4 Cool Things You Can Do With Wappwolf and ifttt


Wappwolf and ifttt are a bit like the chocolate and peanut butter in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Separate, they're pretty good. Together, though, is when the magic happens.

For folks new to the services, Wappwolf is an application that performs actions when you drop a file into your Dropbox. ifttt, on the other hand, can interact with websites and services and then do things like send an email or save a file in Dropbox.

Let's take a look at a several ways to combine the services for maximum effect:

For example, Wappwolf can watch Dropbox and convert files to Kindle format and then send them to your Kindle. You could use this to save company documents for later reading on your ebook.

ifttt might watch Instagram or Flickr for photos, and save them to your Dropbox when they appear. You could use that to make sure you never miss a polar bear picture again.

Separately, they're pretty handy. Together, you can do some really interesting things.

(If you haven't tried Wappwolf or ifttt before, don't worry. They're dead easy to use. See the How to use Wappwolf Automator page, and/or the About ifttt page.)

1. Send a Text Message When Files Are Saved to Dropbox

Say you share a Dropbox folder with co-workers, and you want to be notified when there's a new file in the shared folder. ifttt only has triggers for new files in the public folder for Dropbox, while Wappwolf can take action based on pretty much any folder you give it access to.

Start with Wappwolf and create an action for the appropriate folder. Choose the "email it" action and set up an email to go to trigger@ifttt.com (be sure to set up your email address with ifttt). Set the Subject to #Dropbox Notify, and the body to the filename (or whatever you like). You can add whatever you like to the body, but you probably want to uncheck the "Add file as attachment" box.

Next, go to ifttt and choose the Email channel. Choose "Send ifttt an email tagged and use #Dropbox as the tag. Create the trigger and then go choose your action channel, in this case SMS. Choose "Send me a text message," and complete the task. Now when a file is saved in the Dropbox folder, you should get a text message.

Don't care for text messages? You could also use ifttt to send Boxcar notifications if you prefer that app to texts.

2. From Google Reader to Kindle

iPads are great for reading, especially with the Reeder app. But for reading longer text, nothing beats the Kindle. What we'll do here is save an article from Google Reader to a PDF, then convert that and send it to your Kindle. This one should be very easy, because ifttt already has a recipe for it, so you're halfway there. Just visit the recipe and create the task.

Next, head over to Wappwolf and pick the folder you specified, then tell Wappwolf to "Send it to your Kindle." Add the action, save, and you're ready to go.

3. Copy Files from ifttt to FTP Servers, Box or SkyDrive

ifttt supports saving files to Dropbox, but it doesn't support the breadth of services that Wappwolf does. If you want to copy files over to Microsoft SkyDrive, Box, or upload them to an FTP server, you'll need to combine ifttt and Wappwolf.

Create any action in ifttt that saves a file to Dropbox in ifttt, then select the folder you're saving to in Dropbox to create the Wappwolf action for saving to the appropriate service.

Of course, you're not limited merely to uploading files from one service to the other. Wappwolf lets you combine actions, so you can save a file to Dropbox, use Wappwolf actions on the file, and then upload it to its destination.

4. Process Files via Email

Wappwolf works on files only when they're saved to Dropbox. Usually that's not a problem, since Dropbox clients are available on just about every popular platform. But what if you want to use Wappwolf with files coming in via email? No problem. You can use ifttt to save to a Dropbox folder, then create the appropriate Wappwolf action.

This might be useful if you want, for instance, to email yourself a file using a chron job on a server. Just attach the file to the email, mail it to ifttt and have it saved to Dropbox, then use Wappwolf to perform whatever actions you like.

Patience Is a Virtue

Note that some patience is required in setting up tasks with Wappwolf and ifttt. It can take a few minutes for each service to perform its tasks. For example, the chain required to save a file to PDF via Google Reader and ifttt, then convert and send to Kindle, then for Amazon to ready it for the Kindle took about five to seven minutes. That's not a long time, but it's slower than some folks might be used to with most modern Web services.

Have any cool tips that you want to share with the rest of the ReadWriteWeb audience? We'd love to hear about any cool hacks that use ifttt and/or Wappwolf. Share and enjoy!