What is IFTTT? IFTTT stands for IF-THIS-THEN-THAT

IFTTT has been in business for several years. It’s been a convenient way for people to integrate a ton of smart home services into intelligent home automation. IFTTT uses services (Spotify, YouTube, Google Documents, Weather Underground, Transit, Philips Hue, etc.) to create Applets using Triggers, Queries, and Actions.

I’ve been starting to work with the IFTTT Pro service and integrate my smart home automation. I thought it would be useful to create a tool here on automatelife.net to discuss what IFTTT is and how it works. I believe there is a ton of practical applications that you could use IFTTT in your own home. Let’s go through some of the questions you might have about IFTTT. Please note the information below may change at anytime. I hope to update and correct information as it becomes available.

When you go to IFTTT.com or open up the IFTTT App, you’ll notice a few things right away.  

What is an IFTTT service?

An IFTTT service is access to your Smart Home Developers. For example, an IFTTT service could include Twitter, Dropbox, Google Assistant, or access into Smart Home Appliances like GE or Samsung ovens and fridges.  

You can find a list of services here: https://automatelife.net/list-of-services-added-to-ifttt/. 

These services provide a way to connect to those select appliances or smart home automation and work with you and get them to work with each other to create what IFTTT calls an Applet. The sum of applets creates smart home actions that automatically manage the smart home based on certain conditions.

You can find a list of these services here: https://ifttt.com/services?utm_medium=Help&utm_source=Basics&utm_campaign=Using_IFTTT.

You can also find a list of services here on automatelife.net (we try to update them):

What is an applet?

An Applet is IFTTT’s way to create action out of the many connections and services provided by IFTTT. Some services are already made by the services connect to IFTTT. However, you can also create some of them by using the IFTTT count or IFTTT Pro account. 

How do you create an applet?

Once you get a subscription or an account with IFTTT, you can begin making your Applet. IFTTT provides a stack-block user interface. To start the Applet, you need to create a trigger or an IF THIS statement.

An IF THIS (When) statement is what IFTTT uses as a trigger for your automation. You can select a service (such as Twitter or Dropbox, or Google Assistant) and use the services’ provided triggers. For example: 

  • IF THIS (when a) meeting starts, or 
  • IF THIS (when the) weather is rainy, or 
  • IF a specific YouTube channel creates a new video, or 
  • When you enter the geofence area or come home

You complete the Applet by using a THEN THAT statement. The THEN THAT statement is the action or the resulting Activity from once theIF THIS condition met.

It is essential to note that the IF THIS triggers provided by certain services are not the same as THEN THAT statements provided by the same service. So you can’t create an IF THIS that is the same as a THEN THAT statement.

Queries

IFTTT has added a sub-condition called a Query. The Query obtains more information or data from the specific service from the IF THIS (When) or Trigger condition. The Query is supposed to supplement the trigger (IF THIS) of the service. Sometimes the service that you’re using has more information to make more of a distinguished trigger.  

For example, suppose you were to make a trigger or an IF THIS statement with a Weather Service. In that case, you might find the certain Weather Services in IFTTT have different wordings or specifications for a rainy day or cloudy day, or partly cloudy. A user such as yourself may want to create an action based on a specific trigger to the service provided. IFTTT has made a way to refine the Trigger (IF THIS) statement to use more service information.

Filter Code

Filter Code is the use of coding to create sub-conditions within your IFTTT Trigger. You are ‘filtering’ through the service’s available variables to make the trigger work under specific conditions based on the code you create.

You can generate Filter code using JSON (JavaScript). Filter Code takes the information found in the IFTTT service and refines the trigger to give unique outputs that are not found in the IF THIS statement but in the service provided. 

You create Filter Code to allow the Applet to continue to the action. Yes, you will have to understand a little bit of JSON or JavaScript coding to make your own Filter Code. There are some useful resources that you can find on YouTube and various sites on the internet.

For example, you can create a Filter Code to decipher if the weather is ‘rainy’ or ‘cloudy.’ The terms ‘rainy’ or ‘cloudy’ are specific to the service’s internal development. The query variables may be different or have different purposes between various services.

IFTTT Applets

Once you create an IFTTT applet, IFTTT houses the Applet into your folder called ‘My Applets.’ You can share your Applet within IFTTT with other IFTTT users. However, unless you’re an IFTTT Pro subscriber, you can only connect 3 Applets at a time.

If you are an IFTTT Pro subscriber, you can access an unlimited number of IFTTT Applets. You can find out more about the IFTTT Pro subscriptions here: https://ifttt.com/explore/pro_vs_standard.

Automatelife.net: How much does IFTTT Cost?

You can connect or disconnect your IFTTT Applets. You need to have subscriptions (paid or free) to the services you want to connect to for the Applets to work. For example, You will need to provide your own Weather Underground App or Twitter account credentials so IFTTT can connect to those services. If you lose connections to these services, the Applet will fail.

Using IFTTT in the Smart Home

IFTTT provides an essential method to automate your Smart Home. IFTTT provides the one-stop shop to integrate all your Smart Home services. You can create almost any Applet to meet almost any smart home need in your home or workplace.


IFTTT FAQ:

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT is an acronym for IF-THIS-THEN-THAT. A conditional statement generator to create your own Smart Home Applet.

Do you need to provide your credentials to certain services to create an IFTTT applet?

The answer is yes. You will need to provide the subscription login credentials for the services you use to allow IFTTT to access and create an Applet.

Do you need to use Queries or Filter code to create an Applet?

No, you do not need to use Queries or Filter code to create an Applet. An IF THIS (trigger) and a THEN THAT (Action) is the minimum to create an Applet.

What is an IFTTT Query?

An IFTTT Query is a subcondition for the Trigger condition in IFTTT. Once you create a Trigger with a IFTTT service, you are given the option to create a Query (subcondition) to use more variables (data) from the service to create a suitable subcondition.

What is IFTTT Filter Code?

Filter Code is IFTTT’s tool to create your own personal subconditions use JSON. The Filter code is based on the Trigger and Query service that you select. You can only use variables provided by the services you connect in the Trigger (IF THIS) condition or Query subcondition. IFTT provides a JSON engine to create your own Filter Code.


Credit: IFTTT