Is IFTTT Pro Worth It?
I think yes, getting IFTTT Pro is definitely worth its money. IFTTT has been 100% free since its launch in 2011 and in all that time it has been continually improved on with free updates almost every month.
With IFTTT Pro you can customize with queries and code to build highly complex blocks with conditional logic, multiple actions, and deep integration with a large number of apps.
It is really as IFTTT is saying themselves:
Limited only by your imaginationifttt.com
IFTTT Pro vs free
It seems like IFTTT only limited their free version and will continue to provide the same feature that you already love and use.
However, I think it might be a little too limited.
IFTTT is built on “Applets” which are blocks of conditional statements, actions, and connections between apps.
These Applets are the way you actually use them, for example, I’ll create an Applet to turn on my Philips Hue Lights when the GPS in my phone registers that I’m home.
IFTTT has limited the Applets so you can only create 3 Applets of your own.
3 Applets is okay if you are just wanting to test some fun stuff out, but it is not nearly enough if you want to automate your smart home entirely by yourself.
This is what I’m using my 3 free Applets for:
- Turning on the Philips Hue Lights when I arrive home.
- Starting my robot vacuum every Monday and Friday when I leave for work in the morning.
- Switching of all outlets, except for the Wifi, if no devices are being used, this is to save power.
IFTTT free actually includes an unlimited amount of Applets from other creators that you can just turn on.
I could actually use some of these already created Applets to, for example, turn on the lights when I get home. But I want the extra possibilities included with these, like okay I just arrived home and the lights turn on, now send a message to my partner that I arrived home safely.
I could turn on multiple Applets to get the same result, but at some point, you just have too many Applets with an unmanageable amount of functionalities.
And If you are anything like me, you like the freedom and excitement in creating stuff yourself. I’m a programmer as well and I love the idea of connecting apps and creating logic for them based on my needs.
It makes me feel like Tony Stark. Yea I know, Nerd Alert, but I freaking love it.
How to get the most out of your IFTTT Free
Use the explore feature in IFTTT and turn on as many Applets as you like and need. I would really recommend just turning on as many as possible and just really have fun playing around.
You can always turn them off if you are not using them.
I found that the more Applets I actually tried the more inspiration I got for creating my own.
I also got new ideas on how to exploit the smart home appliances I have in my home and also got to know how well they actually can integrate. By trying out many Applets I found many things that my devices were already capable of themselves.
There is almost an already existing Applet for everything you can think of doing. So for most people, there is actually no need to buy the pro version.
Save money by using IFTTT free
There are actually several ways you can use the IFTTT free version to save money. The most significant one being your electricity bill.
We estimate that IFTTT helps customers save 40% on their water heating costs by programming their smart thermostat to heat at the cheapest times of the day.IFTTT.com
As the quote states, you can through smart thermostats actually use conditional logic to only heat during times when the prices are low.
This also applies to electricity which also fluctuates in prices during the day and night where electricity is usually cheapest at night.
If you have a home battery installed like a Tesla Power Wall. You can reduce peak energy consumption by letting all your appliances draw power from the battery instead of the grid when the prices are high and recharge the battery when the prices are low.
All these functionalities are already available, as free Applets ready to turn on.
Why you should consider getting IFTTT Pro
You should get IFTTT Pro if you like the freedom, creativity, and programmability it’s going to give you.
I’m considering getting IFTTT Pro because of the amount of creative stuff you can do and the fact that it is something you put together and not something you just turn on and it works.
If you were already a heavy user before they limited the free version, I would definitely recommend you get the Pro version. The minimum price is $1.99, for now, so I would say most who feel they need it should be able to afford it at the moment. However, after October 7th, you’ll have to pay $9.99 a month, which could definitely bring a whole new perspective.
IFTTT Pro also offers faster execution for real-time data through Applets. This is something that I deem very necessary in some situations and is also one huge selling point towards me getting it.
If I use IFTTT for functions that have to react to something I tell it to do, like saying to my Google Nest Mini “Hey Google, Execute order 66”, I want it to play the Darth Vader theme song immediately and not wait for 2-3 minutes. It would just make my Star Wars game pretty weak, to say the least.
Did I just convince myself to get the Pro version? Oh well.
Something I wished they’d do with the Pro version instead
IFTTT is a feat of engineering, it really is a marvel of how well it’s developed and designed. Everyone can use this thing and it makes programming into a natural language like it’s the easiest thing to do.
This concept of connecting things to make other things, I would really like it if they’ve kept it free forever. Rely on this concept to bring in people and continue to have a large audience which you can then promote other new awesome concepts to.
I would have loved to see awesome apps and concepts from the same brilliant team and gladly paid for it as well.
But making people pay for something they’ve had for years for free is just not the right way to keep them hanging around.
Also, I think IFTTT will eventually get swallowed by the smart hub’s own growing capabilities. For example, they’re quite a lot of stuff I can do with just the Google Nest/Home speakers and Philips Hue Light.
Apps, appliances, and other smart devices will keep getting more and more interconnected with more capabilities. It is not going to take many years before you wouldn’t need IFTTT at all. So why make it cost money?
I really wished they had to take another approach and develop new technologies which could make them the money they need, rather than relying on their biggest feat of engineering today.
The best alternative for IFTTT Pro
So we’ve covered the IFTTT Pro, I think it’s worth it for now but as it now costs a significant amount of money there is really no reason not to look at alternatives.
Zapier might be the most popular competitor for IFTTT. In many ways, they work the same and the concept is still connectivity between apps and devices made easy with event triggers, conditional logic, and data.
Zapier is popular for its ability to make very complex sequences and workflows with multiple steps and action sets.
Like IFTTT, Zapier has both a free version and a pro version. Well, they actually have two separate pro versions just to make things complicated.
They are named Free, Starter and Professional.
For the Free version, you have 5 “Zaps” available. Zaps are the same as IFTTTs Applets. But Zapier doesn’t differentiate between your own created Zaps and just “turned on Zaps”, all you can have is 5 workflows or jobs and that is it.
The free version is also limited to 15 minutes of update time. This means that all Zaps you create will have up to 15 minutes delays in their sequences.
For the Starter, you have 20 Zaps, which should be enough for most people.
You also have access to 3 premium apps, filters, formatters, and webhooks.
And still, you’ll have 15 minutes of delay in all your Zaps.
The Professional version gives you an unlimited amount of apps both premium and normal, with 2 minutes delay, everything in Starter, custom logic paths, and auto replay.
The auto replay can easily be misunderstood. What they mean by auto replay is that if a job or workflow failed it can keep trying and retrying later if the error is due to connectivity.
For personal use, I think Zapier is the best alternative if you want to reconsider IFTTT Pro. For business use, Zapier is a much better choice because of its team and company options, and connections via webhooks.
Zapier is however a little more expensive. The Starter version will cost you $19.99 and the Professional version will cost you $49. Which is significantly more. If you just want more capabilities for your smart home usage, I’d still go with IFTTT Pro for now.
My suggestion for further reading
Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.Read more...