Mobility

Automate your Android smartphone with AutomateIt Pro

Jack Wallen takes a look at AutomateIt Pro, an inexpensive Android app that allows you to set, create, and share automated event-based actions.

If you're lucky enough to have one of the Motorola smartphones with SmartActions, you've been enjoying automated actions for quite some time. You can trust that your phone is going to take certain actions (such as silencing your ringer when you go into a meeting or adjusting your device settings based on your location) without having to tap a single finger. However, if your Android device doesn't have SmartActions, you're not out of luck. With the help of an incredibly easy-to-use tool, AutomateIt Pro, you too can enjoy automated event-based actions.

AutomateIt Pro costs $1.99 (USD). There's a free version of this app, but it contains ads and has a number of limitations. Honestly, at such a low price for the paid app, I'd recommend skipping the free version altogether.

Features

Unlike SmartActions, AutomateIt Pro offers a number of previously configured actions, including:

  • Conserve power when the battery level is low
  • Quiet at night when the screen is off
  • Vibrate mode during meetings
  • Max volume when the headset is unplugged
  • Lower volume when the headset is plugged
  • Unmute by SMS
  • Automatically turn on/off the speaker during a call using the proximity sensor

There are 13 total pre-configured rules. You can also create your own rules and even download rules that were created by other users from the Rules Market.

Installation

Installing AutomateIt Pro is simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for "automateit" (no quotes)
  3. Tap the entry for AutomateIt Pro
  4. Tap the price button ($1.99 at the time of writing)
  5. Tap Accept
  6. Tap Buy
  7. Enter your Google Play password (if applicable)
  8. Allow the installation to complete

Once it's installed, you'll find a launcher on your home screen and/or your app drawer. Tap the launcher, and get ready to set up some automation.

Usage

When you fire up AutomateIt Pro, you should immediately see a number of actions already set under My Rules (Figure A). Figure A

AutomateIt Pro on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III.

The first thing you'll want to do is go through the pre-set rules and disable the ones you do not want and enable the ones you do want. Here's how:

  1. Open AutomateIt Pro
  2. Tap on My Rules
  3. Tap the All tab
  4. Scroll down and find a rule you want to disable
  5. Tap the drop-down associated with the rule (Figure B)
  6. Tap either On (to enable) or Off (to disable)

That's it.

Figure B

Once you tap the drop-down, you can manage the rule in question.
You can also edit the pre-set rules by tapping the rule drop-down and then tapping Edit Rule. Figure C shows how you can change the Trigger, the Action, and the Rule. Depending on the rule you're editing, the options will vary. Figure C

Start at the Trigger tab, and click Next to move to the next tab.

When you've completed the editing, click Save and you're done.

Downloading rules

From the AutomateIt Pro main window, tap the Rules Market section to open the market. From here (Figure D), you can download rules created by other users. Figure D

There are plenty of rules available for downloading.

To download a rule, find one you like, tap it, and tap Download Rule.

You can also upload rules that you have created to the Rule Market, share rules with friends, or post them on Facebook. To do this, you first need to follow these steps to register a nickname:

  1. Open AutomateIt Pro
  2. Open the Rules Market
  3. Tap the user icon in the top right corner
  4. Fill out the necessary information
  5. Tap OK

Once the nickname is registered, you can then upload rules. Here's how:

  1. Create the action
  2. From the action listing, tap the action's drop-down
  3. Tap Upload Rule

That's it. The rule will then upload to the Rule Market.

But what about creating your own rule? This is just as easy:

  1. Open AutomateIt Pro
  2. In the My Rules section, tap Add Rule
  3. Select a trigger (fill out the details for the trigger, if applicable - Figure E)
  4. Tap Next (or swipe the screen to the left)
  5. Select an Action (fill out the details for the trigger, if applicable)
  6. Tap Next (or swipe the screen to the left)
  7. Complete the rule details (name, popup action, delayed execution, always active)
  8. Tap Save
Figure E

Here you see a rule for an incoming text.

If you're looking for the means to get SmartAction-like functionality on your non-Motorola Android phone, look no further than AutomateIt Pro. This app is one of the easiest tools of its kind to use and will enable your Android device to take care of a number of tasks without your intervention.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

1 comments
abuHaafidz
abuHaafidz

As of April 2014, AutomateIT is beautifully designed and can do simple tasks using "Rules". Unfortunately, it can't really do much complicated "Rules" that can be good enough for the geeky ones. It's failed to do so many things for me. Even if you paid for the app, you won't be able to contact the developers to help you in any way (at least for me). The forums are flooded with unresolved questions.


I moved to using the paid version of Automagic. Automagic is a scary looking app that take a moment to understand but once you've got the ball rolling, it can get the trickiest of jobs done using "Flows" (similar to "Rules") The best part about it is that Martin, the developer, responds pretty quickly to your issues and inquires. They have a forum that involves more users to help alongside Martin when someone has a problem.

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