My most pointless IFTTT applets

IFTTT is a service for linking various services together. Literally, if this happens, then that will happen. If you are reading this article from a link on Twitter, G+, Tumbler, Pinterest or elsewhere, it is likely that an IFTTT applet put it there. I've been using IFTTT for years and I have several hundred applets automating my digital life.

This post is about some of the most pointless applets, some of which I still use.

Used in conjunction with with the 'mute your phone at bedtime' applet. I quickly stopped using this one because it would always set the volume to 'very high'. I certainly miss the 'quiet times' feature of my Lumia 950.

This one is cool, but pointless. You get to store all of your tweets in a text file for, you know, reasons.

Daily pictures from NASA on your homescreen. I stopped using this one because I much prefer a simple solid colour background to my phone whereas the NASA pictures can make your phone look cluttered. Again, I miss my Lumia 950 for its live tiles and transparent icrons. The Microsoft launcher is a good replacement for Android, and you also get the Bing daily pictures on your homescreen if that's a thing you like.

Ok, so when an email arrived in my inbox, the LaMetric stopwatch would start time. Presumably I did this so I could time how long it took me to delete, I mean respond to import work messages. I soon found this an annoying distraction and turned it off. I can see how this might be a useful feature someday, again, you know, because of reasons.

Pocket is great. Here I can save the links people tweet directly into Pocket. I'm still using this one, the only problem is I don't actually think I every follow up on many of the links. My pocket is hundreds of articles deep and growing. A cull is needed soon.

This one is totally not a pointless applet at all. If an email arrives then the attachments are safely stored away. I don't need to trawl through days and days of junk in my inbox, the files are waiting for me on all my devices whenever I need them (along with a large proportion of junk).

It sounded good at first. Every new item on your Alexa shopping list automatically gets a new page in OneNote. What's the problem? I delete things from my shopping list when I have bought them, but not from OneNote. My OneNote now has eighteen pages called 'onions'.

This one is switched on, but I don't actually use the Alexa 'To-Do'. I use Wunderlist instead.
So, there's eight pointless applets but there are so many potential good ones waiting to be made. That's all from me, I've got a gutter to clear. If you want to stay and read more vaguely amusing tech stuff, then you might like to read about some clock programs, or fun stuff Cortana can do.

Amazon Echo and LaMetric Time

The Amazon Echo is a smart speaker system with digital assistant. She responds to the wake-up word 'Alexa' and her features include music streaming from Spotify, internet radio, shopping lists, alarms, timers, reminders, weather and news updates, as well as one-sided conversations. The sound quality is really very good, and I do love watching the glowing light spin as Alexa broods over my last response. It almost makes me forget that she is always listening to me.

Alexa also provides voice command access to other internet-enabled devices. Today I shall deal with  Echo and the LaMetric Time. LaMetric Time is a smart clock with internet radio. It features various apps including clock, radio, weather, sunrise/set times, moon phase, timers, stopwatch, message board, news update, etc. I dealt with all of the features of LaMetric in a previous post. Amazon echo can now be used as voice-control for LaMetric.

Once you are connected you can use your voice to tell Alexa to perform actions with the LaMetric time. For example:

"Alexa, tell LaMetric to start fifteen minute timer"

"Alexa, tell LaMetric to show clock"

"Alexa, tell LaMetric to wake me up at 7am"

Alexa, LaMetric and If This Then That

Both Alexa and LaMetric get even more interesting when you use the IFTTT app. IFTTT allows you to connect services together using 'applets', for example, if 'this' happens in one service, then 'that' happens in another. I use this service to pass notifications from my Android phone to the LaMetric device. In fact, at the last count I have several hundred IFTTT applets running various jobs in the background (including copying this blog post to Twitter, for example).

With these two applets running you can switch your internet radio off by simply leaving your house, place of work or hovel. When you come back again, the internet radio is ready for you. 

These applets provide you with buttons on your smart phone's home screen allowing you to control various parts of the LaMetric device at the touch of a button.

One of many applets for Alexa.
The Alexa App
Both the Alexa and LaMetric devices have apps for your Android device (sadly not Windows phone). These are required for access to various settings, such as clearing your shopping list, or cancelling alarms, but they also give you access to your device history.

The LaMetric app

Part of the LaMetric Time app showing just six of the apps you can get for it.

Quite apart from all of the awesome time apps that LaMetric Time can do for you, I mainly use my LaMetric for the internet radio. This app boasts over 3000 stations. Oh, and if you would prefer, you can use the LaMetric as a Bluetooth speaker for your phone.

Well that's it for now. More geeky tech stuff coming soon, or you may enjoy reading about that time I tried to use my BBC micro as my main computer, or when I had a virtual pet called Phil.