If you haven’t heard of IFTTT, it stands for If This, Then That and is pronounced lift minus the l. What it means is that you can use platforms such as Facebook, Gmail, and WordPress to automate certain internet-connected activities.
An example would be: If I post a photo to Facebook, Then also add it to Google Photos. The action or trigger is that a photo is added to Facebook, with the resulting action saving it to Google Photos.
It also can automate the temperature in your home if you have a smart thermostat like Nest: If the temperature gets to 78 degrees, Then kick the air conditioner on.
The company has been around since 2010 but in November last year they updated some of their features, and what used to be called a Recipe (the trigger and the result) was renamed an Applet. This blog from the IFTTT site explains the switch:
The new IFTTT is here
In the past, you used IFTTT by adding Recipes, which were “if this, then that” connections between two services. Today, Recipes have evolved into Applets. Applets can do everything that Recipes could — and much more. They bring your services together, creating new experiences that you can unlock with a single switch. A house that welcomes you, an efficient workplace, an easier way to stay informed — there are thousands of experiences to choose from, or you can create your own.
Read more here: The new IFTTT is here
Another change was that the platforms used to be called Channels and now are called Services, and there are literally hundreds you can use to make your life easier. They also used to let you share personal Recipes, but did away with that in the update last November.
It seems as though they have somewhat reconsidered the idea that you can’t share, because just last week they announced what’s called being the Maker Tier. What that means is that you can build Applets that aren’t your basic If-This-Then-That formula, and then you can publish them for others to use.
This tweet connects to an article about how Maker works:
— Kyle J. Burt (@KyleJBurt1) May 30, 2017
This new feature is definitely for more experienced users that have a background as a developer. It opens up the possibility for multi-tiered actions to take place, as opposed to the simple 2-step automation.
You can now control your entire smart home with a single command – CNET
Fortunately, the other feature introduced in the Maker tier doesn’t required any coding knowledge. It simply allows you to add several actions. So instead of each applet only doing one thing or needing to create multiple applets with the same trigger, you can create a single applet that does it all.
For example, before, to have all the images you upload to Instagram posted to Twitter and Facebook, you would need to separate applets. Now you can create a single applet that posts to both Twitter and Facebook.
IFTTT Maker Tier for applet developers opens up another universe of possibilities. Maybe someday it will automate my health and fitness, so that if I overeat, my body automatically gets up and works off the excess calories.