Content Marketing Specialist, teasing everyone into taking cute pictures for Instagram. Discovering the tech world bit by bit, and writing it all down on the agency's blog. Enthusiastic about everything visual. And sweets and dogs.
Life events and daily tasks get repetitive sometimes and eventually that just makes people bored. But there is an app that solves that issue completely. IF by IFTTT (If This Then That) tackles this problem perfectly by helping you automate actions in your daily activities by getting this mobile app as your personal assistant.
IF, made by IFTTT, is a mobile tool for Android and iOS which, in the most basic sense, automates your life by connecting two different online services – for example a social network, online tool, or email provider – the way they never did before. For instance, when you put a new photo on Facebook or you are tagged in one, IF can automatically save the picture to your Dropbox account. And this is just one out of many recipes that you can set up straight from your mobile app.
IF has been around for years under the name IFTTT (If This Then That) and if you’ve never used it, it might sound and look complicated at first. It’s actually a simple mobile app once you start playing around with it (give it at least 10 – 15 minutes for exploring). The entire service is built on cause and effect: “If it starts raining outside, then text me,” or “If I favorite a new video on YouTube, then post that video to Tumblr”. Automation at it’s finest.
Every “If this, then that” scenario is called a recipe. The “this” part of the recipe is called a trigger, while the “that” is referred to as an action. Lastly, there are channels, which are the services that IFTTT supports, including social media sites, online tools, and email services such as Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, Vimeo, Evernote and many many more. There are also situation-based channels, for the time and date, and the weather. All told, there are 100 channels that you can go through but for a full list, check out the IFTTT website.
Some channels have several triggers, while others have just one or two. For example, in the Twitter channel, there are six triggers, including a new tweet by you, new follower, and a new tweet favorited by you which you can connect to several other options.
Every time a trigger goes off, it sparks an action. It’s the effect to the trigger’s cause, and again, these vary by channel. Using the Twitter example, that channel’s actions include posting a new tweet, changing your Twitter bio, or sending a direct message to your account.
When you open the app it shows you a screen with a timeline of all of your recipes, which shows every instance, including date and time, where one of your recipes completes its task. You’ll also see extra information, where available, such as photos that are shared through IFTTT, or your location on a map if it’s part of a recipe. I think this is the most helpful part of the app, because it lets you know that your recipes are working correctly, and shows what IFTTT does for you on a daily or weekly basis.
(be merry but modest: these are just some bits we found really interesting in this app)
Automate important things in your life
Having this big number of channels and all the triggers inside them, the app can really make your life easier by just some tapps. Setting up the right triggers can save you lots of time and it’s relieving to know that all your jobs will be done automatically through the app without you having to do anything.
Timeline of your recipes
This is one of the most helpful features of the app because you can see in real-time if your recipes are working correctly and shows what this productivity app does for you on a daily or weekly basis.
IoT more connected than ever through this mobile app
The app let’s you connect with some of the smart devices out there that you can already buy. This let’s you automate their behavior and track their activity really easily making your life better with some taps.
(don’t despair: they’re just things we could see done better in the mobile app)
You need to get out from the application to connect to other services.
Some channels need to be accessed through your browser to give permissions or set up some preferences. After setting everything up, sometimes it gives has a bug where instead of opening the app, it opens the browser again & again. Arm yourself with a little bit of patience.
Getting used to the app and set up recipes can be annoying in the beginning
When you first open the app and you see all those channels it doesn’t come naturally to get from one point to another. You might get confused first but everything gets smooth and easy like you’ve been doing it your whole life.
From time to time, some recipes don’t work
After you setup your greatest recipes to automate some activities in your daily life and you are super excited because you can do this with your android or iOS device, there is a chance for you to be disappointed. Having the apps for some days already, our team couldn’t figure out why some simple recipes don’t work (or maybe it is only on some devices, let us know if this didn’t happen to you)
What could be done better or different
In our opinion the app has some things that could be done better. For example a social log-in would make it more simple and could connect your accounts more easily. It could even be better from the UX & UI perspective. In the beginning it explains really easily how it works but it’s not that clear how to use it if you install it for the first time.
But the major feature that in our opinion needs to be fixed is making the recipes work all the time. Searching a bit through the internet, we found a lot of topics saying that they would love the app if it would work 100%. Everybody reports a different experience in app and different triggers working for them. Maybe how it works is influenced by the android or iOS you have.
Conclusion: only time (and results) will tell
Definitely this app is one of the most helpful ones out there and makes your life easier through it’s features. The fact that is available for iOS and Android is great news for all of us and definitely help humanity to make the first steps toward the completely automated future we’ve been promised for decades. Connect it to solve your repetitive tasks, connect it to your smart devices and live just like in the Jetsons.
(Note: We are not affiliated or endorsed by this app. We just really love mobile apps and we want to share them with the world and give people great mobile experiences)
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ifttt/
App proposed by:
Visual Marketer at tapptitude