We are continuing a series called App of the Week, wherein we recommend the best apps to support the academic experience. Please let us know what you think, and feel free to provide suggestions for apps we should review.
IFTTT (pronounced like “gift,” with no “g”) is a well-established, much-loved website and app for those who enjoy simplifying their life with automation. The name is an acronym of “If This, Then That,” which reflects the service it offers: creating “recipes” that link unrelated apps and services together with triggers. Easy examples include, “If I upload a photo to Instagram, then post the photo to Flickr” or “If I receive an attachment in Gmail, upload it to Dropbox.” These recipes are only the tip of the iceberg, of course – IFTTT supports over 100+ services and channels to link together.
However, as of this week, the original IFTTT app has rebranded itself as IF, and launched 3 additional companion apps: Do Note, Do Camera, and Do Button. Do Note is essentially a programmable notepad, Do Camera focuses on automating your photo storage/usage, and the Do Button is a automatic recipe launcher for anything else you can think of. While IF runs in the background of your device, initiating recipes as the triggers come, the Do apps require you to take action to start the recipe. The Verge calls it “creating a remote control for the internet.”
Most Helpful Features:
- While the customization of recipes is seemingly endless, IFTTT offers lots of suggestions for commonly used/helpful recipes by other users on the Dashboard of the app.
- Easy, one-time sign-up, and once you’re logged in on one app, the “Do” apps recognize your account when you log in to those too.
- If you have Hue wireless lighting, you can even make your lights flash or turn purple when you receive an email or a Facebook notification (or any other trigger you can think of).
- Once you get the hang of the concept, the apps are very simple to use, with extremely user-friendly, readable interfaces.
- I personally dislike when established apps split themselves into separate apps, and IFTTT now has 4 apps total. However, unlike the Foursquare/Swarm and Facebook/Messenger splits, you’re not forced to use the other apps – they’re just streamlining certain processes for users.
- As of now, each of these apps only let you start/keep 3 recipes at a time, whereas IF allows unlimited recipes.
IF is truly a must TRY app. If you’re still confused about how it all works, this article provides a step-by-step account and recipe creation process. Maybe you feel that adding all of these digital “recipes” will complicate your life more than simplify it, but you won’t know until you create a few! As always, if you try them out, feel free to let us know what you think.
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. No endorsement or recommendation of any specific products or services is intended or implied.
Contents contributed by Lauren D. Hall, Circulation Librarian