This New App Completely Automates Your iPhone

A step-by-step look at how IFTTT allows you to connect web services and apps that normally don't work together.

By Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith/Business Insider

This story originally appeared on Business Insider

If This Then That or IFTTT is an online web service that automates the Internet. 

The company has launched its first app for the iPhone to help you automate on the go.

IFTTT allows you to harness the power of the Internet without a programming background. The new app is packed with hundreds of "recipes" that let users connect different Web services and apps that normally don't work together.

For example, if you wanted to back up your Instagram photos to Dropbox automatically, you could chose a recipe that says, if Instagram takes a photo, then save that photo to Dropbox. There are a ton of other recipes to choose from like:

  • If I get an email through Gmail, send me a text message.
  • Log all my completed reminders in Google Calendar.
  • Send me a push notification once my package arrives at my house.

What's great about the IFTTT app is that if you don't see a recipe that works for you, you can create your own.

IFTTT's mobile lead, Devin Foley, really focused on making the app very easy to use. In fact, the app is optimized for one-hand use.

The only thing that is limiting with the IFTTT app is that you have to open the actual app to trigger certain recipes. This isn't IFTTT's fault as Apple doesn't let third-party apps access the full iOS system.

This will be a non-issue once iOS 7 launches later this year. The new iPhone operating system will allow apps to run in the background much better.

IFTTT is available now for iPhone, the app is a free download.

If This Then That's (IFTTT) new iPhone app connects features and services on your phone that currently don't work together.

Related: 15 Apps Everyone Is Talking ABout Right Now

The app allows you to choose recipes that connect different apps and services, called channels. For example, you can choose a recipe that will automatically back up your Instagram photos to Dropbox.

With the IFTTT app, everything is done behind the scenes. You don't have to be a programmer to make apps work together. Here is a little bit more on how recipes work. If Instagram takes a photo, then save that photo to Dropbox.

IFTTT integrates best with your iPhone's native photos, contacts, and reminders apps. You can also use it with other third-party apps like Foursquare, Evernote, and Dropbox.

Here are some more example recipes that illustrate the power of the service. This is just a small portion of the massive library of services you can take advantage of.

After the brief introduction its time to get started. The first thing we'll do is set up an account.

Start by choosing a username, enter your email address, and pick a password.

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Each day, IFTTT selects specific recipes to be spotlighted in your feed. This is a great way to discover new ways that you can take advantage of the service.

When you find a recipe you want to use tap it. You can then see a little more about the app, like who created it and notes on specifically what the recipe does. Tap "Use Recipe" to add it to your services.

The recipe will then show up in a side drawer where you can manage all of the services you want. You can also turn recipes on and off.

This is another recipe that's very useful. The iPhone doesn't have a way of letting you know when you added a contact to your address book.

Besides using recipes that others created, IFTTT lets you create your own too.

First you start by choosing your "If" trigger. There are a ton of apps to choose from and also a lot of actions.

Related: 12 Tips And Tricks For Taking Amazing Instagram Photos

After you find your "If" trigger, you have to activate it first. For this example, you have to enter your Gmail credentials to activate.

You'll get a notice that the channel is active.

Next, choose a then trigger. If I get an email in Gmail ... then send me an SMS.

This is what a completed custom recipe looks like.

Some recipes need a little more information than others. This one will send the weather each morning but it needs your phone number and location.

The settings section lets you personalize the app helping you to get a little more detailed.

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