What Is IFTTT – And How Can It Help You?

Have you ever heard people mention IFTTT and wondered what the heck they’re talking about? Well, you’re not alone! Today we’re going to take a look at what IFTTT is and how it can help to simplify your life, including some of our favourite ‘applets’.

What Is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for ‘If this, then that’ – a programming statement which says that we will trigger an action if a certain condition is met. IFTTT was created to bridge the gap between an increasing array of internet connected technologies and platforms. With so many internet connected gizmos out there, which don’t always speak the same language, IFTTT acts as a go-between. It enables different services to talk to each other when they otherwise couldn’t. With the ‘internet of things’ becoming more and more real, IFTTT is betting that one day pretty much everything will be an internet connected service.

How Does It Work?

If this then that is a web-based ‘rules engine’, which allows people to make things happen under certain conditions they specify. These condition and action rules are called ‘applets’. The services used are called – well, services.

It’s super easy to get started with IFTTT. Just follow these steps:

  • First, go to their website and sign up for an account
  • Next, click ‘My Applets’ and then ‘New applet’
  • You’ll see the ‘If this then that’ logo. Click the ‘This’ symbol and you will be asked to choose what service (e.g. Twitter) you’re connecting from. You may need to connect the service first, so follow the on screen prompts
  • Once you’ve selected the service, you need to select your trigger condition – e.g. ‘Whenever I post a new Tweet’
  • Next, click the ‘That’ part of the logo to choose the service you’re connecting to. You may again have to connect the service first
  • Choose what action you want to perform when your condition is triggered (e.g. post to Facebook)
  • Confirm any final settings, and that’s it – you’ve just created your first applet!

Great, But – Why Should I Care?

IFTTT can be extremely useful in automating time-consuming or repetitive tasks. There are approximately 75 million listed applets – so chances are good that someone has already created one that does what you need. If not, you can simply create it yourself! Here are some of our favourite applets on IFTTT:

Ask Alexa To Call Your Phone

We’ve all been there. Your phone has disappeared and you’re already late for work. With this applet, you can ask your Amazon Echo to call your device and save your blushes in front of the boss!

Wake Up To Coffeeeee

Using the sleep monitoring function on your FitBit, alongside Belkin’s ‘Wemo’ smart plug, you can use this applet to turn on the coffee as soon as you wake up in the morning! What a way to start the day.

Text Someone When You’re At The Airport

Need to get a ride from a friend at the airport? This applet has you covered. Using FourSquare and your Android device, this applet will wait until you check in near the airport and let your buddy know it’s time to pick you up!

Ask Alexa To Tidy Up

Need to hoover, but feeling extra lazy? If you’re using a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner, you can hook it up to your Amazon Echo and start it using only your voice. No need to get off the sofa just yet!

Sync Your Alexa To-Do’s With Google Calendar

Stuck organising half of your life through Alexa To-Do’s, and the other half through Google Calendar? Fear not. With this applet, you can sync your To-Do’s over to Calendar, and use it as your focal point.

Turn On Your Lights When You Get Home

Tired of fumbling in the dark when you step inside the front door? Using the Phillips Hue Light Hub, this applet will track your location and make sure that your place is lit up like a beacon by the time you get to the front door.

Turn On Android’s WiFi When You Get Home

Many of us try and conserve phone juice by turning WiFi off when we’re out of the house. But if you forget to turn it back on when you get home, you could end up wasting precious mobile data. This applet uses your phone’s location to switch to WiFi automatically when you get back – no stress.

Time To Get Involved!

We hope you enjoyed this guide to IFTTT. Why not dive in and start creating your own kick-a** applets now? Know of any mind-blowing applets we missed out? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our blog for the latest Tiny Living developments.

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