IFTTT activated an iOS location channel to much fanfare today. With this addition, people can build geo-based recipes that do things like post to Facebook when they're back in their hometowns, save wedding Instagram photos to a Dropbox folder, or log hours on the job to a spreadsheet.
IFTTT wasn't alone in this idea. Just two days ago, U.K.-based VisualCandyApps launched LIFTTT. An app built by a husband-and-wife team, LIFTTT touted similar functionality, letting people create recipes with location triggers. Talk about bad timing.
"For both of us, I think it was personal interest that kicked off LIFTTT," lead Android developer Stephen Lum told Fast Company. He said the company wouldn't have created LIFTTT if they knew location recipes were coming to IFTTT.
But LIFTTT might not be completely obsolete, offering a few things IFTTT lacks. "We added things power users will appreciate," said VisualCandyApps founder Anya Mallon. Finer-tuned controls let users add parameters to their recipes, running them only at certain times of the day or days of the week, which helps sales people or hourly workers track their time. While IFTTT restricts users to 20 locations on its app, LIFTTT doesn't impose such a limitation and also lets people name their locations to easily identify them. Furthermore, recipes run only when users have been at a specified location for more than a minute to prevent false triggers caused by "drive-bys," says Mallon. Plus, LIFTTT has an Android app. An official one from IFTTT won't arrive until early next year.
A representative at IFTTT said the company found it "super flattering" that others are building on top of its automation service. The San Francisco startup is readying a developer platform in the new year so third parties can build and register their services on IFTTT.