#12brightapps – Day 10 – IF

IF - The IFTTT AppWhat is it?

IF is the app that supports the IFTTT service (it stands for If This, Then That). It allows you to connect different applications together for productivity, communication and speed. Think: If this happens then do that!

What can it do?

It allows you to create ‘recipes’ connecting different services eg. If there is a TurnItIn service update, then send a notification to my phone or if I post a new photo on Instagram then also save it to my Flickr photos. You can use the service on a website (IFTTT) but the app also allows you to take advantage of features on your devices like alerts and location.

Download it now.

  1. Open the App Store or Android market on your phone or tablet, search for ‘IF’ and download.
  2. Launch IF and sign up for a free IFTTT account (or login if you already have one).
  3. You may be prompted to set your device to allow Background App Refresh, this allows the connections to work when you aren’t in the app, for this task just click OK which will not change your settings.

10 Minute Task:

Not for me?
Today’s task sets up Twitter notification. Not a Twitter user? We’ve prepared an alternative activity for the day, try Hopscotch instead!

This task is aiming to show you how easy it is to set up notifications on your device for things of interest to you, in this task we’ll set your device to notify you when you there is a new #12brightapps tweet so you don’t miss any!

Click the recipe icon at the top right and ‘ok’ if prompted to change your settings (this will not change your settings).

IF Add a recipe

Click + to add a new recipe.

IF Create a Recipe


IF will show you lots of suggested services you can connect to, but for now just click ‘Create a Recipe’ at the bottom of the screen.

You’ll be prompted to click the blue + to add what will trigger your notification.

Click it and select the Twitter service and choose ‘New Tweet from Search’ as the trigger as we want to check for our hashtag.


You will be prompted to activate the Twitter channel by connecting your account to the IF app. Continue and complete this authorisation by logging into Twitter until you reach the ‘done’ screen.

You will now be asked what you want to search for, and for this task enter #12brightapps.


You’ll see your recipe taking shape, now we need to add what happens when it finds a tweet, so click the red + and select ‘IF Notifications’, this will mean a notification will pop up on your device.


Choose ‘send a notification’ and again you will be prompted to activate this channel, continue and click done. It will provide some suggested text for the notification so you can just click next.


You are done, press finish.


You can now leave the app, and as soon as someone posts a tweet with the right hashtag your phone will let you know (within 10 minutes, but often less). Try it out yourself by tweeting now!


Ok, it worked but now I’ve got too many notifications! You can easily turn a recipe off temporarily by using the green slider or you can edit the recipe by selecting it and changing what you search for.


And Finally…

Why don’t aliens celebrate Christmas?

Because they don’t want to give away their presence.

Discussion Board

What services could you connect to help your productivity? You can trigger events based on your (or rather your device’s) location, and use this to text your family or turn on your lights! How do you feel about that kind of automation?

Further Task(s)

When you connect a service the app will suggest recipes you might be interested in. If you are an Evernote user, try connecting that service to see the kinds of recipes it suggests, eg save your favourite tweets to an Evernote notebook, or save screenshots you take on your phone to an Evernote notebook. You can also use IF on your computer by visiting the IFTTT website (https://ifttt.com). You might find managing your recipes and services easier this way.

Useful resources

The IFTTT website

A how to guide for the app with more examples of services you can connect from HowToGeek

#12brightapps Day Nine – Photoshop Express

Photoshop ExpressWhat is it?

An easy way to touch up and improve your photos.

What can it do?

Correct and improve your photos with simple slide bar adjustments for different fixes and filters: crop, straighten and remove red-eye. Once perfected you can share your results easily from the app via social media, email and text message.

Photoshop ExpressDownload it now

  1. Open the App Store or Android market on your phone or tablet, search for ‘Photoshop Express’ and download.
  2. Launch Photoshop Express and for now choose ‘Maybe later’ instead of signing up.
  3. You may choose to sign up for free account at a later date which provides 2Gb of online storage for your images.

10 Minute Task:

This task is aiming to show you how easy it is to photoshop images like a professional.

To get you ready for the Christmas Party season we will take a selfie and make you look your best!

Within the app you will be prompted to select an image you already have or to take a new photo.

Click on camera so we can take a Selfie! You may need to autorise the app to use the camera which you should allow. You do not need to allow the app to use your location. Rotate the camera if your device has this option to take a photo of yourself, smile and press the camera icon to take the picture. If prompted allow the app to save the photo to your device.

Press the cross icon to come out of the camera. You can then search images on your device (‘on your phone’) and select the photo you just took.

Original Photo

Scroll through the different ‘looks’ available and find one you like. ‘Dream’ is a good choice to add soft-focus and take all the blemishes and wrinkles away!

Photoshop Express - Dreams look

The before/after icon on the top row allows you to switch back to your original at any time to compare the changes you have made.

Work through the toolbar at the bottom to test what each feature does to your Selfie:

PShopExpress_tool1 Looks


Crop, rotate, straighten, flip

PShopExpress_tool3 Corrections (try adding some ‘vibrance’ to your photo)

PShopExpress_tool4 Fix red-eye

PShopExpress_tool5 Borders (vignette black adds a nice subtle effect to frame your face)

PShopExpress_tool6 Blemish Removal (you should zoom right in to give you accurate control here, then just tap a blemish to remove it!

Photoshop Express - Vibrance


It doesn’t always do what you’d expect so the undo arrow at the top may be useful as you experiment)

Once you are happy, press the Share icon at the top to save your work to the Camera Roll or share online!

Photoshop Express - Share

If you are feeling brave share your final work to Twitter with the #12brightapps hashtag for us all to admire!

Share on Twitter

And Finally…

The song told me to ‘Deck the Halls’…so I did!

Mr and Mrs Hall were not happy!

Discussion Board

Do your end results look ‘photoshopped’?

Does this tool give you more confidence to use photos of yourself online eg on studentcentral?

Further Task(s)

Another good use of this tool is for restoring old photos. Scan an old photo and try removing ‘noise’ or restoring scratches.

Sign-up for a free account to unlock extra ‘looks’ and add the ability to save your favourite settings to quickly apply to photos in the future.

Useful resources

Adobe’s help page on Photoshop Express http://www.photoshop.com/products/photoshopexpress