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Gmail is about to lose its IFTTT functionality

Score one for privacy, but at the expense of ease-of-use.

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You’ll no longer be able to automate common tasks in your Gmail inbox using the popular IFTTT service after Sunday (March 31) of this week. That’s the date that Google is revoking IFTTT’s access to Gmail’s APIs, in line with the sweeping changes announced back in October of last year.

That means that the only actions that will be available to IFTTT users are Send an email and Send yourself an email, without being able to trigger automated actions based on emails you receive.

IFTTT (If This Then That) says that becoming compliant with the new policy would have needed “major infrastructure changes” that would have affected the user experience, possibly for the whole site if I’m reading its statement correctly.

We’ve long had a good relationship with Google and we support their efforts to improve privacy and security, though we understand this change may be a disappointment to the communities that use these Applets. We look forward to working with Google in the future to bring new, sustainable services to IFTTT in ways that empower everyone to benefit from and control their data.

More about IFTTT

IFTTT is a popular service that uses the APIs of multiple services, apps, and smart home products as an attempt to unify its use. IFTTT recipes get put together from triggers and actions, and can take an input from one service and translate that into an action on a second service. For example, you could turn your Philips Hue bulbs into notification lights for your Gmail inbox, by chaining trigger “New email in inbox from” to action “flash my Hue bulbs [color].”

Now, you won’t be able to use Gmail as a trigger, as part of a tightening up of Gmail’s policies on API access. That policy change came after news reports that Google was letting third-party developers indiscriminate access to users’ inboxes, which got privacy advocates all heated up. As part of the change, Google also promised to review all third-party apps using the Gmail API, to ensure they are all in compliance with the new rules.

What do you think? Did you use IFTTT with Gmail? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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