Have an Android phone? This post is for you. Sorry iPhoners but to my knowledge there isn’t anything like this for you. Perhaps something with a jailbroken iPhone but I don’t know. Let me know if there is.
This post is pretty specific to my situation, however, I don’t think my situation is that rare. I use my Android phone and AutomateIt to do a lot of really cool things. A non-free alternative is Tasker which is apparently incredibly robust and powerful. I’ve been satisfied by the free AutomateIt app.
AutomateIt is an app that is similar to IFTTT in the way that it will take action based off of things that happen. You can create recipes (using an IFTTT term) to do things based off of your GPS location, Wifi/Bluetooth status, time of day, calendar appointments, app activity, messages, motion, etc. The limits are nearly endless.
I have a car that has Bluetooth connectivity and voice control. What was super frustrating is that when I linked my phone to my car I had to manually unlock my phone and press play in my music app if it wasn’t already playing. Therefore, I created a rule that will open my music app and play music whenever it connects to my car’s Bluetooth. I have another rule that says if my car’s Bluetooth is in range and listening to connect to it. Now, when I turn my car on my phone starts playing music through the speakers. It keeps me from needing to fumble around with my phone while driving.
A few years back, a guy gave a presentation about an app he wrote that would automatically connect to a phone if its Wifi or Bluetooth was turned on. From there he could pilfer whatever he pleased from their phones. That’s why turning your Wifi and Bluetooth off when not in use is important. It doesn’t make you bulletproof but it helps. Therefore, I have a rule that turns Wifi off if I’m not connected to my home network and turns Bluetooth off if I’m not connected to my car’s Bluetooth.
Another useful recipe, or rule, is whenever I have something on my calendar pop up, it turns my phone to vibrate. For example, if I have a meeting I don’t want my phone going off and interrupting business. More importantly, if I put a date with my wife on my calendar I surely don’t want my phone going off then interrupting pleasure with business!
There are a ton of options here and the social market is pretty helpful because people can publish rules they use there for you to download. There is a pro version of AutomateIt but you can unlock everything from the free version by tweeting or facebook sharing rules.
Let me know what you come up with to automate!