How to: use web based automations

There are several automation web services available that will do your bidding automagically. Here is a list of a few that I have found works well.


Wappwolf integrates well with Dropbox, box, Google Drive and Facebook and can process them for you in quite a few different ways. For Dropbox, you can convert files to PDF, downscale images, convert audio files, rename files, upload files etc.

Wappwolf is free for 3 active automations and max 100 files/100 MB per day and runs every 15 minutes. There is a premium option available for $5 for one week or $10 for a month of increased processing.

wappwolf automations

Above: Dropbox automations provided by Wappwolf


IFTTT automates quite a few services. It can archive your online presence into Evernote and it can create posts for you based on different events. It has a very easy interface to create custom recipes/automations so that you can create custom actions if none of the available ones fell quite right. Remember to test any recipe, I have found several ones relying on external services that didn’t work as expected.

IFTTT is free at the moment but like everything else will need to figure out a way to make money in the future, either by fees or ads or by being bought and incorporated into a larger offering…

ifttt channels

Above: Channels provided by IFTTT


on{X} is something as odd as a Microsoft automation service for Android phones. And it requires Facebook logins instead of LiveID/Microsoft accounts. One might assume that the service will be released and incorporated into the upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS.

on{X} uses a growing API of triggers and services for your phone to sense different events and activate functions based on them. It could be as simple as checking the weather the first time you activate your phone in the morning and remind you to bring an umbrella if it is going to rain.

Or it could be more advanced, such as launching the Foursquare app if you’ve been at the same location for more than 20 minutes etc. It has a more advanced programming based User Experience so you can create quite advanced custom events if you feel the available automations/recipes are lacking.

on{X} is free at the moment, but you need to install the app on your phone. Never mind the poor reviews, it is a very misunderstood feature. You also need to log in to the web site with your Facebook account and create your automations there.

onx automations

Above: Sample Automations in on{X}


zapier has quite a few different integrations and has a more professional approach with different plans for different levels of their service, from free 5 hour checks to 200 integration checks every 5 minutes for $100/month. zapier also supports a broader range of services such as most of Google services including Google Drive and Microsoft services such as SkyDrive. For personal use it would be best suited for automations where none of the other services are available and where you can live with a 5 hour delay. If you need faster service you would need the basic package for $15/month

zapier services

Above: zapier integrations

General note

By using any of these services, you give them access to a lot of your information. If you aren’t comfortable with this you probably shouldn’t use them. But then you might not want to use any of the cloud services they connect with to begin with.


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