Alexa assistant can trigger commands in other apps via IFTTT
Amazon Echo network-connected speaker and Alexa virtual assistant has been updated with the ability to make and receive commands through If This Then That (IFTTT). The new Amazon Alexa IFTTT Channel allows users to set new commands or "recipes" for the device to follow, expanding its functionality to work with a large number of well-known online services.
Three new apps exploit the power of IFTTT
If you use IFTTT, then not only do you know it's great but you also know what it stands for. If This Then That is an exceptional online service, that is now also a trio of apps: Do Button, Do Camera, and Do Note. If IFTTT is still the tool of the same people who use RSS -- so not exactly geeks, but at least geek-inclined -- then these apps might be what brings it to everyone else.
Gmail for iOS now leverages Google Drive directly for archiving and attachments
Google has updated its Gmail for iOS (free) to allow users to leverage the company's Google Drive in two new ways: users can now save attachments in emails directly to Google Drive, and users can now access Google Drive directly from within the Gmail app to add attachments to outgoing messages. The update to version 3.14159 (yes, pi) also gives users more options with account management, such as deciding which of their Gmail account is seen without removing other accounts, and changing the Gmail profile pic.
E-book subscription service Oyster launches web and mobile web reader
Oyster, an e-book subscription service, has announced its launch of new web and mobile web readers. The expansion marks its second new platform in the past month (with the first launch specifically for Android users in June). Pages in the web reader will scroll smoothly from top to bottom, with five reader themes to select from. Oyster is partnered with over 1,600 publishers, and offers access to a diverse library for $10 per month.
IFTTT introduces iOS Photos, Reminders compatibility
Productivity app IFTTT (pronounced like 'gift' without the 'g') has released its latest update, version 1.2. IFTTT allows users to enter formulaic commands (called 'Recipes') to complete tasks between apps and web services (called 'Channels'). Version 1.2 has introduced Actions for iOS Photos and Reminders, as well as a new Feedback button within Settings. The background syncing has been improved for iOS 7, and new swipe gestures have been added. IFTTT is available on iTunes for free download.
Includes extra photo, contact, reminder actions
Formerly web-only service If This Then That (IFTTT) has released a native iPhone app. The web service is able to automate a number of online actions via simple conditional statements known as "recipes." Action points can be linked to other online services -- such as Craigslist, Dropbox, Etsy, Evernote, or Gmail -- as well as things like personal email or the date and time.
Update available for existing systems
Philips has introduced a downloadable update for its Hue lighting system. Version 1.1 brings several location-based features, referred to as "geofencing," that enable multicolor Hue bulbs to be automatically turned on or off or change color when residents approach or leave their home, without requiring preprogrammed scheduling.