function up until that time? I sure hope so.

I agree with the timing aspect, it’s not really a perfect fit for any big iOS update. It’s obviously too soon to see any integration in iOS 11, but there’s a huge amount of time until iOS 12.

I can only hope that Workflow in it’s current form, is slowly going away. And that there is either a deeper version of Workflow being worked on, or that the automation features are going to be implemented at the system level, while also building a much better automation system for iOS.

The best outcome in my opinion, would be that there’s a significant update to how automation, and communication between apps on iOS happens. Because if you boil Workflow down, it’s simply an interface, for super complex URL schemes, and maybe a bit of computation in between. You can kind of tell when you’re pushing these a bit too far, when you have to convert images into Base64 encoding to transfer the data to a new application.

What I want to see are better ways apps can communicate with each other, and open themselves up to a more generic automation system, similar to Automator, that everyone can make use of.

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll already know this, but I'm now developing a regular expression app for iOS!

It's called "Pretty Regular Expressions", and I'm going for a minimal approach, but with some optional settings, and a clean interface. Of course a dark theme was the first thing I built!

It's still in development, but it's moving pretty fast, so an open beta is very imminent. I already have a landing page, where you can subscribe to keep updated with the application. Of course I will only send out an email for when the beta opens, and then when the app is released.

If you want to watch the progress of the development, then just follow me on Twitter at @chrishannah, because I post a lot of screenshots.