IFTTT: Applets That Increase Security, Productivity and Fun

IFTTT, a free web-based service is an acronym for “If this, then that”. It is perfect for people like me who don’t know how to code but want a better integration between Internet-enabled apps and services running on a variety of gadgets. Some portals like Slack now play “nicely” with Google Drive but NOT everything runs as smoothly as this. For instance, we have both Dropbox and Google Drive for downloading photos yet because these two don’t communicate, what we download on one isn’t automatically uploaded on the other.

Applets bring your favorite services together to create new experiences. — IFTTT

IFTTT is one of the popular productivity apps popular for Android devices – in fact, it already installed on mine. iOS version is also available. With the number of productivity apps easily downloaded for free, it is easy to get trigger happy and download more than what’s of practical use. Between business, personal, and social apps, it can be confusing and time-consuming. With IFTTT, simple tasks can be automated and since its launch in 2011, applets had been created to do just that.

In 2014, IFTTT was already valued at $170M and with over 600 apps that work with popular platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Gmail, Slack, Telegram, Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, YouTube, Google Calendar, Evernote, Skype, Salesforce, MailChimp and more, on IoT devices (Alexa, FitBit, Android etc), a buy-out by Google, Amazon, or Apple may be in the offing soon. In fact, Microsoft has already developed “Flow” and it already has a major competitor, Zapier.

Each applet has a trigger and a resulting action. For instance, if you like a photo on Instagram (trigger), this can immediately be sent to your Dropbox account. A few of the popular things it can do through its “trigger-and-action mechanism” are:
  • Automate web application tasks like posting the same content on various social media accounts.
  • Track mention of companies in RSS feeds.
  • Automate switching on the light with detection of motion.

IFTTT enables you to have better control when using Alexa (Amazon) or Google Assistant while keeping you informed about news feeds and weather forecasts. You can be alerted on your chosen search words and even back up “files, contacts, photos”.

Among the many ready-to-use Applet collections on the IFTTT site are:

  • Applets for Google
  • Applets for iOS
  • Applets for Android
  • Applets for Voice Assistant
  • Applets for Photography
  • Microsoft Applets
  • Applets for IoT
  • Applets for Cars
  • Applets for News
  • Applets for Weather
  • Applets for the home (keeps you comfortable, safe, secure) and more.

However, the paradox of choice from such an extensive array is paralyzing so IFTTT has provided shortlisted Applets for:

  • Marketing
  • Small Business Owners
  • Shoppers
  • Educators and
  • Bookworms.

There are even Applets for Weddings and Music Lovers! With IFTTT, it’s different strokes for different folks – something ultra handy when you are dying for seamless integration between home and office. If you hate to drop the ball on anything (especially work-related tasks), IFTTT is a true GIFT. But beware since some users have found out that performance is less than ideal – it does crash on occasion. But for those who have made it work, it quickly becomes the indispensable interface between your apps and smart devices in your connected life.

Want to create your own Applet, here’s how!


Automation Technology Advances to Look for in the Next 10 Years

In the past decade, we have seen major advancements in home automation technology. From smart lighting to major appliances, we can now automate our homes from our smartphone or program our routines so smart products adjust automatically.

This trend will likely continue into the following decade and will be available in more homes as home automation products become more affordable. The question is: What can we expect from home automation in the next 10 years?

Smart Technology Sensors with Recognition and Response

Right now, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and water leak detectors are the most common atmospheric smart devices in today’s homes. However, they rely on a single location and can only provide information as to which detector is going off and why.

Expect these devices to become smaller and more cost effective to be placed in more locations throughout the home. Smoke and heat sensors in smart electric outlets would help identify the exact location of smoke or fire and cut off power at the source and inform emergency response teams of the situation.

This could help save many homes and lives in the event of an appliance fire. Sensors will become more fully integrated into home automation as technology improves.

Security Cameras with Recognition Software

Today’s security cameras are capable of determining if a person or animal crosses the camera’s path. This will trigger an alert on your smartphone so you can view the camera remotely. Home security will grow by leaps and bounds in the next 10 years.

One of the most anticipated technologies of home automation will be in object recognition and facial recognition software in home security. It is possible for a security camera to scan the face of a person and identify them. At that point, it can notify you who is on the camera and ask you if you would like to contact authorities.

This will help identify potential criminals and help you monitor family members as they enter and exit the home. Parents will know when their child arrives home from school, which child arrived, and if anyone entered the home with them. Facial recognition software will help automate smart home security substantially in the next decade.

WIFI Connected Small Appliances

There are already large appliances, such as refrigerators and ranges, that allow you to control the appliance remotely. This trend will likely continue into the next decade with small home tech like smart thermostats, virtual assistants, and even vacuums. You will be able to brew coffee from your bed or home office or check to see if you turned off an appliance when you left your home.

Better yet, you will be able to receive alerts that an appliance was left on for an unusual amount of time and has been turned off for your safety. This automation will effectively save homes and lives, reduce insurance rates, and save energy.

The Future of Home Automation

It is no surprise that home automation will continue to grow in the next decade. As automation technology advances and becomes more affordable, more homes will be able to take advantage of the safety and convenience it will offer.

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