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IFTTT: If-This-Then-That FAQ

IFTTT: If-This-Then-That FAQ

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 any time. I hope to update and correct the 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 to 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 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 connected to IFTTT. However, you can also create some of them by using the IFTTT account 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 THISwhen a meeting starts
IF THISwhen the weather is rainy
IF THISspecific YouTube channel uploads a new video
IF THISwhen you come home
Applet Triggers

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

If you want to integrate IFTTT into Messenger, check the video below!

IFTTT and Messenger Integrated!

Summary

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