Expanding your app-titude

A monthly look at mobile apps that can make the CPA’s job and life better.
BY GREG LAFOLLETTE, CPA/CITP, CGMA

IF THIS, THEN THAT (IFTTT): CREATE “RECIPES” FOR SUCCESS

IFTTTIFTTT (rhymes with “gift”) is a free internet service that allows you to “connect” disparate platforms by triggering an action on one platform based on something that happens on another. It supports well over 100 “channels.” A channel is IFTTT’s term for a platform. Examples of a channel might be a web service such as Facebook or Dropbox, or a native smartphone function such as an email, text, or phone call. IFTTT uses “recipes” with “ingredients” (e.g., an email from a specific person) to link channels by using a “trigger” from one place to cause an action on another. My favorite recipe, for example, is one that automatically mutes my Android phone when I enter a specific place. I’ve included my church and my favorite movie theater as those places. IFTTT uses the geolocation feature of my phone to recognize where I am and then, based on the recipe, causes (triggers) an action. In this case, the action is to mute my phone.

Just like with cooking, you can go it alone by combining channels, ingredients, triggers, and actions to suit your needs, or you can choose from an ever-growing list (now with more than 200,000 entries) of public “recipes” available on the IFTTT website. Another recipe I use posts my Facebook status updates to Twitter. The possibilities are almost endless, and as IFTTT adds more channels and ingredients, they grow exponentially. This is truly an example of a utility whose usefulness is limited only by your imagination. How about IF [I miss a call] FROM [a specific person(s)], THEN [add a note to my calendar] THAT [reminds me to call that person back]?    

  • Website: IFTTT.com
  • Cost: Free 
  • Operating Systems: iOS, Android, Web

 

CONSOLIDATE YOUR CLOUD STORAGE WITH CLOUDGOO

cloudGOOThere’s a problem a-brewin’—one that you probably have yet to identify as affecting you. As cloud-based storage proliferates, many of us end up using multiple platforms as we share with different people or teams, each of whom also ends up using multiple platforms. We like to think of cloud storage as one place, but unfortunately it’s accessed via many, many platforms. We have accounts all over! And files all over, too! A service called cloudGOO might just be your solution to this looming problem. CloudGOO “consolidates” your space (and, obviously, your files) from Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive), Amazon Cloud Drive, Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, and iCloud—all in a single platform. No longer are you required to remember which cloud platform you used for a particular file. CloudGOO will utilize (and optimize) all your accounts through a single interface. I’m sure we’ll see more sophistication in this genre, but until then, cloudGOO does a reasonable job of easing the pain. 

  • Website: cloudGOO.com
  • Cost: Basic—free
  • Operating Systems: iOS, Android, Web


Greg LaFollette
(
greg.lafollette@hq.cpa.com ) is a strategic adviser with CPA.com, the commercial subsidiary of the AICPA.

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