Last week, IFTTT announced the launch of three free productivity apps that give you new ways to activate automated “recipes” using your mobile phone. The apps are available for iPhone and Android, and since they integrate with various other networks, devices or channels you use every day, there are practically limitless possibilities for how to use them.
Wait, let’s back up a sec for those who aren’t familiar with IFTTT. The acronym stands for “If This, Then That” and it’s a sort of cause-and-effect tool you can use to automate almost any online task you can think of. The service integrates with more than 150 channels such as Gmail, Evernote, Dropbox, just about any social network and a whole slew of apps. We blogged about IFTTT last year and shared some of our favorite recipes (that’s the term for the automated tasks you create).
Okay, so back to the new apps. They are called the Do apps and there are three of them: Do Button, Do Camera and Do Note. The idea behind the apps is to simplify many of the tasks you are already doing by requiring fewer taps on your smartphone to get from A to B. If you want to, say, share a photo to Facebook or add an event to your calendar, you can create recipes to automate these actions.
IFTTT’s Free Productivity Apps to Automate Your Online Tasks
Basically, this app gives you a button and you get to decide what happens when you press it. Examples:
- Text me my current location – sends you a Google Maps link so you can get directions or let friends know how to find you
- Add to a note in Evernote
- Track your journey – tapping the button adds your current location and time to a Google spreadsheet
If you have certain other integrated devices, you can use the Do button to do really cool things like:
- Turn the lights on or off (requires a Phillips Hue light bulb)
- Turn on the coffee maker or other appliances (requires a WeMo switch)
- Set the temperature on your thermostat (requires a Nest thermostat)
The app lets you personalize your phone’s camera by connecting it to other channels. When you click on the app, it will open your camera and then automatically share or send your photos based on the recipes you have activated. Here are some examples:
Do Note is a notepad app that, again, connects with various other channels such as your calendar, Evernote and social networks. Here are a few recipes you can use with Do Note:
- Add a to-do to your checklist
- Quickly create events in Google Calendar
- Quickly email yourself a note
Some of the recipes seem like they could really help simplify day-to-day tasks, and others are just plain fun (I’m thinking I need to get a Wemo so I can try the coffee maker recipe)!
Do you have ideas for how you can use the new apps? What are your favorite IFTTT recipes? Share in the comments below or give us a shout on Twitter!