Voice assistants are pretty convenient. You can ask them the weather when you get up in the morning, have them set timers, even put them into infinite loops for your own entertainment, but despite these things, they definitely have a limited number of commands you can issue.
Now, short of developing an app using the voice assistant APIs, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to add your own custom actions and triggers to Google Home, Echo, etc. Thankfully though, IFTTT exists.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a popular program that allows you to create triggers and actions with an easy to use UI for popular services and platforms. And in this case, they have both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant triggers ready to go (and it’s super easy).
For either device, first, download the IFTTT app from your app store (iOS/Android) and create an account.
Once in the app, tap on Search and type in either Alexa or Google Assistant.
Tap one and it’ll show you a bunch of Applets (triggers and actions already packaged for you to just install and use).
Create a New Applet in IFTTT
You can also create an Applet of your own from scratch.
Tap the Applet icon at the bottom right.
Tap the plus icon at the top right.
Choose Alexa or Google Assistant if you want them to be the trigger (i.e. say a custom phrase to them and have them trigger an action) or you can use other triggers in IFTTT to make the Google Home or Echo do an action (but this is a bit of a rabbit hole so for this article, let’s focus on you using the voice assistants to trigger other things and you can explore IFTTT on your own later when you have a weekend to kill).
Once you have the phrase you want (in all lowercase it asks), you can select the “that” part of the Applet and search for the device service you want to use. For this, I’ll have Alexa turn my lights a different color so I searched for Phillips Hue (the smart bulbs I have).
*For any services you haven’t set up, it’ll have you connect them by logging into those accounts.
So I selected to change my bedroom red (it grabs the room names and bulbs automatically after you connect the account).
Then I select finish and it’ll show it as an active Applet. You can turn these off and on, edit them, and delete them from the My Applet section at the bottom right whenever you need in the future, as well.
Then you can just repeat this for any other actions or for Google Assistant, etc. Have fun, guys.