If you’ve never heard of IFTTT, then you’re probably not that much into automation. I’ve heard of IFTTT, but I never could quite find a rhythm with using it. There are certainly some neat things you can do with it, but an obvious need never popped out at me. The makers of IFTTT must see this as a common barrier to entry for their service and apps because they recently introduced a few standalone apps that each specialize in one particular task that can be tied into IFTTT’s automation services. The aptly named apps are Do Camera, Do Note, and the more ambiguously named Do Button.
Do Camera is pretty straightforward. The app provides you with an interface for taking a picture and then doing something1 with the picture. You can select between one of three pre-selected recipes2 that you can swipe between using the app. Some examples include taking a picture and emailing it to a preset email address, posting the picture to a service like Evernote or social network like Facebook, or even configuring Philips hue lighting system to match the color of the photo.
Do Note is for text notes/input as Do Camera is for pictures. You can use Do Note to add appointments to your calendar, quickly type out a status update or a tweet, or save a quick note to your favorite note-taking app/service. Again, you have the option of preselecting three quick actions to swipe through. Type your note, choose an action and Do Note takes care of the rest.
While all of the Do apps are fairly open-ended, Do Button is the app for automating repetetive tasks that don’t require any input other than “go”. You can connect Do Button to IoT3 products like Nest, WeMo, or hue to set the thermostat to a certain temperature, turn on the coffee maker or turn out the lights. You could setup a pre-drafted email with a message notifying a roommate or spouse that you’re on your way.
Obviously, the more IoT or social networking services you use, the more uses you can get from a service like IFTTT and its specialty apps. The three ‘Do’ apps are great starter apps to help introduce you to the idea of automating your life and could serve as a gateway into more custom automations that you can setup through IFTTT’s rebranded IF app.