First Look

LIFTTT gives IFTTT location-awesomeness

Until LIFTTT was released, triggering IFTTT recipes by location wasn't possible

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Credit: Wikipedia

In my last article I mentioned If This Then That, a service I covered over a year ago. If you’ve used IFTTT you can skip to the next paragraph … IFTTT is a service that connects other services together allowing you to define triggers (“If This”) and actions (“Then That”) so you can do things that would otherwise require a lot of programming and, most likely as a consequence, a lot of swearing.

A big enhancement to IFTTT appeared last year when an IFTTT client was released for iOS and then, earlier this year, an Android client. Soon after my article on the iOS client was published a reader posed a question: How to trigger IFTTT actions when his iOS device was at a particular location at a certain time.

The answer at that time was there was no way to do this but the recent release of a free app called LIFTTT, published by VisualCandyApps, solves his problems by adding, as the publishers note, “Location Awesome-ness to IFTTT Recipes” and is available not only for iOS but Android as well.

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LIFTTT has to have iOS’s background app refresh enabled as well as location services (to quote Homer Simpson: “Du’oh”) and triggering options can be given global defaults as well as customized for specific locations and include triggers for arriving and or departing, the distance from the target (down to 5m, geolocation services permitting), the distance after departing from the target, the delay for triggering after arrival or departure, the gap (duration) between triggers for a given location, what time and days of the week to be active, and whether and what notification sound the smartphone should produce.

The app’s operation is clever but actually straightforward: In the app you define a location by dropping a pin on a map and then set the name of the pin and optionally the email subject and body. You then select a predefined IFTTT recipe (these include sending a tweet, sending an SMS, executing a Google Calendar Quick Add Event, or creating an Evernote note; you can also trigger any recipe you like by editing a LIFTTT-created recipe).

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When a pin’s location is arrived at or departed from, LIFTTT sends an email to the IFTTT incoming trigger address, trigger@recipe.ifttt.com. Upon receipt, the sender’s email address is recognized and routed to the users’ IFTTT account and all of the recipes with matching email tags will be executed. The message’s from, subject, body text and html, attachment URL, and received date and time can be used, where permitted, in any compatible action.

What can you do with LIFTTT? The publishers suggest:

Using LIFTTT (available now on iOS + Android) you can schedule IFTTT recipes to trigger when you arrive at home, leave the office, or any other place you choose … Some of our favourites recipes to trigger with LIFTTT are 

Trigger my Belkin Wemo to turn on the lights when I get home in the evening / off when I leave

Log to Google Calendar when I arrive at the office

Send me an email reminder when I get home to remember to give my wife a kiss + tell her I love her

ILIFTTT is beautifully simple and works perfectly and my reader’s problem has now been solved. If this solves one your (many) problems, let me know.

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