One of the things I like about having an Android handset is the ability to automate a lot of settings on the phone, or activities that the phone does.
The apps that I use to accomplish this are:
None of these apps are free, though some are available for free with reduced-functionality, but all are worth the minimal cost for the full version.
We’ll start with Tasker. I’m no big Tasker hacker, but it’s a pretty powerful app which can be used to do a lot of things. I’m probably only scratching the surface, but I use it do the following:
- When I am at home, turn on wifi and turn silent mode off
- When I am not at home, turn off wifi and turn silent mode to vibrate
- When I am in my car, turn silent mode off
These three basic things help my phone not be rude when I’m out in public, and also help me hear it if I get an alert or something and I don’t have it on me, or I’m in the car and don’t hear it or notice it vibrating.
I have three profiles in Tasker:
- Wifi Locations
- Uses the ‘Cell Near’ state and I had it scan for the nearby cell towers as I walked around the interior of my house
- Entrance task is to set Wifi to On
- Exit task is to set Wifi to Off, but with a 1 minute delay
- Tasker will wait one minute before shutting it off.
- I have the Exit task properties set to Abort new task if another one starts, so this one will be cancelled if the Entrance task of Wifi On starts. This is to handle the rare situation where my phone finds a new cell tower not in the list and shuts off Wifi.
- Note that I do not tell it to connect to my home network, rather I just toggle it on or off. If it is on and I am at home, then it will automatically connect to my home SSID because that connection profile in the Wifi settings of my phone is automatic.
- Wifi Connected to my home SSID
- Uses the ‘Wifi Connected’ state to fire if connected to my home SSID.
- Entrance task sets Mobile Data off (I have a Verizon LTE phone, battery life is nill with LTE enabled) and sets Silent Mode to Off
- Exit task task sets Mobile Data on and Silent Mode to Vibrate
- I have both entrance & exit task property set to abort new task so they don’t override something else that is trying to happen.
- Bluetooth connected to my car
- This is a new task I recently started using. It uses the state of Bluetooth being connected to my car.
- Entrance task sets Silent mode to Off after waiting one minute. I have it wait one minute so that I am far enough away from my house so that the activity of leaving my home Wifi and having Silent mode set to Vibrate can occur, and then this task can turn Silent mode Off.
- Exit task sets Silent mode to Vibrate
Tasker is pretty cool and I know there is a ton more that can be done with it, but it can be a little intimidating!
Unlock with Wifi does what it says – if your phone is locked with a pin number, it will set the phone as unlocked when connected to one or more Wifi networks. It can additionally enable/disable Bluetooth when leaving the home Wifi network. I like my phone to be pin-protected when I’m out and about but don’t want to entering my pin every time I get my phone out at home.
AndSMB is a great SMB (CIFS) browser and what I like about it is that it can sync between local and remote directories, and do it on a regular schedule. In my case, I use it to mirror the contents of my MicroSD card to a share on my network. I have my camera app set to save to the SD card and then every night at 1am, AndSMB syncs the changes up to my network share.
Titanium Backup backs up my apps and data and saves them to my SD card where AndSMB picks them up nightly and syncs them to a network share.
Missed Call/SMS Alert does what it says – remind of missed calls and alerts. If I’m sleeping and get an alert text message, the default SMS app only plays an alert once and it’s never enough to wake me. This app can remind after a short delay, an unlimited number of times, playing a different tone and a louder volume – it’s pretty handy.