Talking tech since 2003

IFTTT, which stands for “If This, Then That,” is a service that I’ve been high on for a while. The basic gist of IFTTT is that it helps you automate certain tasks, using an event on one service or device as a trigger (“if this”) and then outputting some kind of action to another service or device (“then that”). Today, the company announced its first-ever mobile app for the iPhone, which added three new channels to the service that can be used as triggers: Contacts, Photos and Reminders.

On the contacts side of things, you’ll be able to set up a new task that fires whenever you add a new contact in iOS. IFTTT created an example that sent a “Nice to meet you email” whenever a contact was added to your device. I don’t recommend you follow the company’s lead — automating emails and other communication is super annoying.

ifttt-iphoneThe Photos integration lets you do quite a bit. For instance, did you know that your iPhone knows which camera you used to take a photo? It does, and IFTTT can use that. As you can see on the right, I created a sample recipe (IFTTT’s name for tasks) that sets a brand new Twitter profile image every time a photo is taken with my front-facing camera. You can also set up tasks based on photos taken with the rear camera, photos added to an album, or screenshots taken on your device.

Lastly, you’re now able to start a recipe based on your interaction with the Reminders app. Adding a reminder to your list is a potential trigger, as is completing a reminder. This is one I can’t really see myself using a lot. Maybe you’ll want to set up Twitter or Facebook to post every time you get something done, but other than that, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of potential for Reminders as a trigger channel only.

That’s the one bummer about the IFTTT app so far: the iOS apps that are now supported can only be used as trigger channels and not action channels. I can think of plenty of ways I could use IFTTT to set reminders in my Reminders app, but unfortunately, the integration only works one way. I have a feeling that might have more to do with the iOS API than IFTTT, though, and I’ll have to keep an eye on iOS 7 to see if anything changes.

Until then, you can go and grab the IFTTT for iPhone app immediately from the App Store. If you come up with any cool recipes using the integrated iPhone apps, definitely drop us a line below and share them.

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