Tag Archives: Ifttt

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Wouldn’t it be cool if your phone knew to enter airplane mode when you go to the theater, or text your spouse when you leave work? IFTTT and Tasker can automate countless tasks like these to turn your phone into an attentive personal assistant. Today, we’re putting them both in the ring to see which one’s better at simplifying your life.

The Contenders

One of Android’s greatest benefits is how much you can customize it to your liking. That doesn’t just mean you can change your font or use a different app launcher. That stuff is child’s play. Automation apps can do everything from switching off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when your battery gets low to turning your phone into a voice-controlled remote for your living room. Today, we’re looking at two of the most powerful automation tool on Android:

  • IFTTT: IFTTT is a web service that connects the other services you use every day like Evernote, Gmail, or Dropbox with simple instructions called “recipes.” A recipe consists of a trigger, like receiving an attachment in Gmail, and an action, like saving that attachment to Dropbox. Each service has its own channel of triggers and actions. The IF app for Android adds several channels specific to your phone that let you trigger actions based on where you are, when you receive a phone call, or your phone’s battery level. You can then perform actions like changing your system’s settings, sending texts, or even setting a new wallpaper. For example, you can tell IFTTT to automatically update your wallpaper with NASA’s newest image of the day. IFTTT isn’t limited to Android, which means it’s easy to connect your phone to the rest of your digital life.
  • Tasker: Tasker is a rules-based automation app for Android. With it, you can create “profiles” based on things like what application is running, what day it is, or where you are. Tasker then watches your phone to see when those conditions are met. Once they are, it can triggers “tasks” to do things like send texts, change settings on your phone, or play music. For example, you can tell Tasker to turn on airplane mode whenever you’re at the GPS location of your favorite movie theater. Third-party plugins like AutoVoice allow you to extend what you can do with Tasker even more.

The examples we’ve given just scratch the surface of what these two services can do. If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out our readers’ favorite Tasker actions here. IFTTT also has a huge library of recipes you can browse if you’re not sure how to make your own. You can build on the work that many intrepid tweakers have already done to make your phone do some pretty amazing things.

http://lifehacker.com/5599116/how-to…

IFTTT Is Easier to Use But Limiting, While Tasker Is Powerful With a Steep Learning Curve

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

If we were to compare Tasker and IFTTT on ease of use alone, IFTTT would win with no contest. IFTTT’s recipes are built around a simple, familiar programming phrase: if this then that. If your phone leaves the house, turn off Wi-Fi. If Google Calendar says you’re in a meeting, mute your phone. This simplicity, combined with a gorgeous and accessible app design, makes it easy for just about anyone to automate simple tasks.

On top of this, IFTTT already has a huge library of published recipes from existing users. You can browse the library here, select a recipe you like, and click Add. Boom, you’re done. The most you have to do is install the IF app for Android and connect your various services to IFTTT. It couldn’t be simpler, even for beginners.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Tasker is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Tasker’s interface is far more complex and the app comes with only the most basic tutorials. We have our own guide here that can help you get started. You’ll also need Tasker’s official wiki to understand many of the features in the app. There are also Tasker-focused user communities can provide templates for how to automate certain actions, and you’ve shared some of your favorite actions too,but if you can’t find an existing action for the thing you want to accomplish, you’re on your own. Unfortunately, being on your own involves a lot of trial and error, research, and troubleshooting. While you don’t necessarily need to be a coder to use Tasker, it will help to at least understand the logic of how automating simple tasks works. Which is more than IFTTT asks of its users.

Once you get over Tasker’s learning curve, though, your reward for climbing that hill is totally worth it. With Tasker, you can do nearly anything with your phone. For example, this person set up voice commands with Tasker to control his lights, TV, and home theater PC. Another built this makeshift one-handed mode for giant phones. You can use Tasker and a few plugins to make custom voice commands for anything Tasker can do. Most of these aren’t the kind of thing you could set up in five minutes, but Tasker is only limited by how much time you’re willing to put into it.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker
Your average user probably has no idea what half of these Tasker options mean.

IFTTT, on the other hand, doesn’t give you nearly as much flexibility. You only have a small set of Android actions and triggers to choose from. For example, you can change your phone’s wallpaper, play music on your phone or from your favorite apps, and modify other system settings like volume, Wi-Fi, and more. Unfortunately, you can’t do more complicated things that Tasker is capable of, like create your own voice commands. In fact, you can’t even create IFTTT recipes with multiple triggers or actions. For example, say you wanted to create an action to find your lost phone by texting it, even if it’s muted. You can create one recipe to unmute your phone, and you can create a separate recipe to play a notification sound, but you can’t trigger both actions in the same recipe. This can get complicated if you want to perform two actions from the same trigger, since you can’t determine what order recipes are executed in.

Fortunately, you don’t have to use just one or the other (and we’ll come back to that), but for those who like tweaking their setup, Tasker is going to offer a lot more direct control. IFTTT is perfect for beginners or users who only want to do simple tasks.

http://lifehacker.com/5930652/unleas…

Tasker Plugins Give It New Powers, While IFTTT Can Connect to All Your Favorite Services

Tasker and IFTTT are both highly extensible, but in very different ways. Tasker supports third-party plugins, which add new functionality, while IFTTT connects to third-party online services to extend its features. Let’s start with Tasker. Here are a few of our favorite, most useful Tasker plugins:

  • AutoVoice: This plugin allows you to create custom voice commands to trigger Tasker actions. For example, in the home automation setup we mentioned earlier, one Tasker user used AutoVoice to create a voice command for “I’m home” that turns on all the lights in his house. It even integrates with Google Now so you can seamlessly use your own commands the same way you use Ok, Google.
  • AutoRemote: This plugin, when paired with AutoVoice, allows you to run your custom voice commands with Cortana in Windows 10. So, you could run that “I’m home” command from the last example while sitting at your desk, instead of having to pull out your phone. AutoRemote will simply forward the command to your handset, and Tasker will take it from there.
  • AutoNotification: With this plugin, you can create persistent notifications on your phone. Here, you can add buttons to manually trigger Tasker actions. For example, you could create an action that disables GPS and Bluetooth and enables Wi-Fi. When you get home, just tap this button so your phone saves battery on the services it might not need.

Third-party plugins are responsible for helping Tasker learn a lot of new skills since it first came out. While you can do some cool things with the basic Tasker app, it’s hard to deny that adding voice commands or Cortana support is pretty awesome. You can find more plugins on the developer’s web site here.

For its part, IFTTT doesn’t have plugins, but it connects to other supported online services. This means that you can change your phone’s wallpaper by posting to Instagram, or turn on your home’s smart lights when you get home. You can check out IFTTT’s massive list of channels here. We couldn’t possibly highlight everything you could do with these, but there are a few that are particularly useful:

  • Amazon Alexa Channel: If you have an Amazon Echo, this channel triggers actions on your Android device remotely using Alexa. You can use this to unmute and find your phone if you lost it (though as we stated earlier, you might need two separate recipes to do this). You could also use create a command to turn your phone’s GPS on, so you can ask Alexa to do it before you leave for work instead of fiddling with your settings in the driveway.
  • Connected Home: IFTTT has an impressive collection of connected home channels. If you have WeMo, D-Link, Harmony, or Nest smart home gadgets, you can connect them to IFTTT easily, and with the Android channels, you can use your phone to turn your lights on when you get home or change the thermostat when you leave.
  • Pushbullet: Pushbullet is an awesome service that allows you to “push” messages and files from one device to another. You can already use it to bridge the gap between your phone, laptop, and tablet. With the IFTTT Pushbullet channel, you can do even more, like get notifications on your computer if you miss a phone call or if your phone’s battery gets low.

These are just a few examples, but you can see how channels that aren’t directly related to Android can still be useful.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-pus…

Tasker and IFTTT Are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Good Alone, but Better Together

So, after all of that, which one is better? Well, neither one! Tasker is perfect for making creative, complex actions, and IFTTT serves as a simple glue between your phone and various other services. When you use each one for what they’re best at, you can do some pretty amazing things.

For example, you can use Tasker to create a custom voice command that will send a text message to IFTTT, which will then turn on your WeMo light switch. You can use Tasker alone to do this, but it’s more complicated. By using both services together, you can do even more awesome things with your phone, with even less effort.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Wouldn’t it be cool if your phone knew to enter airplane mode when you go to the theater, or text your spouse when you leave work? IFTTT and Tasker can automate countless tasks like these to turn your phone into an attentive personal assistant. Today, we’re putting them both in the ring to see which one’s better at simplifying your life.

The Contenders

One of Android’s greatest benefits is how much you can customize it to your liking. That doesn’t just mean you can change your font or use a different app launcher. That stuff is child’s play. Automation apps can do everything from switching off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when your battery gets low to turning your phone into a voice-controlled remote for your living room. Today, we’re looking at two of the most powerful automation tool on Android:

  • IFTTT: IFTTT is a web service that connects the other services you use every day like Evernote, Gmail, or Dropbox with simple instructions called “recipes.” A recipe consists of a trigger, like receiving an attachment in Gmail, and an action, like saving that attachment to Dropbox. Each service has its own channel of triggers and actions. The IF app for Android adds several channels specific to your phone that let you trigger actions based on where you are, when you receive a phone call, or your phone’s battery level. You can then perform actions like changing your system’s settings, sending texts, or even setting a new wallpaper. For example, you can tell IFTTT to automatically update your wallpaper with NASA’s newest image of the day. IFTTT isn’t limited to Android, which means it’s easy to connect your phone to the rest of your digital life.
  • Tasker: Tasker is a rules-based automation app for Android. With it, you can create “profiles” based on things like what application is running, what day it is, or where you are. Tasker then watches your phone to see when those conditions are met. Once they are, it can triggers “tasks” to do things like send texts, change settings on your phone, or play music. For example, you can tell Tasker to turn on airplane mode whenever you’re at the GPS location of your favorite movie theater. Third-party plugins like AutoVoice allow you to extend what you can do with Tasker even more.

The examples we’ve given just scratch the surface of what these two services can do. If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out our readers’ favorite Tasker actions here. IFTTT also has a huge library of recipes you can browse if you’re not sure how to make your own. You can build on the work that many intrepid tweakers have already done to make your phone do some pretty amazing things.

http://lifehacker.com/5599116/how-to…

IFTTT Is Easier to Use But Limiting, While Tasker Is Powerful With a Steep Learning Curve

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

If we were to compare Tasker and IFTTT on ease of use alone, IFTTT would win with no contest. IFTTT’s recipes are built around a simple, familiar programming phrase: if this then that. If your phone leaves the house, turn off Wi-Fi. If Google Calendar says you’re in a meeting, mute your phone. This simplicity, combined with a gorgeous and accessible app design, makes it easy for just about anyone to automate simple tasks.

On top of this, IFTTT already has a huge library of published recipes from existing users. You can browse the library here, select a recipe you like, and click Add. Boom, you’re done. The most you have to do is install the IF app for Android and connect your various services to IFTTT. It couldn’t be simpler, even for beginners.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Tasker is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Tasker’s interface is far more complex and the app comes with only the most basic tutorials. We have our own guide here that can help you get started. You’ll also need Tasker’s official wiki to understand many of the features in the app. There are also Tasker-focused user communities can provide templates for how to automate certain actions, and you’ve shared some of your favorite actions too,but if you can’t find an existing action for the thing you want to accomplish, you’re on your own. Unfortunately, being on your own involves a lot of trial and error, research, and troubleshooting. While you don’t necessarily need to be a coder to use Tasker, it will help to at least understand the logic of how automating simple tasks works. Which is more than IFTTT asks of its users.

Once you get over Tasker’s learning curve, though, your reward for climbing that hill is totally worth it. With Tasker, you can do nearly anything with your phone. For example, this person set up voice commands with Tasker to control his lights, TV, and home theater PC. Another built this makeshift one-handed mode for giant phones. You can use Tasker and a few plugins to make custom voice commands for anything Tasker can do. Most of these aren’t the kind of thing you could set up in five minutes, but Tasker is only limited by how much time you’re willing to put into it.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker
Your average user probably has no idea what half of these Tasker options mean.

IFTTT, on the other hand, doesn’t give you nearly as much flexibility. You only have a small set of Android actions and triggers to choose from. For example, you can change your phone’s wallpaper, play music on your phone or from your favorite apps, and modify other system settings like volume, Wi-Fi, and more. Unfortunately, you can’t do more complicated things that Tasker is capable of, like create your own voice commands. In fact, you can’t even create IFTTT recipes with multiple triggers or actions. For example, say you wanted to create an action to find your lost phone by texting it, even if it’s muted. You can create one recipe to unmute your phone, and you can create a separate recipe to play a notification sound, but you can’t trigger both actions in the same recipe. This can get complicated if you want to perform two actions from the same trigger, since you can’t determine what order recipes are executed in.

Fortunately, you don’t have to use just one or the other (and we’ll come back to that), but for those who like tweaking their setup, Tasker is going to offer a lot more direct control. IFTTT is perfect for beginners or users who only want to do simple tasks.

http://lifehacker.com/5930652/unleas…

Tasker Plugins Give It New Powers, While IFTTT Can Connect to All Your Favorite Services

Tasker and IFTTT are both highly extensible, but in very different ways. Tasker supports third-party plugins, which add new functionality, while IFTTT connects to third-party online services to extend its features. Let’s start with Tasker. Here are a few of our favorite, most useful Tasker plugins:

  • AutoVoice: This plugin allows you to create custom voice commands to trigger Tasker actions. For example, in the home automation setup we mentioned earlier, one Tasker user used AutoVoice to create a voice command for “I’m home” that turns on all the lights in his house. It even integrates with Google Now so you can seamlessly use your own commands the same way you use Ok, Google.
  • AutoRemote: This plugin, when paired with AutoVoice, allows you to run your custom voice commands with Cortana in Windows 10. So, you could run that “I’m home” command from the last example while sitting at your desk, instead of having to pull out your phone. AutoRemote will simply forward the command to your handset, and Tasker will take it from there.
  • AutoNotification: With this plugin, you can create persistent notifications on your phone. Here, you can add buttons to manually trigger Tasker actions. For example, you could create an action that disables GPS and Bluetooth and enables Wi-Fi. When you get home, just tap this button so your phone saves battery on the services it might not need.

Third-party plugins are responsible for helping Tasker learn a lot of new skills since it first came out. While you can do some cool things with the basic Tasker app, it’s hard to deny that adding voice commands or Cortana support is pretty awesome. You can find more plugins on the developer’s web site here.

For its part, IFTTT doesn’t have plugins, but it connects to other supported online services. This means that you can change your phone’s wallpaper by posting to Instagram, or turn on your home’s smart lights when you get home. You can check out IFTTT’s massive list of channels here. We couldn’t possibly highlight everything you could do with these, but there are a few that are particularly useful:

  • Amazon Alexa Channel: If you have an Amazon Echo, this channel triggers actions on your Android device remotely using Alexa. You can use this to unmute and find your phone if you lost it (though as we stated earlier, you might need two separate recipes to do this). You could also use create a command to turn your phone’s GPS on, so you can ask Alexa to do it before you leave for work instead of fiddling with your settings in the driveway.
  • Connected Home: IFTTT has an impressive collection of connected home channels. If you have WeMo, D-Link, Harmony, or Nest smart home gadgets, you can connect them to IFTTT easily, and with the Android channels, you can use your phone to turn your lights on when you get home or change the thermostat when you leave.
  • Pushbullet: Pushbullet is an awesome service that allows you to “push” messages and files from one device to another. You can already use it to bridge the gap between your phone, laptop, and tablet. With the IFTTT Pushbullet channel, you can do even more, like get notifications on your computer if you miss a phone call or if your phone’s battery gets low.

These are just a few examples, but you can see how channels that aren’t directly related to Android can still be useful.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-pus…

Tasker and IFTTT Are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Good Alone, but Better Together

So, after all of that, which one is better? Well, neither one! Tasker is perfect for making creative, complex actions, and IFTTT serves as a simple glue between your phone and various other services. When you use each one for what they’re best at, you can do some pretty amazing things.

For example, you can use Tasker to create a custom voice command that will send a text message to IFTTT, which will then turn on your WeMo light switch. You can use Tasker alone to do this, but it’s more complicated. By using both services together, you can do even more awesome things with your phone, with even less effort.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Wouldn’t it be cool if your phone knew to enter airplane mode when you go to the theater, or text your spouse when you leave work? IFTTT and Tasker can automate countless tasks like these to turn your phone into an attentive personal assistant. Today, we’re putting them both in the ring to see which one’s better at simplifying your life.

The Contenders

One of Android’s greatest benefits is how much you can customize it to your liking. That doesn’t just mean you can change your font or use a different app launcher. That stuff is child’s play. Automation apps can do everything from switching off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth when your battery gets low to turning your phone into a voice-controlled remote for your living room. Today, we’re looking at two of the most powerful automation tool on Android:

  • IFTTT: IFTTT is a web service that connects the other services you use every day like Evernote, Gmail, or Dropbox with simple instructions called “recipes.” A recipe consists of a trigger, like receiving an attachment in Gmail, and an action, like saving that attachment to Dropbox. Each service has its own channel of triggers and actions. The IF app for Android adds several channels specific to your phone that let you trigger actions based on where you are, when you receive a phone call, or your phone’s battery level. You can then perform actions like changing your system’s settings, sending texts, or even setting a new wallpaper. For example, you can tell IFTTT to automatically update your wallpaper with NASA’s newest image of the day. IFTTT isn’t limited to Android, which means it’s easy to connect your phone to the rest of your digital life.
  • Tasker: Tasker is a rules-based automation app for Android. With it, you can create “profiles” based on things like what application is running, what day it is, or where you are. Tasker then watches your phone to see when those conditions are met. Once they are, it can triggers “tasks” to do things like send texts, change settings on your phone, or play music. For example, you can tell Tasker to turn on airplane mode whenever you’re at the GPS location of your favorite movie theater. Third-party plugins like AutoVoice allow you to extend what you can do with Tasker even more.

The examples we’ve given just scratch the surface of what these two services can do. If you’re not sure where to start, you can check out our readers’ favorite Tasker actions here. IFTTT also has a huge library of recipes you can browse if you’re not sure how to make your own. You can build on the work that many intrepid tweakers have already done to make your phone do some pretty amazing things.

http://lifehacker.com/5599116/how-to…

IFTTT Is Easier to Use But Limiting, While Tasker Is Powerful With a Steep Learning Curve

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

If we were to compare Tasker and IFTTT on ease of use alone, IFTTT would win with no contest. IFTTT’s recipes are built around a simple, familiar programming phrase: if this then that. If your phone leaves the house, turn off Wi-Fi. If Google Calendar says you’re in a meeting, mute your phone. This simplicity, combined with a gorgeous and accessible app design, makes it easy for just about anyone to automate simple tasks.

On top of this, IFTTT already has a huge library of published recipes from existing users. You can browse the library here, select a recipe you like, and click Add. Boom, you’re done. The most you have to do is install the IF app for Android and connect your various services to IFTTT. It couldn’t be simpler, even for beginners.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker

Tasker is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Tasker’s interface is far more complex and the app comes with only the most basic tutorials. We have our own guide here that can help you get started. You’ll also need Tasker’s official wiki to understand many of the features in the app. There are also Tasker-focused user communities can provide templates for how to automate certain actions, and you’ve shared some of your favorite actions too,but if you can’t find an existing action for the thing you want to accomplish, you’re on your own. Unfortunately, being on your own involves a lot of trial and error, research, and troubleshooting. While you don’t necessarily need to be a coder to use Tasker, it will help to at least understand the logic of how automating simple tasks works. Which is more than IFTTT asks of its users.

Once you get over Tasker’s learning curve, though, your reward for climbing that hill is totally worth it. With Tasker, you can do nearly anything with your phone. For example, this person set up voice commands with Tasker to control his lights, TV, and home theater PC. Another built this makeshift one-handed mode for giant phones. You can use Tasker and a few plugins to make custom voice commands for anything Tasker can do. Most of these aren’t the kind of thing you could set up in five minutes, but Tasker is only limited by how much time you’re willing to put into it.

Android Automation Showdown: IFTTT vs. Tasker
Your average user probably has no idea what half of these Tasker options mean.

IFTTT, on the other hand, doesn’t give you nearly as much flexibility. You only have a small set of Android actions and triggers to choose from. For example, you can change your phone’s wallpaper, play music on your phone or from your favorite apps, and modify other system settings like volume, Wi-Fi, and more. Unfortunately, you can’t do more complicated things that Tasker is capable of, like create your own voice commands. In fact, you can’t even create IFTTT recipes with multiple triggers or actions. For example, say you wanted to create an action to find your lost phone by texting it, even if it’s muted. You can create one recipe to unmute your phone, and you can create a separate recipe to play a notification sound, but you can’t trigger both actions in the same recipe. This can get complicated if you want to perform two actions from the same trigger, since you can’t determine what order recipes are executed in.

Fortunately, you don’t have to use just one or the other (and we’ll come back to that), but for those who like tweaking their setup, Tasker is going to offer a lot more direct control. IFTTT is perfect for beginners or users who only want to do simple tasks.

http://lifehacker.com/5930652/unleas…

Tasker Plugins Give It New Powers, While IFTTT Can Connect to All Your Favorite Services

Tasker and IFTTT are both highly extensible, but in very different ways. Tasker supports third-party plugins, which add new functionality, while IFTTT connects to third-party online services to extend its features. Let’s start with Tasker. Here are a few of our favorite, most useful Tasker plugins:

  • AutoVoice: This plugin allows you to create custom voice commands to trigger Tasker actions. For example, in the home automation setup we mentioned earlier, one Tasker user used AutoVoice to create a voice command for “I’m home” that turns on all the lights in his house. It even integrates with Google Now so you can seamlessly use your own commands the same way you use Ok, Google.
  • AutoRemote: This plugin, when paired with AutoVoice, allows you to run your custom voice commands with Cortana in Windows 10. So, you could run that “I’m home” command from the last example while sitting at your desk, instead of having to pull out your phone. AutoRemote will simply forward the command to your handset, and Tasker will take it from there.
  • AutoNotification: With this plugin, you can create persistent notifications on your phone. Here, you can add buttons to manually trigger Tasker actions. For example, you could create an action that disables GPS and Bluetooth and enables Wi-Fi. When you get home, just tap this button so your phone saves battery on the services it might not need.

Third-party plugins are responsible for helping Tasker learn a lot of new skills since it first came out. While you can do some cool things with the basic Tasker app, it’s hard to deny that adding voice commands or Cortana support is pretty awesome. You can find more plugins on the developer’s web site here.

For its part, IFTTT doesn’t have plugins, but it connects to other supported online services. This means that you can change your phone’s wallpaper by posting to Instagram, or turn on your home’s smart lights when you get home. You can check out IFTTT’s massive list of channels here. We couldn’t possibly highlight everything you could do with these, but there are a few that are particularly useful:

  • Amazon Alexa Channel: If you have an Amazon Echo, this channel triggers actions on your Android device remotely using Alexa. You can use this to unmute and find your phone if you lost it (though as we stated earlier, you might need two separate recipes to do this). You could also use create a command to turn your phone’s GPS on, so you can ask Alexa to do it before you leave for work instead of fiddling with your settings in the driveway.
  • Connected Home: IFTTT has an impressive collection of connected home channels. If you have WeMo, D-Link, Harmony, or Nest smart home gadgets, you can connect them to IFTTT easily, and with the Android channels, you can use your phone to turn your lights on when you get home or change the thermostat when you leave.
  • Pushbullet: Pushbullet is an awesome service that allows you to “push” messages and files from one device to another. You can already use it to bridge the gap between your phone, laptop, and tablet. With the IFTTT Pushbullet channel, you can do even more, like get notifications on your computer if you miss a phone call or if your phone’s battery gets low.

These are just a few examples, but you can see how channels that aren’t directly related to Android can still be useful.

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-use-pus…

Tasker and IFTTT Are Like Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Good Alone, but Better Together

So, after all of that, which one is better? Well, neither one! Tasker is perfect for making creative, complex actions, and IFTTT serves as a simple glue between your phone and various other services. When you use each one for what they’re best at, you can do some pretty amazing things.

For example, you can use Tasker to create a custom voice command that will send a text message to IFTTT, which will then turn on your WeMo light switch. You can use Tasker alone to do this, but it’s more complicated. By using both services together, you can do even more awesome things with your phone, with even less effort.

Google’s OnHub Router Adds Support for IFTTT

Google’s OnHub router is a pricey, but it’s still a handy smart router. It’s getting even smarter with integration with the automation service, If This Then That.

http://lifehacker.com/google-release…

Like any other service, the OnHub hooks into IFTTT through channels. The options are a little limited right now. The OnHub recipe options are mostly useful for hooking into connected devices like Wi-Fi lights or cameras, so you can automate things when you connect or disconnect from your router. Still, it’s a handy addition for OnHub users and worth exploring some of the recipes to see what you can come up with.

OnHub Keeps Getting Better – Now Supports IFTTT | OnHub via Android Police

The Seven Best Things You Can Do With an Amazon Echo

The Seven Best Things You Can Do With an Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo offers our first serious glimpse into the future of an intelligent home. It’s not perfect, but whether you’re you’re thinking of getting an Echo, hear people talking about “Alexa,” or not sure what the one you have is capable of, here are some of the best things you can do with it.

When the Amazon first released the echo with this ridiculous ad, I had a very hard time taking it seriously. It seemed like a silly niche product in an already overcrowded market of Bluetooth speakers. After I got my hands on one though, I started to play with all the ways it integrates with other devices. Soon after, I came to love it. In this post we’ll take a look at some truly awesome things the Echo can do, but also how to do them well.

Play Virtually Any Song Just By Asking

The Echo is a speaker. It plays music. You get that. But it does so in so many wonderful ways that we need to talk about it. When the Echo launched, you could only play music from your smartphone, like any other Bluetooth speaker, by requesting music available via Amazon Prime Music, or asking for songs you’ve uploaded to Amazon Cloud Drive yourself. Amazon’s library is big enough that you can ask for a song and get it in most cases, but you can also request playlists or play by artist. The Echo can sometimes offer a playlist for your mood, or for a specific holiday. If you want to know what I’m talking about, try some of these commands:

  • Alexa, play some Christmas music.
  • Alexa, play some meditation tracks.
  • Alexa, play some Adele.
  • Alexa, play playlist _________. (Fill in the blank with the name of a playlist you created in your Amazon Music/Amazon Cloud Player account and the Echo will get things started.)

Those were the early days, but now you can use Spotify, too. If you pay for Spotify Unlimited and want to access everything it has to offer through the echo, you only need to ask (after you link up your account, of course):

  • Alexa, play Tony’s Got Hot Nuts from Spotify.
  • Alexa, play songs by L’il Johnson from Spotify.

You can also ask for playlists, genres, and even composers so long as you end your commands with from Spotify. You can find a full list of commands here if you’d like to explore.

Find New Features

Isn’t it nice to know when you get feature upgrades? Normally you have to subscribe to an email list and then actually read the email that tells you about the new features, or just look them up online when you remember. With the Echo, you can just ask:

Alexa, what new features do you have?

Whenever Amazon adds something new, they program an explanation into Alexa and she’ll give you all the details by just asking that question.

Build and Control a Smart Home, Even If You Rent

The Echo integrates with a variety of home automation hubs, such as Wink, Insteon, and SmartThings. You can also hook up other smart devices like Philips Hue Lights, Belkin WeMo, Sensi, Ecobee, and more (thanks to some of the previously-mentioned hubs, and you can find Amazon’s up-to-date list here). I always thought a voice-controlled smart home was out of reach because I rent and don’t have a lot of money, but the Echo changed that. Now I can control my lights, the temperature of the apartment, and even turn on my video recording setup with a simple command. This is, by far, my favorite service the Echo provides.

Voice commands differ somewhat based on the devices you use and what you name them in the Alexa app (or online, if you’re sneaky). I can’t give every example, but I can offer a few I like to give you an idea:

  • Alexa, turn the bedroom lights on. (I have a set of Philips Hue lights that are specified as the bedroom lights for Alexa, so she knows which ones to access when I refer to them as such.)
  • Alexa, turn the bedroom lights to 50%. (Want less light in a room? Just specify a percentage!)
  • Alexa, turn the heat up to 72. (If you have a connected thermostat like the Nest or Ecobee 3, you can set it up to respond to a command like this.)
  • Alexa, turn video mode on. (When I want to record a video, this command triggers a couple of Belkin WeMo smart switches in my home that I named “video mode” in the Alex app. This turns the camera on and lights the room for recording.)

You can do much, much more with your home automation devices with integration hubs. I have a Wink hub that I haven’t even got around to setting up yet that will open up far more home automation possibilities for me. That used to be the only option, but if you have any hub it probably works with the Echo these days. Just add your devices in the Alexa app and play around with the all the fun possibilities.

Get the Weather (and Other Useful Information)

You can find the weather in all sorts of places. The same goes for the time. But have you ever been putting on your underwear and wondered what time it was, halfway through, and then fell over trying to get to your phone because you’re a moron who can’t finish putting on his clothes first? Probably not, unless you’re me, but I bet you can think of a time where you wanted to know basic information a glance could provide you if you were only your phone, computer, or whatever device you prefer were in reach. It’s simple and lazy, but incredibly convenient. Try these commands:

  • Alexa, what’s the weather? (She’ll tell you in far more detail than you want, but you’ll get the highs and lows and chance of rain so don’t worry. If you want to know the weather somewhere you aren’t just add “in New York City” or wherever you please.)
  • Alexa, what time is it? (She’ll tell you! Again, you can ask for the time in a specific location as well. I find this super helpful when scheduling phone meetings and interviews with folks in other time zones.)
  • Alexa, what’s my commute? (If you input your home and work address, she’ll tell you what traffic is like and about how long it’ll take. This feature is pretty terrible because you only can specify one route at the moment, but it’s still good to know.)

You can also set up news briefings and other information in the Alexa app so you can ask her a lot more.

Listen to a Book or Article

Unsurprisingly, the Echo integrates with another Amazon company: Audible. If you have audiobooks from Audible, you can listen to them on the Echo with simple voice commands and sync your place. You can even set up a sleep timer so you can fall asleep to a good listen. Let’s try it:

  • Alexa, play audiobook Animal Farm. (If you have a copy of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in your library, it’ll play. Swap for any book you have in your library.)
  • Alexa, resume my book. (Whatever book you were last listening to—probably Animal Farm—Alexa will resume it for you with this command.)
  • Alexa, go back. Alexa, go forward. (If you want to go forward or back in the book by 30 seconds, these commands will do that for you.)
  • Alexa, stop reading the book in 30 minutes. (This will set a sleep timer and the book will stop after 30 minutes, or whatever amount of time you specify.)

You can find more fun Audible commands here, but that’s not all you can do with books. Amazon also offers several Kindle books that don’t have audio companions but you can hear through voice synthesis.

  • Alexa, read Dump Dinners: The Absolute Best Dump Dinners Cookbook with 75 Amazingly Easy Recipes. (Yes, if you own this Kindle book, Alexa will read it to you.)
  • Alexa, pause. (You should know this command when listening to a cookbook called Dump Dinners. It’ll stop her from reading it.)

Alexa can also read Wikipedia articles. These commands should suffice:

  • Alexa, wikipedia Lifehacker. (You can also say wiki if you prefer, but I find the full name less cumbersome to speak aloud. Either option will give you a short description of whatever topic you asked for.)
  • Alexa, read more from Wikipedia. (She’ll tell you to say this if you want to know more about a topic you requested, but I’m telling you in advance.)

No more reading for you! Alexa can replace your parents and you can time travel back to your childhood days when your mother read you cookbooks and Wikipedia articles before bed.

Use Alexa as a Kitchen Assistant

When the Echo was first announced, pundits joked about how Alexa will make for a great kitchen assistant, but nothing else. Well, she certainly does lots of other things, but she still does a great job helping you out with food preparation. She can convert measurements and units for you, and she can set timers so you don’t burn the food you measured properly:

  • Alexa, how many cups are in a quart?
  • Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a stick of butter?
  • Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes.

If all of that’s not enough, don’t forget that she can read Dump Dinners: The Absolute Best Dump Dinners Cookbook with 75 Amazingly Easy Recipes to you anytime you want! If you don’t have time and practically no energy to cook and read, just let Alexa tell you how to dump your dinner in a pan and make magic happen. It’ll be like you didn’t even cook.

Do Practically Anything Else with IFTTT

The Echo also connects to IFTTT. You can automate anything with it, and it can even save you money. Just for an idea of its possibilities, check out our IFTTT tag page. The Echo always kind of worked with it, but it’s gotten a lot better in recent weeks. You can now trigger entire recipes with a simple voice command (after setting things up, of course):

  • Alexa, trigger “party time.” (This command triggers a popular, more complex Philip Hue Light recipe called Party Time. You can view it here and see why this method offers more options than the direct Philips Hue integration from Amazon.)
  • Alexa, send me my shopping list. (You can ask Alexa to add an item to your shopping list by saying Alexa, add batteries to my shopping list. It’s then available through the speaker or in the Alexa app, but this recipe can automatically email the contents of that list to you to make this feature actually useful. You can do this with your to-do list as well!)

Not everything requires a voice command. You can also have IFTTT log the songs you listen to in a spreadsheet for easy playlist-making later. If you know IFTTT, you know the possibilities come close to endless, and you don’t have to use any of these pre-written recipes—or you can customize your own. Then tell Alexa to trigger them and be amazed.


​Manything Turns An iPhone into a Security Camera with IFTTT Recipes


iOS: There are lots of ways to turn your old iPhone into a basic security camera, but free app Manything includes IFTTT recipes so you can do a ton of stuff once it detects motion.

Like other apps, Manything lets you stream the camera’s feed to another iOS device on the web. With ther Manything IFTTT recipes, you can set triggers based on motion, location or time. They have a list of examples, such as recording when you leave the house or sending you a clip every time the device detects motion Those triggers connect them with other IFTTT supported devices like a Nest, WeMo and Phillips Hue. When you come home the lights turn on or when the Nest senses you are away, Manything starts recording.

Manything | via iDownloadThis

Manything | iTunes App Store

How to Use Pushbullet to Get Notified of Anything on Any Device

How to Use Pushbullet to Get Notified of Anything on Any Device

Pushbullet recently updated with IFTTT support, following Tasker integration last month. That’s a lot of our favorite words together in a single sentence. Naturally, it’s a good time to take a look at some of the best uses for Pushbullet.

What You Get Out of the Box

How to Use Pushbullet to Get Notified of Anything on Any Device

In case you haven’t heard of Pushbullet (it’s still relatively new, so it’s hard to blame you), there’s a ton of functionality you get right out of the box, so it’s worth taking a look at that. To get started, there are a few downloads you can install, depending on where you want to get or send notifications from:

Pushbullet also utilizes Chrome’s rich notification system to show you notifications that have been mirrored from your device (more on that later) or sent from the Pushbullet app to your browser. Firefox has a similar toast notification function, though it’s slightly less robust (for example, Chrome allows you to dismiss a notification on your phone from the desktop, while Firefox does not).

From any of these apps or extensions, you can send something to any of the others. Here’s some of the functionality that’s built right in to Pushbullet:

Send links between devices: In a way, Pushbullet is what Chrome to Phone was intended to be (before it was abandoned in favor of Chrome tab sync). From your desktop, using the Chrome or Firefox extension, you can send a link to your phone or tablet with the click of a button.

Copy files to other devices: Pushbullet can copy files from one device to another, including pictures, videos, music files, PDFs, APKs, and just about anything else that you can copy. While Dropbox is a pretty good solution for some file movement, being able to push a file directly from one device to another without a middleman can be useful.

Open an address in your maps app: One of the sucky things about Chrome to Phone getting abandoned is that moving a Maps location from your desktop to your phone is a little harder. If you’re in Maps on the desktop, you can send a link from where you’re at. You can also send an address without opening up Maps at all with the address function. Both options open directly in the Maps app on Android. iOS requires you to open the address in the Pushbullet app first, but then it will jump to your maps application.

Put a to-do list in your notification shade: Sometimes you need a to-do list to be in your face and you need it immediately. You can create a checklist from the Pushbullet extension and push it directly to your phone or tablet. Or vice versa.

Receive and Dismiss Notifications on Your Phone or Tablet from Desktop

How to Use Pushbullet to Get Notified of Anything on Any Device

One of the neatest features of Pushbullet on Android is that it can mirror your notifications on your desktop. You can do this en masse or on a per app basis. The app accomplishes this by using the notification listening service (which is why it doesn’t work on iOS, unfortunately). Enable notification mirroring on your Android phone or tablet and then install the Pushbullet extension on Chrome or Firefox. From then on, any notification you get will show up on your desktop. You can even dismiss them from your phone, which makes it particularly handy for managing all the notifications that build up during the day.

Of course, all of this functionality is built right in. You didn’t come here for the stuff you already knew you could do, did you? Let’s get to the fun stuff.

Create Pushbullet Recipes with IFTTT

How to Use Pushbullet to Get Notified of Anything on Any Device

The newly minted IFTTT channel for Pushbullet has already been populated with dozens of recipes that allow the service to send notifications directly to your phone, tablet, or PC when certain criteria are met. You can browse the entire channel here.

This section actually has a bit of overlap with a similar service, Pushover, which we’ve covered before . While both services can send notifications to your device via IFTTT, Pushbullet excels by making it easier to send thing between devices manually, as well as having Tasker integration which we’ll get to next. If you’re more inclined to write your own code, however, Pushover might be worth your attention.

Get Notified of Stock Prices

The stock channel on IFTTT allows you to find out if a particular stock has dropped or risen by more than a set percent, or simply to check in at the end of the trading day. Data for stock trading is provided by Yahoo! Finance.

Find Out When a Package Changes Status

If you’re like me, then any time you’re expecting a package, you’re constantly refreshing Fedex’s website like a mad man, anyway. Instead, you can have IFTTT send a notification directly to your phone any time your package changes status. For now, it seems the shipping channel can’t filter out any status except "delivered" (which is the only one we care about), but it’s still helpful.

Push a Voice Message to Other Devices

IFTTT allows you to call in to a dedicated number and leave a voice message for yourself (or others!). With the Pushbullet channel, you can send that voice message directly to your tablet or desktop. The notification will include an audio file of the recording that you can download to any of your devices.

Find Out When the Weather is Crappy

Okay, you probably have somewhere in the area of hundreds of apps on your phone that can retrieve the weather. However, Pushbullet and IFTTT can send weather alerts directly to your phone or desktop. You can get a daily reminder of tomorrow’s forecast, receive a notification if it’s going to rain tomorrow, or just get today’s weather report every morning.

Get Notified When Google Services Go Down

For some of us, we find out that Google services go down because our Twitter feeds won’t shut up about it. If you’re not quite that addicted to information overload, you can find out when a service is having a problem (or when it comes back) with the Google app status RSS feed. To make it even easier, you can have IFTTT send Pushbullet a notification every time the app status feed updates.

Use Pushbullet and Tasker Together

IFTTT isn’t the only automation service that’s gotten the Pushbullet treatment. About a month back, Tasker got Pushbullet support, which means that you can trigger notifications based on any profile your phone can run. Moreover, those notifications can go to any device. This means that Pushbullet notifications are about as flexible as Tasker itself, but here are a few examples of things you can do with Tasker:

Unfortunately, Tasker’s ability to execute commands when it receives a Pushbullet notification seem to be broken right now, however if this is ever fixed, you would also be able to execute Tasker actions remotely by sending notifications with a specific name attached.

Pushbullet may seem like just a notification service, but with IFTTT and Tasker support, as well as extensions for two of our favorite desktop browsers, it packs a serious punch. The Pushbullet recipe page has been steadily growing since launch (more than 20 new recipes have shown up just while writing this article), so be sure to check them out.

OneNote Releases Mac Client, Web Clipper, IFTTT Support, and More

Windows/Mac/Web: Today, OneNote got a metric ton of new features that make it an even better. For starters, there’s a brand new Mac client, finally rounding out cross-platform support which already includes Android, iOS, and of course Windows, which is now free.

Additionally, OneNote now has a web clipper bookmarklet that works in Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari. Just click the button in your bookmarks bar and whatever you were viewing will be clipped to your notebooks. The clipper is available due to OneNote’s new cloud APIs which also allows IFTTT support (something we always welcome ). There are a ton more new features, so check out the blog post below for the full run down.

OneNote | Mac App Store via Microsoft Office Blog

Automatically Create DayOne Journal Entries from Any IFTTT Recipe

Automatically Create DayOne Journal Entries from Any IFTTT Recipe

Mac: DayOne is one of the best journaling apps for both iOS and the Mac , but it doesn’t integrate with other services to allow you to create any kind of automatically updated journal. So, the blog Poor Signal came up with a way to automatically create a new DayOne entry for various IFTTT recipes using Dropbox and Hazel.

In this case, Poor Signal wanted to automatically create DayOne journal entries from things like photos taken, places visited, news snippets, and weather forecasts (but just about any IFTTT trigger should work here). To accomplish this, they used Hazel to scan the DayOne Dropbox folder and create journal entries. So, you just need to point your IFTTT recipes to a Dropbox folder and let Hazel do its magic. For instance, you could set up an Instagram recipe that automatically sends a photo to the Dropbox folder, then Hazel picks it up and creates a DayOne entry. It sounds complicated, but it’s pretty easy to set up. Head over to Poor Signal for the guide.

Creating DayOne entries from IFTTT recipes using DropBox and Hazel | Poor Signal

The Best Uses for IFTTT's Feed Channel

The Best Uses for IFTTT's Feed Channel

Webapp automation service If This Then That lets you pull information from one service (a channel, in IFTTT parlance) and plug it into another service. The Feed channel (for RSS and ATOM web feeds) has been around long enough to gain thousands of recipes, so it’s no surprise you can do some pretty cool stuff. We rounded up some of the best.

We’d also like to hear from you. If you’ve got interesting things you’re doing with IFTTT’s Feed channel, let us know below. Just tell us what recipe does and be sure to drop in a link.