IFTTT (If This Then That) is an incredibly nifty way to get all of the tech stuff in your home talking to each other. Because although your smart speaker can talk to your thermostat, it may not work well with this newly installed smart smoke detector.
Fear not, IFTTT is on hand to resolve these issues. With just a handful of carefully selected applets, you can make this smart home run twice as smooth.
Read it: The best IFTTT applets
This includes Google Assistant and Alexa, both of which can be connected to IFTTT so you can create your own special commands using your Echo or Google Home speaker. Below, we’ll show you how to connect them and point out some key differences between them.
We’re about to wow you here: You don’t need to activate an IFTTT skill to use it with Alexa. In fact, there isn’t even a skill to use if you wanted to. Instead, you want to do the following …
1) Go to the IFTTT Alexa channel page and click “Connect”. You can also search for Alexa in the IFTTT app.
2) Log in to your account or create a new one.
3) You will then be prompted to log into your Amazon account to link the two. Make sure you are using the same account that is linked to your Echoes (s). At this point, Amazon may ask you to verify your account with an email or text.
4) Give IFTTT permission to connect when prompted.
Finished. Easy. Now you can start having fun with the applets on offer. We recommend that you try a few basic ones to get used to how it all works. To activate an applet, it’s as easy as selecting it and pressing the “On” button, but many will allow you to edit the details. For example, the applet for Alexa to call your phone will let you choose the phrase you want to use.
The key to IFTTT is to make your applets run like a slick machine and not create more of a hassle than you started out, especially when using applets that send you emails or reminders. Some of our favorite Alexa applets include one that flashes our lights when an Echo timer hits zero (great when you’re cooking) and one that syncs our Alexa shopping list with our smartphone.
To connect Google Assistant instead of Alexa, follow the procedure above but from the IFTTT Assistant page. Again, you don’t have to activate anything on the Google Home speaker itself.
One of the benefits of using IFTTT with the Google Assistant is integration for Android smartphone users, such as adding a new number to your contact list.
Another advantage is that the sentences seem more natural to say, as you can simply trigger applets with a “Hey Google” – as you normally would – while using IFTTT with Alexa requires you to precede the command with the word “trigger” . It’s not the worst thing in the world for Alexa users, but we prefer the Google method.