When IFTTT launched an iPhone app in July, it opened up a whole slew of new possibilities about how to put the incredibly handy service to even better use than ever. New channels accessible via the iPhone app allow access to your iPhone contacts, photos and reminders. Once you’ve activated the channels on your phone, you can create new recipes from the comfort of your browser.
We’ve put together a list of nine handy ways you can get even more out of IFTTT by installing the iOS app on your phone. From backing up your photos or contacts to getting a reminder to bring an umbrella if it’s going to rain, these channels add a new dimension of how automated your life can become using IFTTT.
If you’re new to IFTTT be sure to check out MakeUseOf’s ultimate IFTTT guide which will tell you all you need to know about IFTTT channels, recipes and more.
Backing Up The Camera Roll
With a simple IFTTT recipe you can back up all of your iPhone photos; whether it’s all photos, just photos taken with the rear-facing camera, with the front-facing camera or screenshots. In the first step of creating the recipe, select which photos you want to back up, and in the second, select where you want to back them up. The easiest way to do this is to backup your photos to Dropbox or Google Drive. If you want to be really organized, you can create separate recipes for each type of photo and save each type of photo in a separate folder.
As you set this up, be sure to switch on background sync as this way your photos can sync in the background. Another handy tip for saving your screenshots is to create a recipe that places all screenshots in a folder in your phone – this way you can delete them from your phone easily in one go.
Another way you can backup photos is by saving them from an online account to your phone. For example, you can save photos by a specific person on Instagram, your 500px favourites, any new Flickr photos with a specific tag or Facebook photos you’re tagged in to an iOS album on your phone.
Share iOS Photos
Using a recipe to backup your iOS photos, it’s only natural that you would use one to share them online as well. You probably don’t want to (and shouldn’t) share every photo you take, so one way to keep complete control over this feature is by sharing only photos that are added to a specific album (if you want to be selective about your backup, you could use this feature as well).
Simply select the album you want to automatically share from, and you can share to a variety of sites, whether photo sharing services, social networks or blogging platforms. The sites currently supported by IFTTT are 500px, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Twitter and WordPress.
Turbocharge iOS Reminders
Another way you can put your iOS recipes to good use is by creating a log of tasks that you’ve completed using your existing Reminders app. If you keep a complete list of the key tasks you need to get through every day, as you complete them, you can add any them to your Google calendar. If you want a chronological record of your completed tasks, or you could append this to an Evernote note. It’s worth noting that when a note reaches 2MB on Evernote, a new note will be created.
As you’re using IFTTT to create a log of your completed tasks, you can also use it to create that task list before it’s completed. This can be done easily if your task list is connected directly to the emails you receive. With IFTTT, you can automatically add starred emails to your reminder list, and once they are competed, just use the recipe mentioned above to create your log of tasks.
Keep A Calendar of New Contacts
By the same token, you can keep a chronological record of every time you meet a new person and add them to your contacts. Using a recipe that automatically marks in your Google calendar each time you add a new contact to your phone could be particularly useful if you attend a lot of conferences or public events and need to keep track of your new contacts.
Pass On Your Contact Information
Passing your contact information to new contacts you add to your phone using IFTTT can be an easy way to exchange contact information. Automating the process with IFTTT couldn’t be easier. You can create a recipe to send an email to any new contact added to your phone. This feature should, of course, be used carefully and preferably with the contact’s knowledge. Sending an automated email to each and every person whose contact information is added to your phone could give the wrong impression.
Another option available to IFTTT users is to automatically connect on LinkedIn. Of course in both cases, this will not work unless you add the contact’s email address.
Back up Contacts
Another way you can put IFTTT’s Contacts channel to good use is by automatically backing them up. It’s much easier to do this using Google sync, but if you want an extra safety net, you can automatically save new contacts to a text file in Dropbox, add them to a Google Drive spreadsheet, or you can append them to an Evernote note.
It’s worth noting that for users who use Apple’s iCloud service, contacts are automatically synced and backed up. This setting can be changed under Settings > iCloud.
Reading List or Playlist Reminder
If you tend to save articles to read later or videos to watch later, only to forget all about them then it might be useful to create a reminder on your phone. With IFTTT you can automatically create an iOS reminder for new articles that are published on the New York Times (which you can narrow down by specific sections from the prolific paper) or articles that you save to Pocket or Instapaper. You can also create a reminder for videos you save to watch later on YouTube.
Prepare For Rain
As winter dawns on the northern hemisphere, an incredibly small but useful feature you can get out of using IFTTT on your phone is to create a reminder to bring an umbrella if it’s going to rain the next day. If you haven’t used the weather channel before on IFTTT, just input your location. It will then send a reminder to your phone whenever the weather forecast hints at rain.
What recipes would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.