Any use for IFTTT?


(Mike T) #1

When I saw the announcement about the ability to use IFTTT I thought it would be something quite useful, but now I’m wondering if it adds much. Have I missed some way to set up anything but the simplest trigger? Is there any way to add clauses so its “if this AND that”? Otherwise what is the point?

For example one of the recipes is called "E-Mail me when there is unexpected motion! " but it will send an email anytime there is motion. I don’t see a way to add a clause that puts any dependency on the mode being Away. So if I set up this recipe while I’m at home I’m going to get a flood of emails as I move around.


(Donavon) #2

That’s one of my biggest gripes with the IFTTT service. I don’t think it is really a limitation of SmartThings’ integration with IFTTT, but a limitation of the IFTTT service.

Personally, I would like to see IFTTT offer some enhanced services for a nominal fee. That way they get some cash infusion from users so that their service stays around (I’m a fan of paying for use because every company needs money to run…it doesn’t grow on trees!). One of those enhancements would be something like IF THIS AND THIS THEN THAT. I could use that additional ‘this’ for a lot of other IFTTT integrations as well, not just SmartThings. I want my lights to turn on immediately at dusk, for example, but only when all of our presence tags are connected to the hub. You can’t do that with IFTTT.


(Dura4570) #3

Yeah, IFTTT is limited but useful, see this thread from Chrisb:

I have used it in conjunction with Android Tasker and Pebble Tasker with great success.


(Dura4570) #4

http://build.smartthings.com/forums/topic/use-pebble-android-to-control-smartthings-in-a-round-about-way/


(Rick Bullotta) #5

In my experience, IFTTT is pretty much just a toy. It makes simple things possible, but falls apart the moment you try to do anything even slightly sophisticated. The lack of extensibility and openness is also a major failing of IFTTT, forcing lots of ugly hacks to do useful things.


(Chrisb) #6

I can think of a handful of uses for IFTTT, but as @rickbullotta said, it’s mostly “toy” ideas rather than tools. Like flashing your lights when a your receive a Facebook update, or turning on a light from your pebblewatch.

It does provide a bridge to some things like Phillips Hue, but I have to wonder how quickly it would respond. I can envision a situation where I put Hue lights in my den accent light fixtures, then put a “dumby” z-wave switch somewhere. Then when I flip the dumby switch it signals to IFTTT to turn on the Hue Lights. But now we’re talking about a long command path: Switch->Hub->SmartThings Cloud->IFTTT->Hue Bridge->Hue Lights. And you still can’t control the… uh, hue (lower case h) of the lights with the switch, so is this really that much of a solution?

I like that there is an IFTTT channel, and I think it would improve when/if we get the ability to call apps from IFTTT or have apps send commands to IFTTT. I like that I have the option to play around with some crazy stuff (Like Use pebble tasker to tell tasker to send an SMS to IFTTT which tells SmartThings to turn on a light), but it still more toy than tool.


(Donavon) #7

^ Actually, IFTTT is very responsive in my experience. Not for everything mind you, but SmartThings with IFTTT uses a ‘Quick Trigger’ to process as soon as it receives data (https://ifttt.com/wtf#polling).

I have a motion sensor by my front door that sends me a priority Pushover notification to my phone and it works within (literally) a couple of seconds after sending motion. I do that via IFTTT.

Even so, as everyone has noted, there are significant limitations to the IFTTT integration. I can’t even blink my lamp on and off with IFTTT because you can only turn it on or off, not perform any other action on the device. It IS extremely nice to have a Google spreadsheet of my departures and arrivals from my home and workplace. Stuff like that is what makes IFTTT shine and goes beyond it just being a novelty service. Automatically logging when I arrive/leave work lets me keep a pretty darn accurate record of when I began and ended my day.


(Longhorn84) #8

One thing I have just started to use is the “open garage at a specified time of the day and week”. One of my clients wanted his gate to open on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8am for the yard guy or something but the app doesn’t let me do that. IFTTT works great in that regard. However, it would be nice to have, like mentioned above, an “If it’s Wednesday at 7am AND the gate is not open, hit the switch”


(Marc) #9

I have found that everything I need to do in SmartThings can be done natively in the app itself. The only thing IFTTT helps me with is snow or rain and turning outdoor Wemo lights on. Haven’t figured out a way to do this in SmartThings without purchasing Netamo.

Anytime I tried to use IFTTT, I either run into it’s limitation to only use one logic operator or a 2-3 second delay, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you are waiting for motion lights to kick in, you notice. Eventually IFTTT will have to give users flexibility with their recipes. Still a useful service that I use to text my wife when I am leaving work.


(Editandrew) #10

https://autom8ing.com
Still W.I.P, donations help (my service)