IFTTT, or If This, Then That, is an online tool that makes it easy to automate just about anything. These automated “recipes” are now called Applet, and anyone can upload them. If you want to post all the lines of an email containing the word “goat” to Twitter, you can.
If you want your smart lights to flash in your team’s colors when they score a goal in the big game, you can. The possibilities are almost endless.
There are two main reasons for the increasing popularity of IFTTT. First, it is free to use. Secondly, it integrates with a large number of services.
But just because IFTTT is so popular, it’s not the only option out there. If you find yourself unhappy with the way IFTTT is set up or you just want to try a different way to automate your daily life, check out some of these IFTTT alternatives.
Zapier is arguably the most popular alternative to IFTTT. It works in a broadly similar way to its competitor: you can connect apps and devices together so that certain events lead to accurate results.
The application uses “Zaps” to link applications and services. It is aimed at users who want to create complex hierarchies, thus supporting a lot of specialized services as well as being able to add multiple steps of actions to a single Zaps.
Zapier offers three price points. The free tier limits you to creating Zaps with two actions and limits the choice of apps you can associate with. The $20 per month tier gives you unlimited actions and unlocks the full service repertoire of 750 apps. There is also a business class for $250 per month.
2. Microsoft Flow
Microsoft Flow is a relative newcomer to the automation game; It came out live in mid 2016. At the time of writing, it only supports 153 apps, which leaves it behind both Zapier and IFTTT.
On the plus side, if you rely heavily on Microsoft’s suite of productivity tools (including Office, Dynamics CRM, PowerApps, and Yammer), it’s hard to beat. The level of integration with these services is second to none. For example, you can automatically save Office 365 email attachments to OneDrive or send an approval email when you add something to SharePoint.
The free tier offers 750 actions per month, an unlimited number of streams, and 15-minute intervals. For $3 per month, you get three-minute intervals, 4,500 actions per month, and access to premium apps.
Tasker is the best automation app on Android. Instead of automating external web applications, Tasker focuses on automating your phone.
Want to play Spotify automatically when headphones are connected? Would you like your phone to read messages while driving? All this is possible.
The app is confusing for first-time users – it lacks the friendly GUI that IFTTT and Zapier offer. However, if you spend some time learning it, it is incredible.
Tasker is not free. You will need to make a one-time payment of about $6 on the Google Play Store.
4. Wappwolf Automator for Dropbox
As the name suggests, Wappwolf Automator has one clear focus: automating your Dropbox account. But what does that really mean?
Well, Wappwolf will create a new folder inside your Dropbox storage. You can also link existing folders. Whenever you add a file to a linked folder, Wappwolf can perform many automatic actions.
For example, if you’re uploading an image, Wappwolf can convert it to grayscale or remove any EXIF data. If you add an EPUB or MOBI file, it can instantly send the file to your Kindle. Or, if you’re saving a PDF, you can ask Wappwolf to store a plain text copy. The potential options are endless.
The free account limits you to 10 uploads per day and has a maximum file size of 25MB.
Automate.io is similar to the Zapier option: you can create multi-step workflows across many applications and services.
It is aimed at professionals and businesses rather than home users. It only supports 50 apps (with seven more listed as “coming soon” on Automate’s website), most of which are unlikely to interest regular consumers.
Yes, there are some popular productivity tools like Google Calendar and Trello, but it focuses on supporting services like MailChimp, Salesforce, Eventbrite, and Slack that are put into the business category.
If you want to check it out, the free tier offers 250 actions per month, access to all public apps, and five-minute run periods. A startup plan of $19 per month bolsters these limitations significantly.
The closed nature of Apple’s iOS means that there is no similar alternative to Tasker in the App Store. Workflow is good.
But this does not mean that it is not strong. Apple’s Best Design award winner lets you connect almost any app on your device. Unlike Tasker, tasks will not be automated. You’ll need to manually activate any workflow you’ve created to do the action.
However, there are a lot of wonderful concoctions. You can use one of the pre-made workflows if you are not sure where to start. Once you become more familiar with how the app works, you can create any one yourself.
Interestingly, the app is completely free to use. It cost $2.99, but Apple managed to get hold of it after acquiring the company in early 2017, and has since combined it with the voice assistant in iOS 12 called Siri Shortcuts.
I’ll leave you with something a little different. Huginn, named after a crow from Norse mythology, is an open source application designed to run on your own server. It is best described as a combination of Yahoo Pipes and IFTTT.
I will warn you now: if you are not a skilled programmer, you have to choose from the above options. Huginn is too complicated for beginners. Creating and setting up servers is a difficult process.
If you can get a grip when setting up the app, you’re all set. Huginn can read the web, view events, and take action, all without sending your data to an external application.
The application is fully compatible with the increasingly popular Docker, and because it is open source, it is completely free to use.
Your favorite IFTTT alternatives
If you are looking for something different, I hope this article has given you some inspiration.
Let’s take a quick recap:
- If you want to replace IFTTT with one similar to it, use Zapier.
- For smartphone-based automation, go to Tasker or Workflow.
- If you need a business-oriented app, sign up for Microsoft Flow or Automate.io.
- If you want an open source app, check out Huginn.
What IFTTT alternatives would you add to this list? What makes it unique? Or do you think IFTTT is irreplaceable? Are you not convinced of any of the alternatives?
As always, you can leave all your thoughts, opinions and suggestions in the comments below. And remember to share this article with other like-minded people on social media as well.