IFTTT, also known as If This Then That, is a free Web service that uses triggers to execute an electronic response of some sort. It relies on Recipes that result in an action carried out by another program such as Facebook, Gmail or even smart home gadgets such as a Philips Hue lights. For instance, if a paid app on Google Play suddenly becomes free, IFTTT can send you an alert via text message.
Amazon recently connected the Amazon Echo and its Alexa smart assistant to the service. That means you can use Alexa to trigger specific events. There are tons of existing recipes to choose from that can make Alexa even more useful (or you can make your own). For instance, Alexa can email you a shopping list, alter your smart thermostat's temperature when you arrive home, turn on your TV through your Harmony remote or even add songs Alexa has played to your Spotify playlist.
Amazon warns that it can take up to 15 minutes for Amazon Echo to complete a recipe, once it's been triggered. To get a sense for how good an existing recipe might be, look on the bottom of the recipe card on the IFTTT website to see how many people are using it versus how many have marked it as a favorite.
Here's how to connect your Amazon Echo and its Alexa AI to IFTTT.
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1. Visit ifttt.com and click Sign In.
2. Click Amazon Alexa from the Channels home page.
3. Enter your login information for your Amazon account and click Sign in.
4. Scroll down and browse through existing, user-generated Recipes for Alexa. When you find one that fits your needs, click it. In my case, I wanted Alexa to help me find my phone inside of my messy apartment.
5. Click Add.
6. Say Add "Find my phone" to my to-do list and Alexa will remotely turn up the volume on your phone so you can call it.
NOTE: There are a variety of Recipes related to finding your phone. One recipe has you ask for any sports score and Alexa will call your phone and leave a message that says "This is Alexa calling your phone because honestly, you don't care about sports."
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