Liftmaster links garages with Google and IFTTT -- for a fee
Liftmaster's integration with the Google Assistant and its MyQ channel on IFTTT will let you control your smart garage door opener in all sorts of ways, but using them will cost you a buck per month.
Ry CristSenior Editor / Reviews - Labs
Originally hailing from Troy, Ohio, Ry Crist is a writer, a text-based adventure connoisseur, a lover of terrible movies and an enthusiastic yet mediocre cook. A CNET editor since 2013, Ry's beats include smart home tech, lighting, appliances, broadband and home networking.
ExpertiseSmart home technology and wireless connectivityCredentials
10 years product testing experience with the CNET Home team
Specifically, you'll need to pay Liftmaster $1 per month in order to opt in, or $10 per year. If you just want to try it out, you can take advantage of a free 30-day trial. Users also get access to an integration with Google that lets them control their garage door with Google Assistant voice commands, as in, "OK Google, close my garage." They can opt out without penalty at any time.
It's a noteworthy development for both IFTTT and Google, which have each long offered users free access to supported third-party products and services. Now, Liftmaster is stepping in as a gatekeeper and charging its users a fee for access to both, which strikes me as a touch stingy. Neither Google nor IFTTT receives a share of that fee revenue, the two companies tell me.
"The revenue goes to Chamberlain Group," says Paul Accardo, Liftmaster's Manager, Marketing Communications. "The subscription model helps us keep product prices low and broaden the number of third-party technologies we support."
Short for "if this, then that," IFTTT acts as an online middle-man between supported products and services. Users can turn on "applets" that automate those supported services using that if-this-then-that structure, or they can create their own.
For instance, you could create an applet that turns on your IFTTT-supported smart lights whenever the garage door is opened, or one that closes your garage door automatically whenever you arm an IFTTT-supported security system. IFTTT also supports timed automations (if it's 9 p.m., then close the garage door), as well as geofenced automations (if my phone exits a one-mile radius of my home, then close the garage door).
IFTTT isn't Liftmaster's only outside integration for its MyQ connected garage door opener. Users who upgrade to the $50 MyQ Home Bridge can also connect their garage door with Apple HomeKit, and control it using Siri commands.
Watch this: Bringing the CNET Smart Home garage up to speed