IFTTT (If This Then That) has released an app for Android devices that can be used to connect services together to create a super service.
The new app is optimized for phone and tablet-sized screens, and lets users put together multiple services and operating system components to carry out actions automatically. An iOS version of the app was released last year, but the Android version is more closely integrated with the Android operating system.
The way IFTTT works is that you create ‘recipes’ that consist of just what the name suggests: if a trigger (this) happens, then make ‘that’ action happen. The Android app comes with 37 Android recipes, with many more expected now the app is out of beta. You can also create your own personal recipes, making the app interesting to developers who want to create custom data handling.
The range of triggers and actions available is specific to IFTTT channels. There are 98 channels, some online sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, other more device-specific such as email, SMS and phonecall. A typical trigger might be ““I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook”. Actions then react to the trigger, so you might have an action such as “send me a text message” or “create a status message on Facebook.”
You can also make use of data from the trigger. In IFTTT terms, data items are ingredients. For example, the Ingredients of an Email Trigger might be the subject, body, attachment, received date, and the sender’s address.
Linden Tibbets, CEO of IFTTT, says that Android apps have much deeper access to device level functions such as volume, WiFi, and wallpaper images than the iOS equivalents, as well as being more flexible about accessing information about logs of phone calls and SMS messages. From a developer’s viewpoint, the Android environment offers the advantage of being able to use ‘intents’ that enable you to run a process in the background immediately after an event happens.
The Android version of the app has six channels specific to Android:
This is probably not what you think of when wearable computing is mentioned, but it's a really interesting idea and perhaps once we get over the shock and creepiness factor it will be the breakthrough [ ... ]