If This Then That is an incredibly handy automation service, bridging the gap between various apps, accounts, and devices to boost your productivity. And this free Web service is even better when paired with an iPhone. Here are six IFTTT tricks designed to bring iOS to a whole new level.
Save battery life
No one likes to waste battery life by searching for Wi-Fi networks when you’re out and about. Nor do you want to burn through battery bars by having Bluetooth running all the time. This Recipe can remind you to turn these two power hogs on and off based on your location.
You’ll first need to download IFTTT’s iOS app, IF (free). You’ll then select a location or range within a map on your iPhone, and enable notifications within IF. That way, every time you enter or leave that location, your iPhone displays a notification reminding you to turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on or off.
It’s not as automatic as having your iPhone turn off these features itself, but it’s pretty darn close. Until Apple decides to build that feature and include it in a future version of iOS, we’ll take it.
Remember why you left home
If you’re leaving the house, chances are, there’s a reason why. This Recipe can help you remember just what that reason is: It displays your iOS to-do list when you leave your house. You set the location, which you can specify with an address, and then refine on a map, and tell IFTTT which Reminders list to display, and voila, it’s done. Of course, it only helps if you’ve entered your task in that iOS list—but the app can’t do everything for you, right?
This Recipe offers another great use for your iPhone’s location capabilities, and will prove useful for anyone who needs to keep track of the time they spend at certain places—like work, for example.
It promises to add a row to a Google spreadsheet (which it will create if necessary) whenever you enter and exit a specified location. You set the location by naming an address, which is shown on a map you can use to set more detail. Then, when you enter or leave that location, it automatically creates a time-stamped entry on the spreadsheet, which may prove useful when filling out a timesheet.
I take screenshots on my iPhone a lot. (Chances are, you can see one of them right now in this very article.) I hate digging through my iOS folders and emailing these screens to myself in order to view them on my computer or save them elsewhere.
That’s why I love this Recipe, which creates a Bitly Bitmark for all iOS screenshots. Bitly’s Bitmarks are like bookmarks, so it creates a dedicated link for your screenshot that’s viewable from any device. (Goodbye, emailing screenshots!)
It requires activating the Bitly channel (and creating a free account if you don’t already have one), as well as authorizing the IF app to access your iOS photos.
That’s about as hard as it gets, though—once those steps are done, the rest is automatic and easy.
Speaking of photos, I’m sure you have plenty stored on Facebook and Instagram. But sometimes, you want access to those photos in a nice, simple, offline way.
Both of these recipes store the photos in albums, and create those albums if necessary. Luckily, you can change the names, as the suggested ones (“Instagram likes” and “Tagged on Facebook”) are a little clumsy.
Have any favorite IFTTT Recipes for iOS automation that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
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Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press.