Let the Workflow

Workflow now allows users to create their own app icons

Last month I reviewed an excellent iOS app by the name of Workflow. In that post I demonstrated a way to create a multi-item clipboard using Evernote, and mused about exploring the app more in the future. This past week an update was released for Workflow, so I decided to delve in once more.

My mind is blown.

Let me give some background. I use my iPhone to record my sermons every week using an very nice application called AudioMemos. It’s pretty fantastic and I should do a review of it in the future. We record the sermon through the sound system, and then I send the audio file to a dropbox folder I share with the man who posts them online. It works well, except when people 1 get involved. After worship my mind is mush, so I often forget to send the file over to Dropbox while at church. Then my ADD kicks in over the week and I forget to send it over the course of the week. When you wash, rinse, and repeat this human error over several weeks the sermon posts get a bit thin.

This is where Workflow comes in. Yesterday I set up a process which does the following:

  1. Gets the current date and sets that as the filename.
  2. Begins recording with a tap.
  3. Ends recording with a second tap.
  4. Converts the file to an mp3.
  5. Saves the file to a shared dropbox folder.
  6. Messages an alert to the man who posts the sermons on our web-site.

This is amazing, and I cannot wait to try it out tomorrow 2.

I do, however, see a problem I need to work out – our wifi in the sanctuary is flakey, and tends to drop out for no apparent reason. Should my connect be lost, the recorded audio will vanish into the ether. Obviously, this is would be worse than simply forgetting to upload the files later in the day. I think I can create an “if” section which will check for an active internet connection. If there is one, the file will be uploaded to Dropbox. If there isn’t, I can have it open in GoodReader 3. This app will allow me to set the sermons “Sermons” Dropbox directory to sync with GoodReader which I can activate when I’m on an active connection. It would be better if I could designate the folder I’m sending to, but it’s better than losing the recording 4. This is an instance where Apple’s sandboxing is getting in the way. To move something to Dropbox, Workflow must upload the file. Really all that needs to happen is the file should be moved to the local device directory and then synced once it’s active on the internet again. The same way, in fact, the desktop app works. It’s getting in the way, to be honest.

Anyway, it’s a fun project and shows the power that’s coming to our mobile devices.

  1. Notably me
  2. Maybe I’ll preach for two minutes tomorrow just so I can see how it works…. probably not, but it is tempting. 
  3. GoodReader has hooks built in to Workflow which allow apps to be saved into it directly. 
  4. Also, if I forget to run the sync, I’m in no worse a position than I am now, so I lose nothing.