Yesterday, former Workflow co-founders Ari Weinstein and Conrad Kramer launched their new desktop AI startup under the name Software Applications Incorporated along with fellow ex-Apple employee Kim Beverett, giving The Verge an exclusive interview as well as launching their incredible website software.inc.
Weinstein, Kramer, and Beverett have a new office in downtown San Francisco just minutes away from the former Workflow offices, where the team of co-founders will be developing generative AI for the desktop in an attempt to “push operating systems forward.”
This comes over 12 years after the founding of Workflow and almost 6 years since its acquisition by Apple, where Ari and Conrad’s app has become Shortcuts, a deeply-integrated automation app that powers everything from Automation on the Mac to the Action button on the latest iPhone. The App Intents protocol built by the Shortcuts team, for example, is key to Apple’s current operating systems, powering features beyond Shortcuts itself like interactive widgets.
Among the quotes in The Verge’s article, Ari mentions capturing “the magic that you felt when you used computers in the ’80s and ’90s,” as evidenced by their delightful website design and classic-style company name.
The team is also as thinking about how “language models and AI give us the ingredients to make a new kind of software that can unlock this fundamental power of computing and make everyday people able to use computers to actually solve their problems” – a subject area where they are undoubtedly experts already.
Perhaps the most exciting part to me, as a former member of the Workflow team, is this paragraph, mentioning how large the target for the team is:
While a handful of startups such as Rewind are building personalized AI systems for the desktop, none I’ve come across appear to have as wide a vision as that of Software Applications, which suggests they have an open lane for the time being. And with most consumer software companies building primarily for mobile these days, it’s refreshing to see a team focusing on the Mac instead.
Truly, if anyone can (and should) have the freedom to fully explore this realm, it should be Ari, Conrad, and Kim – plus whoever’s lucky enough to join their team. After all, they are perhaps one of the only teams out there who’ve actually already changed the landscape themselves, and quite successfully I might add – mobile is basically done and in Apple’s hands, now onto to desktop.
Plus, if you haven’t yet, you absolutely HAVE to check out their website. The team ”spent a totally unnecessary amount of time building this website” turning it into a literal recreation of MacOS 8, including fully-functional applications for things like games, drawing, and, yes, even AppleScript – you can’t deny the passion this team has for the Mac.