This is the first review I’ve done on here for quite a while - here’s my take on IFTTT. IFTTT is an online automation service that brings together many online applications. Before I begin there is some IFTTT jargon that you should know:
- Channel: An application that you have ‘linked’.
- Trigger: An event that a Channel has. e.g. ‘New Mail Received’.
- Action: A task that a Channel can complete automatically.
- Recipe: A combination of a Trigger and an Action.
To give you a feel two of my current recipes are: Post a link to all my new blog posts on Twitter and Add an event to my 'Places' calendar whenever I check in on Foursquare. All the recipes I use are also used by others, there’s a sharing feature, however I’ve made modifications to suit. Custom recipes are also really easy to set up.
I mentioned not so long ago about logging my music - this system has some flaws. It only accounts for the dates the files were created and doesn’t keep a log of every single track you play during a day. However, with the help of the last.fm and Google Drive APIs, I have now solved this problem with IFTTT. A simple Recipe is now triggered every time I play a song, it’s action being to log the song, artist and time in a spreadsheet.
There are a few minor issues with the service, but none come close to being major.
- It’s only as good as the APIs it uses. By this I mean: If an API is weak, lacking in features or none existent (Google+) there is nothing you can really do. There are a few work arounds with 'Send and Email to Add’ features but they are often far from perfect and fail to accomplish anything close to the functionality of a powerful API.
- Multi Action Recipes. Perhaps best explained with an example: I have three recipes where Blogger is the trigger, all with different actions. Surely it would be more efficient to group these? Say, when this happens, do these three things - that just seems more natural to me.
- The site’s interface is nice, however it should have a 'condensed view’ for viewing your recipes. It’s as if they only ever expected people to have a handful of recipes. It would be nice to have a more tabular view available for those users with more recipes.