IFTTT isn't your only gateway to a connected, automated smart home setup. For users looking at chaining together more than a couple of platforms at once - Stringify could well be the answer.
With more, er, strings to its bow than IFTTT, Stringify offers extra functionalities and freedoms that its bigger named rival (you can even throw IFTTT into the mix, in fact). And it's a name you could be hearing more of. Comcast recently snapped up Stringify and announced at CES 2018 that it would soon integrate the cloud-powered automation with Xfinity.
Essential reading: The best IFTTT recipes
In Stringify you setup a trigger from a 'Thing' - the initial action that kicks things off - and then assign Thing actions to follow after in the Flow. Yep, Flow. There'll be no talk of recipes or applets here. These Flows can include multiple parameters to trigger an action or have multiple actions triggered.
This is particularly useful if you want to string together a bunch of connected tech platforms and then add extra dimensions such as time periods to the mix. Plenty of the big names - Nest, Lifx, Hue, Alexa, Ring, Netatmo and more - are on board too.
Anyways - on to the main ingredient. Here are our pick of the 5 best Stringify Flows...
Let's jump straight in with a Flow that highlights just how complex things can get with Stringify - this one uses six different Things: Nest, Multi Sensor, Location, Hue, Notification and Weather.
This Flow looks to see if your location (from your smartphone) is set to home and that your front door Multi Sensor has been open for 20 minutes. If those are both true then it will turn a Hue bulb blue and send you an SMS saying: "The front door has been open for 20 minutes". If the temperature outside is above 80 degrees then it will set your Nest Thermostat temperature to 75 inside or if it's below 50 it will turn the temp up inside, putting it up to 60. These temperatures, and time periods, are all adjustable too - as is the bulb colour and the text message.
See, we told you it was a bit more in-depth than IFTTT.
Smarter Philips Hue security lights
Philips Hue and Nest already team up pretty well without IFTTT or Stringify getting involved - but you can get a lot more specific with the latter powering the processdings.
We have it set up so that, between midnight and 5am, if any of our Nest Cams detect motion, certain Hue lights will turn on. We've also set it so that these lights turn off after 15 minutes, as we don't want to come downstairs to find everything lit up just because a cat had a walk around the outside of our house.
Whole Home Ring
Struggling to hear your Ring Doorbell's chime when you're in the kitchen? Got a Sonos speaker in your kitchen? And a Samsung SmartThings Hub? Then you're in luck.
This Flow sends a doorbell chime over Sonos connected to SmartThings. Super simple but super effective.
Look Occupied Home
This one is a little complex but such a great idea. It brings together the motion sensor on a Yale smart lock, your Hue lights, a Logitech Harmony, the geo-location data from your smartphone and Stringify's timer.
If your Yale lock notices motion outside your front door - and you're not home - it will fire up whatever Hue bulbs you tell it to and play an activity from your Logitech Harmony remote... maybe firing up Netflix on TV and playing some radio on a speaker in the bedroom. You can set a timer that you feel is long enough to deter any unwanted attention from your abode.
That's actually the name of this Flow. Chubby buddy. Brilliant. Essentially it's designed to fat-shame you into losing weight.
After your Withings smart scales register a 200lbs+ reading you'll get a text with the weight, fat mass and fat ratio all detailed and and a message over Sonos will say, "You weigh X. Are you kidding me? Do something about it today." And your Hue bulbs will turn red at 100% brightness too, just for an added kick in the teeth.
Naturally, you can customise the weight trigger and the Sonos message. Maybe a rendition of, Who ate all the pies?
To setup these Flows, and create your own ones you'll need to download the Stringify iOS or Android app. Search for a Flow from the Things you already own, or create your own ones - it's easy once you get started.