The internet is a fantastic tool full of enjoyable and practical experiences, but it can also make our lives more difficult.
Considering so many services and apps to discover, you need help keeping track of them or even finishing simple chores. For your benefit, just one tool can be the ultimate automation service for all your internet-connected devices.
Its name is IFTTT, and using it is simple. Here’s a quick explanation of what IFTTT is, how it operates, and its benefits, especially for smart homes.
What Is An IFTTT?
If This Then That, or IFTTT, is an online automation platform that connects services and gadgets that aren’t often linked. There are Android and iPhone/iPad apps, but IFTTT.com can also control items. “Put the Internet to work for you” is the tagline of the platform, which has been operational since September 2011.
But throughout the years, a lot has changed. You may connect all your “services” with IFTTT to initiate and finish tasks automatically. You can connect your services in various ways; the resulting combinations are called “Applets.”
Your daily tasks are largely automated by applets, whether you’re handling smart home appliances or websites and apps. If you have the Philips Hue smart lighting system, you could use IFTTT to have a light switch on automatically whenever you are mentioned in a Facebook photo.
IFTTT can occasionally be connected to a mobile device’s native features, like messaging and calling.
While creating your applets is encouraged, you can browse for ready-built ones made by businesses or other users to add to your account. Whichever path you choose, for an applet to function, you must log into any related services.
What are IFTTT Applets?
IFTTT accomplishes tasks by using applets. Applets are what they sound like; they were once known as IFTTT recipes. Mini-apps facilitate communication and teamwork between two or more apps to complete tasks.
One Applet, for instance, docks your iRobot vacuum cleaner with a straightforward Google Assistant voice command, saving you the time and effort of opening the vacuum app. You won’t need to hear Alexa know when the timer is about to expire because another applet will cause your Philips Hue lights to glow when the timer on your Alexa device counts down to zero; this is a great duty to include in a smart home for a person with hearing loss.
You can pick from many applets to carry out various activities. Here are some additional IFTTT applet examples:
- Sync your Alexa to-dos with your Google Calendar.
- Connecting your Philips Hue lamp to Weather Underground will allow it to change colors when it rains.
- Create an event with Google Assistant and add it to your iOS calendar.
- When your security system senses you have arrived home, program Alexa to play your favorite music.
- Connect your Apple Calendar to Google Calendar.
- Connect your smart porch light to a weather app to have it turn on when it starts to rain.
How Does IFTTT Work?
On the IFTTT website, you may create a free account. However, IFTTT Pro is now a choice for users and generally makers who want features like limitless Applet creation, multi-step Applets with queries, conditional reasoning, and numerous actions.
There is one step, and three things are needed: an email, a username, and a password. After joining, you can find and set up your first Applet. You may also sign in using Facebook and your Google ID.
IFTTT services include apps, smart home appliances, virtual assistants, software, and websites.
Security systems such as Arlo, Nest, Ring, and Swann Security are some IFTTT-compatible services. In addition, they offer services for smart home gadgets like Google Home, Alexa, iRobot, Fitbit, Samsung, Whirlpool, Philips Hue, and others. Additionally, their services include access to social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Spotify, and others.
On their website, you can find a comprehensive list of IFTTT-compatible services.
There are two premium categories. Pro costs $2.50 a month and increases the maximum number of applets to 20 while reducing runtimes and enabling multi-action applets. Additionally, the level of customer support is the lowest. Pro Plus, on the other hand, costs $5 a month and provides unlimited applets, developer tools, the capacity to link numerous accounts with different services, support for queries, and filter code. Requests for customer service are given precedence over normal Pro users.
Benefits of IFTTT
The walled gardens in which some online services operate might be one of the largest sources of annoyance. Companies only have limited time and resources to dedicate to external connections; thus, they frequently need to be more intentional.
IFTTT has many solutions for these problems. For instance, Todoist can add tasks to your Google Calendar automatically, and Google Calendar syncs with many other services. Instagram diehards can have their photographs shared as native photos on Twitter. If you connect to Weather Underground, you can receive a frost warning notification and safeguard your plants.
The platform frequently shines the brightest in a smart home setting, where those garden walls can occasionally be the highest. For example, you may program lights to change color in response to events like rain, holidays, or whether you’re watching TV – none of which are available as default settings on platforms like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It is possible to program smart blinds and curtains to close when it is too hot or dark outside.
Security in a smart home may benefit even more from IFTTT automation. You can configure compatible security cameras to only turn on when you leave the house or back up recorded video to cloud services like Dropbox. Even better, you can set entry systems to disable themselves when you return, eliminating bothersome alarms and sorry phone calls.
Naturally, there are limitations. Even though a brand supports the same features as other brands in its category, a ready-made applet might not be available. However, it’s easy to construct a simple applet, and advanced users with a Pro Plus subscription have practically unrestricted access.
IFTTT is a fantastic resource for maximizing the use of your smart home appliances and services. It makes your favorite technology operate in delightful harmony to simplify your life. Upgrading to an IFTTT Pro account is worthwhile because it is reasonably priced and enables you to utilize IFTTT to its fullest extent.