IFTTT is a layer linking many of my most-used services together. So why do its new apps feel like little more than novelties?
For all its promises of simplicity, IFTTT often requires a good deal of explanation. It’s a service designed to make things easier, but to use it, you must first make your life more complicated. Create an account, activate your channels, whip up a recipe, download the app, sign in — it’s a long way to go in the name of simplicity. You could set up IFTTT to change the temperature on your Nest thermostat — or you could just, you know, change the temperature on your thermostat. Many of the suggested recipes sound more like proofs of concept than handy utilities. "DM yourself your location with a note," reads one in the app’s essentials collection. Uh, ok?