Android customization is important to us. So are choices. Over the last few weeks in our Android customization series, we’ve shown you how to take control of your Android device, creating custom control panels, setting up sleep modes, scanning NFC Tags and more. In that spirit, we’d like to now put IFTTT to work in a similar way.
IFTTT (If This Then That) has been around for a while on the web. Users are able to automate and streamline their online world with dozens of tools that work across dozens of services. A fairly typical example would be to have IFTTT send you an email with the download link of a podcast that you follow.
More recently, IFTTT launched an Android app. Along with all of the web services already available, the Android app includes a small set of Android actions that can either be performed or acted upon. We’re not talking Tasker level Android customization resources here, but some of the big ones are covered.
Be sure to check out our coverage of the IFTTT Android app for all the particulars.
Now that you know what IFTTT is all about, let’s use it to build stuff!
Before we get started
IFTTT is a free app in the Google Play Store. You’ll need an Android 4.0+ device and will have to setup an account with IFTTT.com to use the service. I highly recommend setting up your account on your PC before diving into the app, and, although we won’t need it today, I find it handy to build my IFTTT recipes with a computer nearby to look up URLs and such.
The first time you start IFTTT on your Android device, it runs you through setup and a lengthy introduction, you’ll need to get through all this as well before we start.
It may be a little overwhelming to receive a notification for each and every post we make, so let’s instead drill a little deeper and only receive notifications for posts of a specific nature.
Go ahead and open up IFTTT.
Tap the mortar and pestle icon on the top right to view your recipes.
Tap the “+” icon to add a new recipe.
Tap the blue “+” icon where it says Start here! to establish the ‘if’ in our recipe.
Scroll sideways through the many services until you find Feed. The list is alphabetical, so it should be somewhere between Facebook and Fitbit.
Tap on the “+” beside New Feed item matches.
Fill in the keyword to match. If you wanted to only get our posts with videos, simply type “video”. Myself, I will enter ‘Android customization‘.
The Feed URL is http://feeds.feedburner.com/androidauthority
Tap Next to continue.
Tap the red “+” icon to add the ‘that’ to your recipe.
Scroll through the huge list of available actions until you find Android Notifications.
Tap the “+” beside Send a notification.
Tap Finish to save your recipe.
There were a lot of steps, but you got through it all. Now, you can sit back and wait for your notification of when we next post something. Or, of course, if you followed along my example, you’ll get your notification next Thursday when I post my regular Android customization article. Hmm, what should I cover next week?
As I am sure you noticed, IFTTT has many available triggers and is able to fire off a bunch of actions. You will need to use your imagination a little bit to really put the app to work. Good thing they offer sample recipes in-app.
Many people use IFTTT to automatically upload images and screenshots to Dropbox or another cloud/photo service. Some use IFTTT to control their Nest thermostat based on the weather. Others Yo IFTTT to trigger an incoming phone call from IFTTT, you know, that fake emergency call to escape a bad date.
Let’s really change directions next week. We’ve spent weeks dealing with design and automation projects on our Android customization series, to produce all of these articles, we’ve needed to move a ton of files to and from our PC and Android devices. We assume that you have need to transfer files as well, so let’s take a look at moving files using the app WiFi File Transfer (free and pro.)
What is your best and most useful IFTTT recipe on Android?