Making IFTTT work with Apple’s new Shortcuts app

Step-by-step instructions to trigger IFTTT from Shortcuts

Say it ain’t so!

Just want to skip to the steps? Ctrl+F for “How to fix it”.

Back in June when Apple announced iOS 12 they touted a bunch of new features including Animoji, ARKit 2, better notifications, and Screen Time. All that stuff is great, but my favorite announcement by far was the unveiling of the new Shortcuts app.

I’m a long-time Workflow user so when Apple acquired Workflow last year I got a bit nervous that it might disappear. Workflow lets you build little scripts (“workflows”) to automate common tasks across apps on your phone. It’s super handy, which is why it’s exciting to see it live on as the Shortcuts app.

IFTTT, Where Art Thou?

I was lucky enough to get into the Shortcuts TestFlight beta and kick the tires early. Shortcuts is arranged a bit differently than Workflow but overall I think it’s an improvement. My only complaint is that it seems that the action to trigger an IFTTT Applet isn’t yet implemented.

Searching for IFTTT in Workflow (left) and Shortcuts (right)

The IFTTT action was powerful. It let a workflow trigger any IFTTT Applet and Applets can do a lot: post to Instagram, control smart lights, update a Google, and even notify you when the space station passes overhead.

54 Million IFTTT Applets! (source: https://platform.ifttt.com/lp/learn_more)

Early beta release notes indicated that some actions wouldn’t be available in beta, but that issue is marked as resolved now and IFTTT is nowhere to be seen. That’s a huge bummer.

But I’ve got good news! You can still trigger IFTTT applets from Shortcuts if you’re willing to spend a few extra minutes setting things up. Curious? Keep reading.

How to Fix It

I’m going to walk you through how I fixed IFTTT in one of my most used Workflows. I use this workflow to log every coffee I drink to a Google Sheet via IFTTT. I’m a bit of a coffee fiend (shameless plug for my app: Brew Timer) so losing this workflow was not an option.

Step 1: Set up an IFTTT Webhook

We’re going to set up a webhook on IFTTT. It’s basically a URL that you can visit to trigger an IFTTT Applet. Unfortunately it’s a little confusing to set up so I’ve got some screenshots you can use to follow along.

Head to the IFTTT Webhooks page and sign in. Click the Settings button in the top right corner.

Next copy the URL in the middle of the page:

Don’t click the buttons!

Go to that URL and you should see something like this:

Click {event} and type the name of the event you’ll trigger. For example, I chose log_coffee.

Save that URL. That is your webhook URL.

Step 2: Create Your IFTTT Applet

Next we’re going to set up an IFTTT Applet triggered by your webhook URL. Head over to https://ifttt.com/create to start making a new applet.

Click the big blue “this” and search for “webhook”:

Click it and you’ll land here:

We only have one choice, so let’s do that.

Fill in your event name from the webhook URL. (Mine was log_coffee.)

Finish the rest of steps to set up your applet. You want to set it up so it does the same thing as your existing Workflow-triggered applet. For instance, I set mine up to log to a Google Sheet. At the end you should have something like this:

We’re all set with IFTTT now!

Step 3: Trigger IFTTT from Shortcuts (aka the most important step)

When you start up Shortcuts for the first time, it imports all of your workflows automatically. Sweet! Find the Workflow you want modify. For example, here’s my coffee logging workflow:

As previously discussed, the IFTTT doesn’t work. (Shortcuts is on the right)

Get rid of the IFTTT Applet. Instead we’re going to call our webhook URL. That looks something like this:

It’s pretty simple, but there’s a few things that might be confusing:

  • The IFTTT keyvariable is the last part of your webhook URL. I moved it into a variable, but you can just paste the whole webhook URL.
  • If your IFTTT applet takes inputs, you can pass them as query parameters in the URL like I passed ?value1=Espresso . You can pass up to three parameters (named value1, value2 , and value3). So for example I could have passed ?value1=Espresso&value2=Delicious&value3=8AM .

Step 4: Run your shortcut

That’s it. Your done! Run your shortcut and make sure that your IFTTT Applet is triggered.

My coffee log. Courtesy of Workflow, and now Shortcuts.

That’s All Folks

I still hold out hope that the IFTTT action will return in a future version of Shortcuts, but for now this works for me.

I hope this works for you and makes using Shortcuts a little more useful. Feel free to tweet me @flat if you have any questions (or a better way to do it!).

Thanks for reading!