Connect Everything: How to Get the Most Out of Alexa With IFTTT – PCMag
Alexa is a powerful voice assistant with scores of actions, skills, and compatible devices. It can’t do everything on its own, though, especially if you use non-Amazon services. If you want to set reminders, send emails, or take notes by talking to your Echo, and you don’t want to do it all in the Alexa app, you need to reach outside of Amazon. That’s where If This Then That (IFTTT) comes in.
IFTTT is a powerful tool that ties together different voice assistants, device platforms, and online services. It basically does exactly what it says: If you set something off with one thing (like Amazon Alexa), then you make something else happen (like sending an email through Gmail).
Here’s how to make your own Alexa-powered IFTTT applets (integrations) to do the things Alexa can’t readily do on its own. And if you want some easy tools you don’t need to create yourself, we’ve included some of our favorite premade IFTTT applets farther down the page.
How to Make Your Own IFTTT Applets for Alexa
Here we outline the steps to creating your own IFTTT applets. Although it looks like a lot of work, it’s surprisingly simple once you get the hang of it.
1. Creat an IFTTT Account and Link Your Services
Setting up IFTTT to work with Alexa is easy. Go to the IFTTT site and create an account. Search for Alexa if it doesn’t show up on the front page, then click Connect. Follow the prompts to link your Amazon account to your IFTTT account. After that, you might want to connect other accounts, like Apple for iOS integrations, Google for Google Calendar, Docs, or Sheets, and any compatible smart home platforms you use to control those devices with IFTTT applets. It’s the same process for all of them.
You have to link any services you want to use, starting with your Amazon account for Alexa.
Be aware that a free IFTTT account can only use up to five applets at once. You can bump that limit up to 20 with an IFTTT Pro account for $3 per month or $24 per year.
With your account set up and all of your different services linked, you can start adding premade applets. Click Create. This will bring you to the very simple applet creation page.
Each applet has two parts, a trigger and an outcome.
2. Choose Your Alexa Trigger
IFTTT applets have two parts: “If This” is one part, “Then That” is the other. In this case, the “If This” part will be whatever you want to tell Alexa to do.
IFTTT supports triggers through dozens of services. Scroll down to find Alexa.
Click the Add button next to If This, then scroll down to Amazon Alexa. Select it, then look through the different triggers you can use. There are over a dozen possible Alexa triggers, but here are the basics:
You can choose from several different triggers. Half involve your shopping list.
“Say a specific phrase” is just that. You create your own voice command that you activate by saying, “Alexa, trigger (voice command),” which is simple and direct.
If you want to use a trigger phrase, type in what you want to say here.
Alexa can also set off more roundabout IFTTT triggers, including whenever you …….