IFTTT issues/feedback

(Brock Jones) #1

I think that IFTTT support for SmartThings is a great idea with some real potential, but in the small amount of time I’ve played with IFTTT integration, I’ve run into enough bugs and strange implementation decisions that it’s really not usable.

Overall, the actions are more or less fine - although there can be a significant amount of lag between event generation and the action actually taking place. Most of the time that’s not an issue.

The triggers, however, seem to have a lot of problems. For starters, they’re not very reliable. As a test, I set up an IFTTT recipe to log door open/close events to a Google spreadsheet. Quickly I realized that open/close events were frequently getting missed entirely. When they aren’t missed, they are often written into the spreadsheet in a mystifying order not representative at all of the order that things happened in (e.g, if I open and close a door 3 times in 3 minutes, I’ll frequently see 3 open events in a row followed by 2 close events – a strange order and a missing close event). Occasionally I’ll even get duplicate events. The events include a timestamp that might be able to help me sort some of this out, but it’s reported in a custom string format that can’t be used to sort and needs special parsing (e.g., “April 03, 2014 at 09:55AM” - which doesn’t match the IFTTT documentation, BTW). Additionally, the timestamp only has minute-wide resolution and doesn’t include a timezone/offset (desperately needed if you have locations in different timezones).

I would much prefer to see a timestamp (or at least an alternate timestamp) with second-wide resolution in a standard /easily parsed format like “2014-04-03T13:30:07-0700” (i.e., a Java format string of “yyyy’-‘MM’-‘dd’T’HH’:‘mm’:'ss Z”). A string like that sorts properly without formatting and can easily be parsed into anything else you might want.

I suspect, however, that even with a better timestamp there are fundamental problems with the way these events are sent to IFTTT that would make things difficult to use, given the frequent missed events and out-of-order delivery.

As it stands, the IFTTT integration is at best a toy. The unreliability means that you would never want it to be responsible for anything even remotely important.

(Beeker) #2


I agree. A have played with it for a couple of hours and been happy, followed by frustrated. Certain event types work well, others (temperature on the Aeon) not at all. The method of setting up IFTTT recipes is the direction that the Smartthings project should be going. The pre-built recipes will never keep up to the needs of the users.

(Jon Allsebrook) #3

Biggest issue for me with IFTTT is its polling time which on average is 15minutes… For example setting the ESPN channel to flash a Hue Bulb when a team scores is great but not when its 15 minutes after the fact!

(esung) #4

I want IFTTT to be IF TTTT… Then TTTTT…, with and/or between Ts, so that I can mix and match multiple triggers and conditions with multiple actions. It’s fun and useful but too limiting now. (Probably still good for teaching kids basic programming concept of if-then logic? :wink:

(Arik) #5

Would be happy to see IFTTT also handling modes and Hello Home Actions.

(Mark Hochstein) #6

I’ve been trying to log temperatures and humidity from a temp/humidity sensor. So, I set up an IFTTT recipe to write the temperature to a spreadsheet in Google Drive.
The sensor reports the temperature and humidity every 14 minutes like clockwork. The IFTTT recipe worked just fine, but it only fired three times and even then at irregular intervals-like every 6ish hours. I use IFTTT for other things md it normally works very quickly and reliably. So, what’s the deal with SmartThings? Why is it so unreliable?

(Geko) #7

If you need reliable data logging, I’d recommend using Xively, Groove Streams, Things Speak or any other of many IoT cloud platforms. There’re community-developed apps and examples on these forums. Just my 2c.