IFTTT has developed a reputation for itself as the leading automation app. Using a series of conditional statements, you can make certain events trigger specific actions.
For example, you could use the app to supercharge your Kindle, connect your wink hub to other devices in your home, or even beat procrastination.
There are two primary reasons why IFTTT has grown in popularity. First, it’s free to use. Second, it integrates with a vast number of services.
But just because IFTTT is so popular, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out alternatives. Some are aimed at businesses, some are for individuals. Which one is right for you depends on your needs.
Here are seven of the best. No matter what the usage situation, you’ll be able to find something worth testing.
Zapier is arguably the most well-known IFTTT alternative. It works in a broadly similar way to its rival: you can connect apps and devices together so that particular events trigger precise outcomes.
The app uses “Zaps” to connect apps and services. It’s aimed at users who want to create complex sequences, hence the support for lots of niche services as well as the ability to add multiple steps of actions into single Zaps.
Zapier offers three price points. The free tier restricts you to creating Zaps with two steps and limits the selection of apps you can link. The $20-per-month tier allows unlimited steps and unlocks the service’s full repertoire of 750 apps. There’s also a business tier for $250 per month.
Microsoft Flow is a relative newcomer to the automation game; it went live in mid-2016. At the time of writing, it only supports 153 apps, leaving it well behind the number offered by Zapier and IFTTT.
On the positive side, if you lean heavily on Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools (including Office, Dynamics CRM, PowerApps, and Yammer), it’s hard to beat. The level of integration with those services is second-to-none. For example, you could automatically save Office 365 email attachments into OneDrive or send an approval email when something is added to SharePoint.
The free tier provides 750 runs per month, an unlimited number of flows, and 15-minute check intervals. For $3 per month, you can get three-minute checks, 4,500 runs per month, and access to premium apps.
Tasker is comfortably the best automation app on the Android operating system. Rather than automating external web apps, Tasker focuses on automating your phone.
Do you want Spotify to automatically launch when you plug in your headphones? Would you like your phone to read out messages while you’re driving? It’s all possible.
The app is confusing for first-time users — it lacks the friendly GUI offered by IFTTT and Zapier. However, if you spend a bit of time learning the ropes, it’s incredible.
Tasker is not free. You’ll need to make a one-time payment of around $6 in the Google Play Store.
4. Wappwolf Automator for Dropbox
As the name suggests, Wappwolf Automator has one obvious focus: automating your Dropbox account. But what does that mean in practice?
Well, Wappwolf will create a new folder within your Dropbox drive. You can also link existing folders. Whenever you add a file to a linked folder, Wappwolf can perform several automatic actions.
For instance, if you’re uploading an image, Wappwolf could convert it to greyscale or remove any EXIF data. If you’re adding an EPUB or MOBI file, it can instantly send the file to your Kindle. Or, if you’re saving a PDF you can ask Wappwolf to store a copy in plain text. The potential options are near-endless.
The free account limits you to 10 uploads per day and a maximum file size of 25 MB.
Automate.io is similar to Zapier: you can create multi-step workflows across numerous apps and services.
It’s aimed at professionals and businesses rather than home users. It only supports 50 apps (with a further seven listed as “coming soon” on Automate’s website), and most of them are unlikely to excite regular consumers.
Yes, some common productivity tools such as Google Calendar and Trello are present, but it’s the app’s focus on support for services like MailChimp, Salesforce, Eventbrite, and Slack that place it in the enterprise category.
If you want to check it out, the free tier offers 250 monthly actions, access to all the generic apps, and five-minute run intervals. The $19-per-month Startup plan boost these restrictions considerably.
The locked-down nature of Apple’s iOS means there’s no like-for-like replacement for Tasker in the App Store. The Workflow app is as good as it gets.
But that’s not to say it’s not powerful. The Apple Design Award winner lets you connect almost any app on your device. Unlike Tasker, the tasks won’t be automatic. You’ll need to manually activate any workflow you’ve created in order to run it.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of cool concoctions. You can use of one the pre-made workflows if you’re not sure where to start. Once you get more familiar with how the app functions, you can make your own.
Interestingly, the app is entirely free to use. It used to cost $2.99, but Apple made it free after acquiring the company in early 2017, and has since integrated it into its voice assistant in an iOS 12 feature called Siri Shortcuts.
I’ll leave you with something a bit different. Huginn, named after a raven from Norse mythology, is an open-source app that’s designed to run on your own server. It’s best described as a combination of Yahoo Pipes and IFTTT.
I’ll warn you now: if you’re not a skilled programmer, steer clear. Huginn is hugely complicated for beginners. Creating and setting up agents is a difficult process.
If you can get to grips with setting up the app, you’re in for a treat. Huginn can read the web, watch for events, and take actions, all without ever sending your data to an external third-party app.
The app is completely compatible with the increasingly popular Docker, and because it’s open-source, it’s entirely free to use.
Your Favorite IFTTT Alternatives
If you’re looking for something different, I hope this article has given you some inspiration.
Let’s take a quick recap:
- If you want a like-for-like IFTTT replacement, use Zapier.
- For smartphone-based automation, turn to Tasker or Workflow.
- If you need a business-orientated app, sign up for Microsoft Flow or Automate.io.
- And if you want an open-source app, check out Huginn.
Which IFTTT alternatives would add to this list? What means them so unique? Or do you think IFTTT is irreplaceable? Are you unconvinced by any of the alternatives?
As always, you can leave all your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions in the comments below. And remember to share this article with other like-minded people on social media as well.