Among IFTTT’s New Channels: Nike+, Square, & Android Wearables
Automation lifesaver IFTTT added nine new services to its repertoire in the month of July. The acronym stands for “If This Then That” and allows you to use triggers and actions to create and share “recipes” with other users.
The latest additions include fitness tracking from the likes of Nike+, payment processor Square, and mobile money savers AppZapp. There are also channels for new Android wearables, the ability to turn your iOS devices into portable cameras and yet another destination for all that lifelogging data you’ve been collecting.
Here’s a quick run-down of the new channels, what they do, and some of their applications.
IFTTT’s Nike+ channel connects to your Nike+ app for iOS or Android or activity monitor Fuelband in order to use data collected about your movement in more interesting ways. There are no actions, but triggers basically depend on your daily and weekly goals, allowing you to post a status update or note on a spreadsheet when you exceed goals for distance, pace and overall performance.
Beyond the rather obvious posting of a social media update whenever you exceed your goals, people are using IFTTT’s Nike+ channel to turn their lights green, reward themselves with a phonecall for beating their goals and even automatically notifying fellow runners of fitness progress.
Square is a payment processor that allows users to accept credit card payments using a small reader and an iOS or Android device. There are no actions only triggers, and they’re pretty obvious: any new payment, any new refund and any settlement (including options for payments and refunds over certain amounts) can be used to interact with the rest of the IFTTT service.
The recipes are mostly aimed at merchants and are designed to do things like add new Square payments to a spreadsheet, create a digest of the day’s takings or deliver additional iOS notifications and email alerts for settlements.
Manything is a service that turns any iOS device into a Wi-Fi camera. The channel itself comes with a sole trigger (motion detection) and two actions: start recording and stop recording. As you’ve probably worked out by now, you’ll need the Manything (free) iOS app installed and running on the device you want to capture images or video from. You can even specify devices in the recipe, just in case you’ve got multiple Manything devices set up.
So far the most popular recipe uses motion detection to email a video whenever something moves, but there are also some other uses like triggering Philips hue lights to come on and the obvious starting and stopping recording depending on your location.
Do you like fiddling with electronics? If so, you might have heard of littleBits, a company that aims to put the power of electronics into everyone’s hands. They create devices for creative minds to experiment and learn about electronics regardless of your age, gender, technical ability or discipline. Because the hardware is rather hard to define, the channel relies on one trigger for detecting input and two triggers for sending output and setting the output level.
This channel is home to some of the most inventive uses for the IFTTT platform. Because of how robust the littleBits system is, the uses are far reaching and include recipes for feeding your fish every day, recording your cat’s daily routine or playing your team’s song if they score.
There are a lot of Android-specific channels on IFTTT (seven at the time of writing) with the latest being Android Wear, pandering to the latest trend of wearable electronics from the likes of Samsung. The channel uses a single trigger (the tap of a button on the device) and action (a notification) to interact with the rest of the IFTTT cookbook.
That trigger – tapping a button on the device – is proving handy for many, who are using it to deliver a map of the surrounding area, turn off household lighting or turn on a WeeMo-dependent heater without getting up. The rest of the recipes are tailored for smart watch wearers, providing weather notifications, fast previews of smartphone shots and wrist-side calendar alerts.
Lifelogging is the act of recording your life in digital form, except unlike social media it’s more private. What began as a hobby that required serious dedication has evolved into the act of carrying a smartphone around with you. Saga is a location-aware lifelogging app that runs in the background, recording the places you visit and how long you spend at each. The Saga IFTTT channel has two triggers: one for when you arrive at a venue and another that triggers if you’re at a venue for longer than a specified amount of time.
Yo, the joke app that can’t take a joke, has actually launched an IFTTT channel. In case you hadn’t heard, Yo is an app that lets you send those two letters (“yo”) to another Yo user. It seems the app has found some legitimate use as a glorified multi-purpose button, provided you add the user “IFTTT” to your Yo contacts. There’s one trigger – sending a Yo to “IFTTT” which means only one recipe will work at a time.
By far one of the coolest new channels comes from the iOS and Android deal and app curation service AppZapp. If you’re interested in saving some money on your App Store or Google Play purchases, AppZapp’s triggers will come to your rescue. The service uses three core triggers – top app on sale, top new app and top app gone free – for both the Android and iOS marketplaces.
This means you can now get automatic daily digests of top apps gone free for both App Store and Google Play apps, among other platform-specific recipes. Check out the channel for more, or better still build your own!
Finally if you’re using a Myfox connected security system, you can now connect it to IFTTT and know about potential intrusions. This is one of the most robust recent additions, with five triggers including whenever an intrusion is detected and whenever the system is armed or disarmed. There are also actions, including arming, partially arming or disarming the system and playing a scenario as per the Myfox system.
Security systems are designed to warn you of an intrusion, but you can still receive an SMS, mobile ping, highly customised email or even Philips hue notification if an intrusion is detected. Far more useful might be the location-dependent arming of your alarm or the ability to disable it automatically with your Android device.
We should probably all use IFTTT more, and there’s plenty of scope for automation in each of our lives – sometimes you just need to know where to look. Don’t miss our IFTTT automation guide which is packed with great ideas and make the most of iOS recipes on your iPhone or iPad.
What are your favourite uses for IFTTT? Leave a comment below.