Ever since I got my Wink Hub 2, one of the services I kept seeing in conversations when trying to bridge together different smart appliances and services was Stringify. The app was limited to iOS though, so I never got to use it because I wasn't going to carry my iPad around all the time to toggle a light bulb. But at CES, Stringify made a few announcements that we just came across (excuse the delay, we had tons of emails and releases to sift through) and that are sure to please Android users.
Before going further, here's a quick rundown of what Stringify is for those of you who'd never heard of it. Read More
I bought an apartment in October. You can imagine the joy at the thought that it'd be my future family's home, terror at the sight of the mortgage value on the signed contract, and all the excitement about getting to set up a house from scratch. I could pick everything that I loved from design to materials to colors to organization, and yes, also automation.
I wanted lights that turn on when the doors open, A/C units that cool the place when I'm coming home and the outside heat is too much to bear, cameras that catch intruders the moment they are detected, a washing machine that notifies me when the load is done, colored lights that coordinate with whatever I'm watching on TV, blinds that open and close with the sunset and sunrise, and much more. Read More
A lot of the things we do depend on the weather and outdoor conditions. We crank up the thermostat when it's too cold, wear coats and carry an umbrella when it's raining, turn on the AC when the summer heat is too much, plug in the lights when the sun sets, and more.
Now you can automate many of these things with Weather Underground's new IFTTT channel. There are plenty of existing applets already, including ones from WU that contain many thats as consequences to one this, like the one that transitions the house into night mode by adjusting Hue lights, WeMo switches, and Nest thermostats or the weather preparedness one that notifies you, emails you, and creates a calendar event for rainy times. Read More
Users of Telegram, there's a great update to the app available. This new version brings a few big changes, including some Android-specific ones. The most notable ones for the messaging service as a whole are IFTTT integration and conversation pinning. Sounds cool, right? Read More
IFTTT (if this, then that) is one of those services you either love or just plain don't understand. It can be hard to integrate IFTTT into your life, but it's great if you have a lot of smart devices around the house. IFTTT is trying to make the service a little easier to use with the latest app update. Recipes are now called Applets, and the app has them front and center. Read More
Microsoft has a treat for you power users this Halloween. Their automated actions service, Microsoft Flow, is finally out of beta. Flow is part of Microsoft's new "power trio," combined with the company's PowerApps and Power BI tools. While those are mostly only useful to companies, Flow has definite use for normal people. In fact, after just an hour of playing with it, I'm convinced it's better than the popular IFTTT service.
With Microsoft Flow, you can make Buttons (a user-triggered set of tasks) or Flows (automated set of tasks, much like IFTTT recipes). As far as I can tell, you can only create new Flows and Buttons from scratch on the desktop site - on mobile you have to start from a template. Read More
The new Google Pixel is the first place you can get true integration with Assistant. Sure, a preview version of Assistant exists in Allo, but the Pixel version is the real deal. The same thing will be part of Google Home too. You can now add the Google Assistant channel to your IFTTT account to really unlock the power of voice commands. If there's anything you want to control via IFTTT, you can do it with Assistant. Read More
Piper's home security and automation unit has been improving year over year. Since my initial review, it has overhauled its app and enhanced many of its features, but it also recently released an IFTTT channel that enabled Amazon Alexa integration and let you schedule and automate a couple of actions.
Now Piper is improving its IFTTT channel with more triggers and actions. You can now control your Piper-connected lights with Alexa, get a tweet when Piper detects smoke via a connected sensor, and set dimmer levels or lights when events are detected while you're away.
The best new recipe though, in my opinion, is the one to upload videos recorded by Piper to Dropbox or Google Drive. Read More
When this does this, that should do that. To tell IFTTT to make this happen, you have to log into your account on the website or fire up the Android app. Now you will start seeing another choice. IFTTT is working with partners to bake integration into other apps. Read More
Microsoft wants to get in on some of that sweet action that services like If This, Then That and its competitors have been working on for years. To that end they've created Flow, a new web tool that automates actions across some of the major web services available at the moment, most of which (shocker!) aren't even owned by Microsoft. Flow allows users to set up automated "recipes" to complete tasks in Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, OneDrive, Github, Facebook, YouTube, and more. Read More