We at AppleGazette are big fans of IFTTT. It makes automating tasks super simple, and works with tons of great apps and social networks. Here are 10 IFTTT recipes every Apple owner should use.
IFTTT, which stands for “If This, Then That,” started its life as a web app, but now it’s come to iPhone — and brought some cool new triggers and actions along. Specifically, iOS Contacts, iOS Photos, and iOS Reminders now interface directly with IFTTT, opening up a world of possibilities. Here are just a few of the best IFTTT recipes available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users, but there are many more. The only limit is your imagination.
1. Follow-up with new contacts.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/110663
What it does: When you add a new contact to your iPhone’s Address Book, this recipe will send a pre-written email to you reminding you to follow-up with them personally.
Alternatives: Instead of email, you could use iOS Reminder actions to bypass email altogether and add a reminder to your to-do list.
2. Backup contacts to Dropbox.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/109844
You will need: a Dropbox acount (it’s free)
What it does: Dropbox is an invaluable partner to IFTTT, coming in handy in all sorts of ways, as you’ll soon see. This recipe backs up your contact list to Dropbox every time you add a new contact.
Alternatives: You can use other cloud services to backup your contact list, such as Box or Google Drive.
3. Put the daily weather forecast on your lock screen.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/62090
You will need: the free iPhone app Boxcar
What it does: Boxcar allows you to create custom iPhone notifications for anything you can imagine. Using the IFTTT Weather trigger, every morning this one will send you a notification with that day’s forecast. In other words, each day’s weather will appear on your lock screen when you first turn on your phone in the morning.
Alternatives: If Boxcar doesn’t suit you, similar app Pushover is also available.
4. Auto-send new photos to Flickr.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/90289
What it does: Take a picture on your phone and save it to a designated album on your iPhone. IFTTT then automatically uploads that photo to your Flickr account. Just like that.
Alternatives: You can use this one to send new photos to almost any destination you can imagine. Use it to auto-post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., or send it to that other online photo gallery — Picasa.
5. Add your iPhone screenshots to Dropbox.
What it does: This one comes in handy for electronics bloggers like yours truly. Whenever you take a screenshot on your iPhone (by pressing the Home button and Power button simultaneously), it sends that screenshot to your Dropbox account. Makes it mighty easy to find and access those screenshots when you need them — without looking through all your photos.
6. Let co-workers know when you finish a task.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/87518
What it does: This recipe monitors your iOS Reminders app for any time you check off a task, marking it as complete. It then sends an action to your office’s Yammer account so that others will be able to see your progress.
Alternatives: If your office doesn’t use Yammer, you could use Moped, you could network it through LinkedIn, you could have the action recorded to a Google Calendar, or you could send an automated email to your co-workers.
7. Tell Siri to send reminders (or ideas) to Evernote.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/103374
You will need: Evernote.
What it does: I love Evernote, I use it for everything. (I wrote this article in it.) It’s especially useful if you have a pro account, which gives you all the bells and whistles like auto-syncing your notes to every device you own. With voice-to-text dictation built into every Apple device nowadays, it’s easy to create documents, notes, to-do lists, reminders, emails, and anything else you can think of using nothing but speech.
This recipe refines the process with a clever twist. Before activating it, you go into your iPhone’s Reminders app and create a new list named “Evernote.” After activating the recipe, you simply tell Siri to “add Evernote reminder _______.” This triggers the recipe, which — here’s the clever part — instead of creating a new Evernote note for every time you say this command to Siri, it adds it to a single note called “Siri Notes.” Pretty cool.
8. Never miss another Free App of the Week on iTunes.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/75684
What it does: Using an RSS feed, the recipe sends you an email once a week when Apple updates iTunes’ “Free App of the Week.”
Alternatives: Don’t want an email? It’s easy to alter the recipe to send you a text message, Boxcar or Pushover notification, or even save it to Pocket. (Just don’t forget to check your Pocket at least once a week.) Not interested in free apps? How about being notified of iTunes’ Free Single of the Week?
9. Use the best 500px photos as your Mac’s screensaver.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/99069
You will need: a 500px account.
What it does: Okay, IFTTT, now you’re just showing off. Using a 500px trigger associated with their Editor’s Choice pics, the recipe sends those pictures to your Dropbox account, which you then use as your Mac’s screensaver source. The best part: 500px’s Editor’s Choice list is always being updated, so your screensaver will update with gorgeous new photos all the time.
10. Use your iPhone to shut down your Mac.
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/104485
What it does: In case that last one didn’t impress you enough, IFTTT and Dropbox went and did this. Thanks to yet another inventive use of Dropbox, this recipe is triggered by sending an email that includes the tag “#shutdown.” The recipe does the rest. Seriously, how cool is that?
Alternatives: Make it even cooler by telling Siri to send the tagged email. Siri will shut down your MacBook or iMac for you remotely!
Bonus: The AppleGazette Recipe
Activate it here: https://ifttt.com/recipes/112025
What it does: Ensure that you never miss another useful article from your friends at AppleGazette, activate this recipe. Using our RSS feed, it’ll save our articles to your Pocket account.
Alternatives: Alter the recipe to suit your needs: save it to Readability or Instapaper instead. Or if you’d rather have an immediate notification of what’s new here at AG, just set it to email, text, or (Boxcar) notify you.