[IFTTT] Here's Your Personal Virtual Robot
Life’s simple pleasures are the best. Simple tools give great satisfaction; the thud of a hammer, the growl of a handsaw, and the elegant execution of an IFTTT applet. Read on to learn how IFTTT can make your life a little easier by automating certain tasks...
Simplify and Automate Your Tasks
IFTTT? Robots? Wait, what? Yes, this thing called IFTTT (pronounced like “gift” without the “g”) is one of the simplest, most satisfying, and most versatile tools ever invented for the online world! IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That” -- the most basic of all human decision-making algorithms. Here is how you can turn it into a personal robot that monitors events on the Web, your smartphone, your home, or car, and then takes actions to make your online life easier:
In the world of IFTTT, online things such as Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Dropbox, and so on, are called “services” through which information flows and actions are initiated. Currently, IFTTT supports hundreds of services. In addition to reacting to online events, mobile IFTTT apps for Android and iOS devices allow you to monitor all sorts of things on your smartphone and take a variety of actions.
You can use the simple logic of IFTTT to connect services in useful, infinitely expandable ways. For instance:
• IF "a new item matching my keywords appears on eBay (or Etsy, or BestBuy)" THEN "send me a text message notification."
• IF "new Health articles are published by NY Times" THEN “email me a weekly digest.”
• IF "the temperature in (some city) goes above/below (some number)" THEN "call my phone and tell me."
• IF "my mobile phone arrives at or leaves school/church/work" THEN "turn ringer ON or OFF"
Think of the event in quotes that follows an IF statement as a “trigger.” And the thing-to-do that follows the THEN statement as an “action.” IFTTT combines actions and triggers into “applets” that go to work for you.
The Web, Your Phone, and Things!
You don't need programming skills to use IFTTT. The IFTTT website and mobile apps have a user-friendly applet-construction wizard that can help you put together a custom-crafted applet by just pointing and clicking. It also features a growing catalog of users’ applets that you can use. You can even sign up for an “applet of the day” delivered via email.
Some other applets you might find useful are "Save new photos you post on Facebook to Google Photos," "Set ringer to HIGH after missing a call," "Update your Android wallpaper with NASA image of the day", or "Get an email fronm ESPN with the latest news on your sports team."
IFTTT has even joined the Internet of Things. With services like Nest or WeMo, you can create applets that let you monitor or control your lighting, thermostat, and security cameras.
IFTTT is so simple and yet so far-reaching that it’s difficult to fully describe. Since 2011, IFTTT has attracted 11 million users and runs and over a billion applets each month. I recommend that you sign up for an IFTTT account (it’s free!) and play with it a bit. Create a few applets and browse the many services for more. If you're an IFTTT-er, tell me how you've found it useful.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 12 Dec 2017
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [IFTTT] Here's Your Personal Virtual Robot (Posted: 12 Dec 2017)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved