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Your IFTTT recipes are about to change

Recipes are now called "applets." The big difference? Applets can trigger a bunch of stuff, not just one thing.

Taylor Martin/CNET

IFTTT is a free online automation service that lets you link different gadgets and web services together using "recipes" that follow an "if this, then that" framework. Now, the service is announcing a couple of key changes.

This single Applet for Alexa triggers multiple things at once. Recipes could never do that.

IFTTT

First, recipes are out, replaced by what IFTTT calls "applets." Applets are a lot like recipes -- each one you turn on still enables an "if this, then that" automation. Unlike recipes, though, a single applet can trigger multiple things to happen at once -- think, "If this, then that and that and that." That's something that IFTTT power users have long been asking for.

There's a catch, though. For now, at least, only service providers will be able to create those multiple action applets. IFTTT pitches it as an easier way for product makers and service providers to leverage the platform to offer new features to their customers -- which, in fairness, is kind of the whole point of IFTTT.

The exception to this is something IFTTT calls the "maker tier," which IFTTT is aiming at "advanced users." Once it arrives in early 2017, users in that tier will have access to additional applet tools, including multi-action support. An IFTTT representative tells me that the maker tier will be open to anyone who requests access, though they'll need to pitch IFTTT on what kind of applets they're hoping to create.

The switch from recipes to applets comes after IFTTT made a summer push to get its automation controls directly into third-party partner apps. Applets seem to be optimized for this kind of third-party usage -- another sign that the switch is all about giving IFTTT's service partners more control over the platform.

The other big change is that the existing IF and DO apps are getting merged back together into a single IFTTT app. That's a return to normalcy after IFTTT tried to split things into automatic recipes that run in the background after you enable them (the "IF" app) and active recipes that require you to trigger them when you want them to run (the "DO" app). Now, you'll find everything all together in the IFTTT app.

All of the changes are live, starting today -- and don't worry: IFTTT says your existing recipes will automatically update into applets, and that they'll continue to work as before.