I’m a huge fan of IFTTT, the iOS app (and web app) that allows you to do really clever things completely automatically, just by creating or downloading an ‘if this then that’ rule–which IFTTT calls a ‘recipe.’ For example, if you’d like to save a copy of a photo anytime you are tagged on Facebook, there’s a recipe for that. Want to switch on a WEMO-controlled light when the sun goes down, there’s a recipe for that too. Pretty much anything you might want to automate has an existing recipe–and if it doesn’t, you can create your own.

But while IFTTT is incredibly powerful, the developers found that some people found it so overwhelming they didn’t know where to start. The company has now addressed that by creating three cut-down apps, each of which can perform only three functions: Do Button (geared for controlling hardware), Do Camera (to automatically post, share or save photos) and Do Note (to quickly write something and save it as a note, make it a calendar entry, tweet it and so on) … 

Each of the apps can run any IFTTT recipe belonging to that category, but you can only have three of them operational at any one time. To help you choose your recipes, the IFTTT team has put together its own curated collection of popular actions.

IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets told Macworld that the idea was to provide quick and easy access to things that people might want to do frequently but trigger manually, such as adding a note to Evernote. The aim is to have the IFTTT app be faster than using the app itself.

I can see the logic in this cut-down approach, but am very happy to report that those of us who prefer the power of the existing app won’t be losing out: the full IFTTT app will remain available, merely being rebranded as IF.

If you haven’t yet tried IFTTT, you might like to take one of the simplified apps for a spin, but I’m guessing that the typical 9to5Mac reader is going to want the full-fat original.

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About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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