How to Add IFTTT Shortcuts to Your Phone’s Home Screen

IFTTT lets you automate a ton of your favorite web services, but you can also create convenient home screen shortcuts for a whole host of different tasks. Here’s how to set them up.

In addition to applying rules that work automatically in the background, like most IFTTT applets, IFTTT also has “button widgets” that streamline applets into a single button press. You can put these butotns on the front page of the mobile app, in your iPhone’s Notification Center, or right on the home screen on your Android device.

In the past, IFTTT had a separate app for this, called DO, but the functionality is now built right into the main IFTTT app. And though these button widgets are still slightly limited compared to what you can do with IFTTT as a whole, the convenience of accessing the applets from a single location can’t be overstated. Here’s how to set up these widgets.

How to Set Up IFTTT Button Widgets on the iPhone

Start off by opening up the IFTTT app and tapping on the “My Applets” tab down in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Tap on the settings gear icon in the top-left corner.

Select “Widgets” from the list.

Tap on “Get Widgets”.

Next, scroll through the nearly infinite widgets that you can enable. Unfortunately, though, there’s no search function and no way to create your own custom widget. However, the widgets that appear are based on IFTTT services that you have enabled.

Once you find a widget that you want to to enable, tap on it and then tap “Turn On”.

Next, you’ll likely need to configure the widget. In this case, we need to select which Belkin WeMo switch we want to be able to control, so tap on the dropdown menu at the bottom.

Select which switch you want the widget to control and then hit “Done”.

Hit “Save” in the top-right corner.

Next, a pop-up will appear at the bottom. Tap on “Go” within that pop-up.

Tap on the widget that you just created.

From here, you can choose where you want the widget to appear on your iPhone. You can even add a home screen icon that will take you to the widget in the IFTTT app.

However, if you want widgets to appear in the Notification Center, you still need to enable the IFTTT iOS widget. To do this, swipe down from the top of the screen to bring up the Notification Center, and then swipe to the right to show the widget screen.

Scroll down and tap on “Edit” at the bottom.

Find the IFTTT iOS widget and hit the green “+” button next to it.

Scroll back up to the top and the widget will now be in the list of active widgets. You can hold down on the move icon to the right to change where you want the widget located. It’s default location will be at the bottom. Tap “Done” in the top-right corner when finished.

Your IFTTT button widget will now appear in your Notification Center, giving you quick access to it whenever you want.

How to Set Up IFTTT Button Widgets on Android

On Android, the process is largely the same, with just a few minor differences. Start by opening the IFTTT app and tap on “My Applets” in the bottom-right corner.

Tap on the settings icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

Tap “Widgets” in the list.

If you have any applets that can be used to create widgets, you’ll see them in this list. You can also tap the + icon to find a list of applets that can be triggered with widgets. Once you’ve found an applet you like, tap on it.

 

Tap the large toggle in the middle of the screen to turn the applet on.

You may need to configure your applet before you use it. To do so, tap the gear icon at the top of the screen.

Tweak the settings on the applet’s page—in this example, you can change the “Quick add text” box—and tap the checkmark button at the top of the screen when you’re finished.

Once you finish adding the IFTTT applet to your account, you’ll need to add the widget to your home screen. You can do this the same way you add any other widget on Android. This process may be slightly different depending on your phone, though.

First, go to your home screen and long-press an empty space where you’d like to add a widget. Then, tap Widgets.

Scroll down the list of widgets and find IFTTT. The small widget will take up one icon space on your home screen, and it will only run one applet. You can also choose the large widget which will take up three spaces, but you can tap up and down arrows to cycle through every available widget-compatible applet you saw in the list within the IFTTT app a few steps ago. For this example, we’ll use the small widget.

Once you drop the small widget, you’ll need to pick which applet you want to run when you tap the widget. Choose one from the list. In this example we’re using “Quickly block off the next hour as Do Not Disturb” Google Calendar applet.

Now your widget will sit on your home screen. You can drag it around like any other Android app shortcut or widget, and activate your IFTTT applet with a single tap.

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.


Eric Ravenscraft covers smarthome tech for How-To Geek. He's a problem solver who never learned to say no to a project. When he's not fixing things, he's cosplaying at cons, playing video games, and watching too many comic book movies. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.