LIFE-HACKING app IFTTT has announced a long-awaited transformation reflecting its burgeoning job as a central plank of the smart home, especially for Amazon Alexa/Echo and Google Home.
'Recipes', which were the previous mainstay of the If This Then That service, have been replaced by 'Applets' which bring entire scenes that add multiple devices and scenarios with multi-action (think of boolean AND and OR)' possibilities.
The service was originally designed for tasks such as adding automated calendar entries and duplicating admin processes that would otherwise have to be done manually.
However, as the Internet of Things has continued to flourish, more and more physical devices have gained IFTTT support, making it a backbone for the smart home.
We’ve already reported that it has quickly become the de facto controller for cloud-based services, despite the security problems demonstrated in last week's Mirai attack that used IP devices to create a giant botnet.
The problem with IFTTT in the past was that it was able to create only an action and a consequence, and most smart home users need more. For example, 'If motion is detected, turn the light on' is fine, but ideally you also need 'and if it’s dark enough and you know the person isn’t a burglar, and if it’s 3am, not too bright please.' And that’s exactly what the new IFTTT offers.
Microsoft got its defence in early last week by officially launching Microsoft Flow, which has been in beta for what seems like years, but it’ll need some welly to catch up with IFTTT which has nearly 400 services compared with Flow’s current 58. Plus, of course, Microsoft seems to be a bit preoccupied with its new Teams app.
Existing users don’t need to worry. Recipes have been converted into Applets for you and several major channels (now renamed ‘services’) have already contributed some Applets to get you started.
Users of IFTTT DO will find that the service has been absorbed into the main app, which was renamed IF but is now IFTTT again. µ
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