IFTTT (If This Then That)’s Do Button apps turns your phone into a magic wand for the smart home. Here’s some of the best things you can do with Do right now.
We’ll add to this once more recipes and channels become available. While you’re here, why not check out our features on using IFTTT to life hack the smart home and how you can use it to turbo-charge your Philips Hue light bulbs.
So, without further ado…
Make your hues dance at the party
This does what is says on the tine – makes your Philips Hue lights change colours randomly. Disco Stu likes Disco Lighting.
While there’s a separate Hue Party app out there, which pretty much does the same thing, it’s currently iOS and Mac only.
This recipe not only brings some of that fun to Android phones, it also means you can walk into the living room, tap a button and have the lights start flashing – no faffing around with settings and menu pages. You’ll definitely look really cool in front of all of your mates.
Set your Nest thermostat to ___°
Another self-explanatory recipe – if you like your living room to be a certain temperature when you walk through the door then this is for you.
The Nest app lets you manually control your thermostat of course and it’s designed to acclimatise itself to your daily routine. So why would you bother with this?
Daily routines have a habit of changing. If you’re working late or caught in traffic, or it’s been a particularly cold day, you might prefer to simply override the Nest algorithm and have it turn things up to, say, 18.5°C, every day at a time that suits you.
Post a random GIF to a Facebook album
If you’d like to break up the monotony of Candy Crush and Timehop notifications (speaking of Timehop, we’ve got something for that…) on Facebook, get this recipe in your life.
A simple tap of this button will pull up a random image to brighten up your news feed and hopefully everyone elses.
While we admit that this recipe isn’t the most useful thing in the world, we like the element of chaos that it provides.
Get yourself out of an awkward situation
This makes your phone ring, as if someone’s calling you, allowing you to make your excuses and duck out of a boring meeting.
Unfortunately because IFTTT’s Phone Call channel currently doesn’t play ball with UK numbers, this is a US-only service.
We hope the situation changes soon, because us Brits could do with an awkward situation ripcord – you bumping into an ex on the street, hassled by a Greenpeace tin-rattler, on a Tinder date that’s going nowhere – just as much as our American chums.
Text me my location (so I can send it to friends)
Rather than having to give turn by turn directions to friends and family members yourself, this Do Button recipe can let you quickly ping them a Google Maps link to your current location.
This is really handy if you’re arranging to meet people in a city either you or they aren’t very familiar with.
It’s worth having on speed dial if you’re arranging a big outing on a stag/hen weekend, a gig, festival or conference or any kind of big meet up with a large number of folks all who will invariably be hassling you for directions every five seconds.
Again, annoyingly, because the IFTTT SMS channel isn’t fully supported outside of the US, we’ve not included it in the main list here. It supposedly works with certain non-US carriers, but in our experiments (with O2, EE and Three numbers) we’ve not been able to get this working.
Quite why this isn’t a built-in feature of Google Maps already is also something of a mystery.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service lets you trigger a chain reaction of processes once you action certain commands. For example, you can set up IFTTT to make things like your Twitter account automatically tweet a shortened link every time you upload a new video to your YouTube account.
In IFTTT-speak, there’s channels and there’s recipes. Channels refer to services and products; there’s a Nest channel, there’s a Facebook channel, an Evohome channel and so on. Mixtures of channels are called recipes.
One of the most recent developments from IFTTT is the launch of the Do Button apps. In a nutshell, this lets you quickly action pre-set commands with one click.
These are the best IFTTT Do Button recipes we’ve seen so far. If you’ve spotted any we’ve missed or you want to share one you’ve made, get in touch in the comments or send us a tip.