You probably heard the news that latest Launch Center Pro update brought integration with IFTTT, a service that trigger actions between web services. We're going to understand how both services work so we can take the most out of this new addition and, of course, I'll share a couple of recipes here in the first article on Launch Center Pro's groundbreaking update.
Launch Center Pro as a trigger
If you have zero experience with IFTTT, you select a trigger, for example, a new item is added to a RSS feed, and choose an action to be performed when the trigger fires. The Launch Center Pro channel has a single trigger, conveniently named Trigger, that supports only a name parameter. This name is what we're going to call from Launch Center Pro, not the name of the recipe itself.
Definitely the best use cases for LCP as a trigger is to interact with services it wouldn't otherwise, despite that being quite on the nose, if you check the Shared Recipes for LCP in its IFTTT channel you'll spot several actions that could easily be performed between native iOS apps. Among the most remarkable, controlling your home using Launch Center Pro stands out, as shown in these recipes to turn off Hue bulbs or Wemo Switches and the door lock actions using SmartThings to unlock the door using LCP or receive a notification if it is unlocked1. As you can spot from the recipes I selected, this update builds a bridge to interact with the real world using Launch Center Pro.
Another remarkable trick is to maneuver IFTTT limitation of handling nothing but text2 to support images by uploading photos to your Dropbox and grabbing a direct link you can include to your LCP action as a value. Several services support image from url, such as Facebook, Flickr and Evernote, so you can generate some nice notes and posts there. There's a nice recipe made by the LCP folks that does exactly this using Evernote as the destination.3
Probably the biggest advantage in this update is to "perform" URL actions with apps with very poor or none URL schemes. The best recipes here are to send links to Pocket and post in a Slack channel, besides, of course, the actions with aforementioned apps.
Launch Center Pro as an action
The most interesting twist is to use Launch Center Pro as a receiver, a channel from the web to your iOS devices and create actions that are not triggered by yourself, but the services you use. That's only viable due to LCP's ability to send custom links in its Run Custom URL action. You tap the notification and run an action.
Some of the best actions use Day One as their app of choice. New Instagram photos, new Facebook posts, loved Last.FM tracks and much more since IFTTT supports a myriad of social networks, allowing you to almost reproduce Brett Terpstra's Slogger on your iOS device.
Another cool trick is to use Siri to trigger any action through iOS Reminders. This one picks any reminder and adds it to Clear using the name of the Reminders' list. You may prefer to create one list per action, then add anything to it and IFTTT will trigger your custom URL. Cheating our way through voice integration.
There's also the most basic stuff, such as converting GitHub issues to tasks in your favorite task manager, in my case, I use Omnifocus with this recipe. Since you can still use LCP's input tags within these actions, you may also trigger prompts, lists and all the parameters at your disposal. For example, when you star a tweet, this recipe will send a LCP notification that, activated, will prompt you to add a task, which will be sent to Omnifocus with the tweet as a note. Another one, [get prompted to select a gif and send to a new App.net follower using Riposte.
As usual, the best automation tricks are also the most personal and now you got a broad array of possibilities. Go nuts, you can always chain actions using
x-success and, since you can use Launch Center Pro's input tags, you can design some long combinations effortlessly4 and now you got plenty of web services to play with.
We're not done with Launch Center Pro 2.3 yet and we'll cover more of its brand-new features in upcoming articles. Stay tuned and go play.
This one with LCP as an action ↩
This includes links, of course. ↩
Specially now that Launch Center Pro supports nested encoding helpers,