Week 17: Paul's Smart home diary

IFTTT recipes gone wrong

Week 17: Paul's Smart home diary
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This post first appeared on Wareable, in July 2016...

Let's talk recipes. No, not the Jamie Oliver-type, the IFTTT-type. This week, I've been messing around with IFTTT recipes. And, if you're new to the platform as I was – here's a word of warning: start out with some simple setups. Don't run before you can walk.

In fact, I think I attempted the IFTTT equivalent of the Marathon Des Sables before I could walk.

After setting up one recipe very successfully – turning on a Philips Hue Bloom when my kitchen's Nest Cam detected movement – I went massively off-piste for my next endeavour. And I never really found my way back.

Remember how, a few weeks back, I told you about my Sonos setup and described how, although it's not officially in the IFTTT ecosystem you can work around it? Well, you can, and I attempted to. But I got lost in GitHub hell.

GitHub, in case you're not familiar, is like a social network for coders. Sort of. It's a repository of hosted code from more than 14 million active users.

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It all sounded so simple on the IFTTT search page for "Sonos".

"Play Sonos when arriving home" caught my eye. The fact that I had to first connect my Dropbox account to do this should have been enough to convince me not to go further. Two hours later, and after attempting to navigate my way through Hazel and SoCo Python library I was in a world of pip-based script pain.

Unless you have a decent understanding of coding, don't bother. Trust me.

This is not a criticism of IFTTT at all. Remember, I went wrong with recipes that were hack-jobs. Sonos is not officially a partner. There are plenty of awesome IFTTT recipes that are simple to setup. If you've got any of the big name connected smart home tech or wearables you're bound to find a recipe that makes your life easier.

And, when I can face looking at my IFTTT app again – and the Python flashbacks have passed – I'm sure that's exactly what I will do.

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