Android Wear, while based on the fully mature Android operating system, is still in its infancy. Currently, it’s really great at telling you the time, over-counting your steps, acting as a remote camera shutter, and pinging your wrist every time you get an email or tweet. That’s pretty much it.
But you can change that thanks to the power of the cloud-based scripting service, IFTTT. Thanks to IFTTT, you can control the lights in your home, keep track of FourSquare checkins, and generally add features to the watch while we wait for official apps to be blessed with Android Wear compatibility.
Before we get into the recipes that’ll make your smartwatch moderately awesome, you should know that you need to have the app running on your phone for any recipes that require an action from the watch. To launch IFTTT on your smartwatch just tap the screen. When Google Now prompts you to speak say, “Launch If This Then That.”
If you’d rather tap around your watch, at the Google Now prompt, tap the screen. You’ll be taken to a scrolling list of watch options. Scroll all the way to the bottom to Start. Then scroll and tap IFTTT to launch the app.
There’s no official WeMo app available for Android Wear, but with a simple recipe you can control anything you have connected to a WeMo switch. The recipe is a toggle, so you can turn items on and off with just a simple tap.
There’s a reason movie theatres remind us to silence our phone ringers. They’re annoying, but also it’s easy to forget that you didn’t actually turn your ringer off. Then of course, once the ringer does go off you during the big scene. This recipe will silence your phone with a tap on the wrist.
Getting separated from your friends sucks. Getting lost, is worse. But even if you’re not lost, and you just need to share your location with a pre-determined friend or family member, this recipe is a quick and easy way to do that.
We all have that one friend. The one that takes a photo when you’re shoving food in your mouth or your hair looks like it exploded out of your head. But they don’t stop with just taking an embarrassing photo, they then post it to Facebook and tag you. Now all your friends know what you look like when you’re eating a messy slice of pizza. This recipe will alert you when anyone tags you in a Facebook photo and you can quickly track down the culprit and sternly ask them to remove it.
The Nest learning thermostat is amazing. It knows what temperature you want based on the weather, if you’re home or away, and your daily schedule. But sometimes you need to manually set the thermostat. With this recipe you pick a temperature. Then whenever you want to make your house warmer or colder, just tap your smartwatch.
If you’re a fan of Foursquare or just stalking your friends on the social network, this recipe will alert you every time a friend checks in within a predetermined area. It’s currently set for San Francisco, but you can change it to any area you please.
Whether you’re going to bed or leaving the house, having a quick way to turn off your lights is always helpful. Unfortunately, unlike the WeMo channel on IFTTT, you can’t toggle Hue lights off and on with IFTTT. It’s either turn them on or off. So if you want to turn lights on and off, you’ll need two recipes. Fortunately for you, I whipped up a Turn On all Hue On recipe. You’re welcome.
If you find yourself sending the same SMS to a friend over and over again, why bother taking your phone out of your pocket? This recipe lets you add their phone number and you can customize the message to fit your needs.
If you have any recipes or ideas for Android Wear IFTTT recipes, drop them in the comments. We’ll add the best to the article.
➤ IFTTT for Android