If you’d asked me a couple of weeks ago whether Apple would add greater support for IFTTT to some of their apps and services, I’d have said it was almost a certain no (the almost would have been to save your feelings from getting hurt by laughing in your face). Yet here we are and Apple has indeed added IFTTT support to calendars and the app store. Let’s check it out.
A brief history of IFTTT
I’ve been a long time user of IFTTT for lots of little things. Sometimes services like keeping my Twitter and Facebook profile pictures in sync (hardly essential but very helpful), or testing emailing myself a breakdown of my weekly completed tasks (turns out I hate email too much for that to be very useful) and more recently some fun with Hue smart lights.
IFTTT is a service which ties two different internet based services together. For example, you can get a notification every morning with the weather forecast, or saving your instagram images to a folder on dropbox. It’s been around for a while and can be very useful for saving time and good fun as well. But Apple had never supported it until now.
Apple Calendar and the App store are two very internet based services (as you can share and publish your calendar using iCal) but this is a signifiant step of Apple lowing the wall around their security and products a bit for the sake of automation. This is especially pertinent in the recent days after the Workflow acquisition.
Workflow was a similar service but more complex that ran on iOS device and could run tasks both locally and server side to do even more complex actions (via conditional statements, menus and so on). The fact that Apple have now also opened up to a similar service suggests that they see potential in this direction.
Useful Ideas with IFTTT’s new Apple Applets
Get a notification when a specific apps price drops
If there’s a premium app that you’ve had your eye on but just can’t justify the price, try this. Set up IFTTT to give you a notification when the price drops.
Track your work hours in your calendar
I’ve been using this for a while and it’s very interesting to see exactly when I get to work and leave. Of course, if you charge by the hour, this might be even more useful, but there is a practical application for us all. Often, it turns out that what we think, isn’t always true.
Mark when you complete tasks on your calendar
Another interesting productivity trick is to mark when you complete your tasks on your calendar. That way you can start to measure when you are most productive and what sort of things you prefer to do at certain times. You can also see if you are more productivity on certain days, or just after eating etc.
This one depends on your task management app.
What do you think about these new Applets?
Would you like to see apple open up more? What services would you like to see next?