Have you heard so much about IFTTT but you still don’t know what it is? No problem reading this guide you will finally understand what IFTTT is and how it works . You will also understand why IFTTT is very useful for home automation devices and voice assistants and how this service will come in handy.
- How IFTTT works
- Configure IFTTT
- Create an account on IFTTT
- Register services on IFTTT
- Use IFTTT Applet
- Use existing Applet on IFTTT
- Create IFTTT Applet
How IFTTT works
Basically IFTTT is a free online service that acts as an interface between various platforms, that is, it allows you to connect your social networks, your apps, your devices and voice assistants, making them interact and offering infinite possibilities of use. IFTTT allows in a nutshell to trigger one or more actions upon the occurrence of a certain condition using your devices and services.
How does IFTTT work? the word itself says it! in fact IFTTT is the acronym of If This Then That (i.e. if this happens then make that happen ), if a condition occurs (for example you receive a message on facebook) then an action is triggered (for example you send a voice alert on Google Home).
Let’s take a practical example. With IFTTT it is possible to receive a voice alert from your voice assistant (for example Alexa) when a photo of you on facebook receives a “like”. In this simple example IFTTT will make Facebook and Amazon Alexa interact with each other; the condition will be the receipt of a “like” and the triggered event will be the receipt of the message from Alexa. Simple right? In fact, the beauty of IFTTT is its simplicity. This example we have seen, in IFTTT is called Applet . Each applet then connects different services (in the example Alexa and facebook) called in IFTTT services. More in detail, the components of an IFTTT applet are:
- Trigger: the fact that it triggers the event (in the example receiving a “like” on a facebook photo)
- Action: the event triggered (in the example the voice alert from your voice assistant)
The IFTTT platform supports many services (for example many home automation devices, smartphones, voice assistants and almost all social and e-mail accounts) and has many applets ready to be used. Then you can use an existing applet or create a new one. But before seeing how IFTTT works with applets let’s see how to create an account on IFTTT and register your services.
To be able to use it you must first configure IFTTT that is, you must Create an account on IFTTT and then go to register all the services that you will use in the future on IFTTT. Fortunately, this whole operation is extremely fast because the web interface is very simple to use and does not require the compilation of long registration forms. Unfortunately the IFTTT website is only in English but following my instructions you will still be able to easily configure everything.
Besides the web version of IFTTT there are also apps for iOS and Android that basically allow you to do the same things you could do on the web version.
Create an account on IFTTT
In order to use IFTTT on your devices and social networks, you will first need to create an account and then configure IFTTT by adding all the services you need.
To create an account on IFTTT connected to the official ifttt website and click on the sign up item at the top right . You can decide to use your Apple, Google or Facebook credentials or create an account by entering a username and password (the procedure is really fast.
Once you have finished creating an account on IFTTT to enter the service from the home page click at the top right on the Sign in item and then enter your username and password or click on the Continue with Apple, Google, or Facebook item if you have decided to authenticate with your Apple, Google or Facebook account. Done now you have to register your services
Register services on IFTTT
Now you will have to configure IFTTT with the services i.e. you will have to tell IFTTT which services you want to communicate with each other, basically it will be about registering the services on IFTTT by entering their login credentials.
From the main window click on the icon with the magnifying glass symbol in the top left and write the name of the service and then press enter (for example facebook, instagram, google assistant, alexa email etc.) and then click on services. One or more results for your search will be displayed. Press the button of the service you want to connect to continue.
In the next screen click on the Connect button to complete the registration of the service; depending on the service you are registering you will be sent back to the authentication page where you will have to enter your credentials to access the service.
Once you have entered all the services you intend to connect to each other, you will have finished configuring IFTTT and you will be ready to use your first applet.
Use IFTTT Applet
Now that you know how IFTTT works, you just have to use the applets. As I told you about IFTTT you can use existing applets or create one from scratch. To start with, I suggest you use existing applets; you will find tons of them for every device and service so the only effort you will have to make will be to search and configure an existing applet.
Use existing Applet on IFTTT
Searching for an IFTTT applet is super easy. If you use IFTTT from a smartphone from the home screen click on the Get More button below . On the next screen, all you have to do is type in the search box what you are looking for; all the applets that have to do with your search will be displayed (in this example facebook)
Once you have identified the family of applets you want to install, all you have to do is click the relative button and all the available applets will be displayed; search for the one you need, click on it and then press the connect button to activate it. If an applet configuration is required, follow the instructions on the screen.
Create IFTTT Applet
Can’t find an IFTTT applet that’s right for you and feel ready to create one from scratch? Perfect, creating an IFTTT applet is not very difficult, indeed it is really a breeze; I’ll explain immediately how to do it.
From the main IFTTT window click the Get More button at the bottom and then click on the ” + ” button next to Make your own Applets from scratch to create a new one.
In this example we create an applet that will perform this function: when we get close to the house it will turn on the house lights automatically. How does IFTTT work in this case? the trigger is the geolocation and the action is the home automation service of the lights.
We are faced with a very simple screen in which there are only two buttons (This and That):
This : is the trigger (i.e. the event you want to trigger the action): when we get close to home
That : is the action you want to unleash: the lights in the house are turned on
Let’s start by clicking on This, which is the condition that will trigger the action. From here we can choose an event of a service (for example a social network or a home automation device) by simply clicking on the service button and then specifying the event or choose an event linked to a time or geo-location or even to a voice command. In our example we will click on the geolocation to trigger the action when we enter a particular area. Then we will click on Location and then You enter an area . In the next screen we will draw the circle of the area we want to intercept on the map by enlarging the map as much as possible and drawing a circle around our house; when we are done we will press the buttonSave at the top right and then Done at the bottom.
Then click on That to choose the action you want to be performed for the event specified above. Here too we can choose a particular service. In our case we will select the Philips Hue service to manage the home bulbs (obviously if the Philips Hue service is not yet associated with our IFTTT account, the service configuration will be requested as I described at the beginning of the article) and we will specify which bulb you want to turn on.
Once done you will have to click on Finish and our Applet will be completed. Once completed, the IFTTT applet takes some time to be active (even up to an hour) but you can test it by clicking on the Check Now button .
Now you know all about how IFTTT works and how to use applets; you just have to have fun creating new ones.