How to automate tasks on your Android phone
Android handsets are becoming so versatile that it is easy to start using them for most of your computing, communication and everyday tasks, repeating the same actions with your phone many times over during the daily interactions.
You may or may not know, however, that there are several excellent apps that allow you to automate the heck out of the daily, weekly and so on routine tasks you do with your handset. These are based on sets of rules created with and-or conditions on if-then algorithms, that let you create macros of sorts, similar to the ones on your Windows machine or in your Excel table, that execute certain action (s) with your handset, if the input conditions are met. A simple example would be "If I'm leaving home/work, then always turn off Bluetooth, unless paired, and Wi-Fi as well."
Yep, this is all possible with such apps, but there's a newcomer on the Android automation front, called simply Automated Device, that combines the best of both worlds - it is more comprehensive than your typical free automation app, yet keeps their price tag of zero. The app is a very useful addition to the other automation apps of choice for Google's mobile OS. Check the best contenders below, and load them up on your Android device to start your lazy days with the smart gear.
Automated Device offers more than 30 conditions you can base your tasks on, and the customizations it allows are unprecedented for a free app. You can even let the phone determine whether you are inside or outside of a place, by point and radius, and make it execute certain actions, like pairing with the Bluetooth stereo in your car when you enter it, and turning Bluetooth off when you exit, for instance.
The oldie but goodie Llama automation app has a more limited set of conditions, but is also free, and still gives you plenty of options to tinker with, plus it can build location-aware algorithms as well. Since GPS is not used, the location tracking is limited to the number of phone masts in your area, which will work best if you live in a populated one.
The Cadillac of Android automation apps, Tasker costs a few bucks, but these will be money very well spent, as the app sports a dizzying array of conditions, more than 200, and even some 3rd party app support. There is a whole community dedicated to finding the most ingenious automation steps and combinations done with Tasker, so even if you are inexperienced in automating your Android, these will save you a lot of the initial time needed to set your phone the way you like it.