IFTTT: A quick-start guide

Get started with the best app for simplifying your life

IFTTT, or IF as it’s now known, is a popular app for automating actions and streamlining your day. It works with almost every app, smart device, and phone feature you can think of, and allows them to communicate with each other to achieve some pretty cool results. Want your wifi and Bluetooth to toggle when you leave home or work? Want your lights to turn on when you arrive, or your Tweets to auto-post to Facebook? All of this and more can be done with IF. If you’re new to IF then it can all seem a bit daunting, but here’s a few tricks and tips to get you started.

Getting started:

First things first, you want to make an account so you can save recipes and share your own creations. The easiest method is to use Facebook, as it’s quick and painless, and doesn’t share any info with your Facebook. Once you get that done, you’re ready to start proper.

Once you have your account, you should start by linking IF with all of the apps and devices you want to control. Smart home devices like your lights, door locks and security cameras should all connect with IF, and even the Amazon Echo, and Google Now can use IF. These connections to the IF app are called “Channels” and are usually very simple to set. Most apps and smart devices will have a webpage or other quick way to authenticate and link to the IF app, and it’s very straightforward on how to connect them. IF also provides a handy list of all compatible channels in the menu, so if you ever get curious when buying a device or downloading a new app, IF will tell you which ones work. Once you have linked all of your desired apps and channels, it’s recipe time.

Get cookin’:

Recipes are the main focus of IF. All of IF’s app interactions are called “recipes” and are essentially comprised of “trigger channels” and “action channels.” The trigger channels are the catalyst, and the action channels are the result of the trigger. Making one for yourself is simple enough, but luckily IF has a robust collection of recipes all ready to go, made by the community and by app developers and product designers as well. You can search by app to find one you need and just turn it on right there. You can also edit them to suit your needs, in case they don’t do exactly what you want of them.

Creating your own recipe is simple as well, you just start with a trigger action like say, “When I post to Facebook” or “When I enter/leave a certain area.” These are your triggers, and there are many of them. Once you have the trigger, you chose the corresponding action, like “Turn lights on/off” or “make this picture my wallpaper.” Have both actions set and customized to your liking? Click save and you’ve successfully made a recipe in IF. When you’re feeling particularly proud of your creation, you can share it to the IF community for someone else to enjoy.

Here are some quick tips for using IF:

  • Don’t be afraid to explore, you never know what handy recipe may be there to make your life simpler.
  • Use IF to keep organized, with actions to make lists, and send them to Google Drive and Dropbox so you are always on top of things.
  • Use the Tasker or Commandr apps for even deeper customization and automation tools including custom voice commands and gestures.
  • IF can be great for weather and notifications, pinging your smart lights or smartwatch when the weather changes, or you get an email.
  • If you aren’t sure that a recipe has triggered, have it send you an alert when it does, so you’re aware of all the actions that occur throughout your day.

Also, don’t forget to check out the DO apps, from the makers of IF. DO apps are a bunch of action buttons and functions that you customize to do whatever you want when pressed or used. They can be handy for one handed control and quick actions on the go.

IF is one of the most powerful and useful apps you can have on your device, and once you get it, you’ll wonder what you did without it.

Download IF from the Google Play store