IFTTT, an acronym for If This Then That, is a free service that automates connectivity between apps and services, enabling users to utilize “recipes” that will coordinate small tasks between Internet and web services.
Sounded out like “ift” (rhymes with “gift”), IFTTT can be used on the Web or through apps for iOS and Android. An IFTTT trigger, or the “if this” part of the system, will prompt IFTTT to begin the automation process.
This leads to a set of actions the “then that” part of IFTTT wherein changes to one service lead to changes on other services via conditional statements called “applets” (the recently renamed form of “recipes”).
Examples of IFTTT Recipes and Applets in Action
IFTTT debuted in late 2011 as a Web-based application, and apps for the iPhone and iPad joined the original app in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and an app for Android devices launched in April 2014.
The beauty in IFTTT is its simplicity for users and connectivity between Internet-connected services. IFTTT’s versatility has also extended beyond Web services to Internet-enabled hardware components such as wearable computing devices and smart home products.
Simple examples of IFTTT recipes include writing a post on one social network and having it immediately post to other social networks as well, automatically saving a copy of photos you’re tagged in on Facebook to an iOS Photos album, displaying your “To Do” list on your phone any time you leave your home or work, the results of your workout taken by Fitbit or a similar device automatically being added to a Google Docs spreadsheet, and more.
IFTTT’s popularity in the smart home area has also grown in recent years, now coordinating and automating activities between Internet of Things (IoT) devices like the Amazon Echo, Nest, Phillips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and similar devices.