How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything

Ryan Dube 24-10-2012

automate android appsHaving a smartphone can make your life a whole lot more convenient. When you’re lost, it can help you find your way home. When you’re in a strange town that you don’t know and want to find a good restaurant or a gas station to fill your tank, your smartphone is there.


With all of its wonder and conveniences, sometimes smartphones and tablets can also be a little bit clunky to use. Sometimes, you’re at home and want to use your Wi-Fi, so you aren’t consuming data from your cellular data plan. On the other hand, when you’re on the road, you want your phone to turn off things like Wi-Fi and GPS to save batteries.

Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve offered plenty of tips about managing your phone connections, like Erez’ article on finding good Wi-Fi Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal at Home & Outside with These Android Apps Looking to improve the Wi-Fi signal in your home or find a Wi-Fi connection when you're out? This article has you covered. Read More networks with Android. One solution to manage those network connections is by automating your Android smartphone with programs like Llama Use Llama To Automate Your Android Phone With Location Profiles & More On a scale of one to ten, how smart is your smartphone? It may be smart enough to handle email, or help you navigate unfamiliar urban landscapes. But is it smart enough to turn off... Read More to automatically switch them.

However, if you’re going to start automating your Android smartphone, you might as well take that process beyond network switching and use automation to automatically launch apps, open up web pages and open up files on a set schedule. The more tasks you automate with your smartphone, the less you have to remember, and the less likelihood that you’ll forget important tasks.

Automating Your Android Smartphone

The most common type of Android phone automation is setting it up so that it automatically connects to the Wi-Fi networks that you use whenever you are within range of those networks.

The problem with GPS-based apps that automatically enable or disable Wi-Fi connections based on your GPS location is that they need your GPS enabled, which can really burn down your battery level pretty fast.


Automate Wi-Fi Based On Charger Connection

A better approach to automate your Wi-Fi connection is running an app like Wi-Fi Automatic.

automate android apps

Wi-Fi automatic is a simple concept, but if you think about it, it’s the perfect solution. Even when I’m home, I don’t really want Wi-Fi enabled unless I have my phone plugged in, because of so much power Wi-Fi consumes. Wi-Fi Automatic monitors your power supply and whenever you plug it in, it will enable Wi-Fi.

You can also set up the app to prompt you when toggling the Wi-Fi state, or just do do it automatically in the background without any prompt.


automate android tasks

I really like this solution, because I can’t even count the times that I’ve mistakenly left Wi-Fi enabled when my phone was unplugged, only to discover the next morning that my phone was completely drained of power, when normally it would have easily lasted twice the time on one charge.

Automating Bluetooth Connections

A similar method to automate your Bluetooth connections is to use an app like Automatic Bluetooth Toggle. This app is very flexible, and lets you enable or disable Bluetooth depending whether there’s even one of your paired devices within range, whether you have a power supply plugged in, or just have it enabled upon incoming calls if you’re only using Bluetooth to pair with a Bluetooth headset.

automate android tasks


Before starting the automatic Bluetooth service, go into the app settings and define how you want to automate Bluetooth. In my case, I want Bluetooth turned on only when I have the power supply plugged into the phone. That’s because I use it on my tablet to connect to my Droid only when I have both devices plugged in.

automate android tasks

Another really cool feature of Automatic Bluetooth Toggle is the ability to have your phone regularly scan the area for the presence of your Bluetooth device, and then automatically enable Bluetooth whenever one is found. In my case, this fully automates the process to pair my tablet with my smartphone, because when it’s plugged in, the tablet will regularly scan the area for the smartphone Bluetooth connection every 30 minutes.

automate android


I never have to bother going into the settings and creating that connection – the whole process is now fully automated.

Automating Your Smartphone On Schedule Or On Events

Of course, automating your Android involves a whole lot more than just enabling or disabling Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, right? Thankfully, there’s a really cool app called TaskBomb that allows you to automate customized tasks whenever a certain event takes place on the phone, or on a regular automated schedule.

The main window of TaskBomb shows you the process of setting up the automations. You first create the tasks, then define any schedules or delays for those tasks, and then set the alarms.

automate android

Creating a task just means exactly what action you want to occur either after a certain trigger or on a schedule. Types of actions available include opening a file stored on your device or a website URL, launching the main screen of any app on your device, running a shortcut on your desktop or customizing your own unique actions.

automate android

When you set it up to automatically launch an app, it’ll pop up a window to pick from all apps installed on your device.

How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything autodroid08

One thing I wanted to do was set up my Android tablet to automatically launch the WordPress editing link for my blog every night after supper at the same time. This way, all I have to do after supper is sit down at the couch, open up my tablet, and it’s all set up for a daily blog post. To do this, I create an action to open a URL and choose the app that I want to use to open it.

How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything autodroid09

I give it the URL of my blog WordPress login, click okay, and the task is finally set up.

How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything autodroid10

Setting up tasks is only the first step of the automation process. The tasks tell the app what action you want to occur.

How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything autodroid12

The next step is to tell the app how exactly you want to automate those tasks. Whenever you define a task, you can add a delay after the trigger event. This may only be useful if you want to do something after you’ve launched a different app, but if you’re launching a task on a regular schedule, you may just want to leave this at zero.

How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything autodroid13

You can automatically launch tasks on a schedule by setting alarms. To define an alarm, you just click the action you’ve created that you want to occur and then define the start time and day (or days) for that action to automatically take place.

How To Automate Your Android Smartphone To Do Just About Anything autodroid15

Configuring Automatic Phone Profiles

The last app I’d like to mention for automating your Android device is Automatic Profiles. This app is simple, but very useful. You set up either time or location profiles that have specific settings for ring mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and telephone.

automate android apps

Because I don’t like leaving my GPS enabled, I only really use the schedule to create profiles based on what time of the day it is, but if you want you could create profiles based on when you are within certain GPS coordinates. I use this app mostly to control when my phone is in vibrate-only mode, or in normal ringtone mode when I’m home.

Once I have all of these apps configured, my phone is almost completely automated, and with the TaskBomb app you can launch apps, websites or files on a schedule or based on other actions, making your automation possibilities nearly unlimited.

Do you do anything to automate your Android smartphone? What automation tips and apps can you share? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Robot Leaning on PAD Via Shutterstock

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  1. Anonymous
    January 4, 2013 at 3:54 am

    Interesting, I use Llama to automate my phone and it works fine, maybe I will try these applications just for fun

  2. Collin Tucker
    December 22, 2012 at 8:11 am

    This will definitely help to make my phone-life easier and more efficient. Thanks!

  3. Edward Bellair
    October 31, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Nice. But if I assign everything to my phone I will run out of reasons to not do things.

  4. Bill Wacek
    October 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Another very helpful app for this type of thing is Llama. It lets you automate things in a GPS-like way, but uses cell-tower ID's for doing the geo-locating, no GPS required. It's certainly not as accurate as a GPS-based system like Tasker (another favorite of mine), but most of the time I don't care.

    An example: I have a task set up that once I get near the cell tower near my work during working hours, it automatically turns down the volume of the ringers on my phone. If I go by my work at an odd time, no volume modifications are made. Very clever way to do things. There are many other features, but these are the ones I use most.

    Oh, best of all, it's FREE! I'm not the developer, just a very happy user.

  5. Efi Dreyshner
    October 26, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Thanks, I will try TaskBomb.

  6. Homer Tolibert
    October 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Another helpful article, I'll be trying this out.

  7. Eric Thieszen
    October 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the info, I've been looking for some automation apps.

  8. Naveen Kumar
    October 26, 2012 at 4:04 am

    like dis app........................

  9. Stephanie w
    October 25, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    This is a really useful article. Thank you!

  10. João Roriz
    October 25, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    The Tasker app is also a good option.

  11. Brandy Burke
    October 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I would love an app that would automatically reboot my phone at a particular time. None of these do that, that I can tell.....

  12. Julian Altshul
    October 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I agree with Ham3D, surely Tasker is the app to use here.

    • Anonymous
      October 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      I would also agree with Ham3D, and I do use Tasker. . .BUT Tasker has a hideous learning curve. AutomateIt Pro is powerful and much more user friendly.

      • Julian Altshul
        December 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm

        Michael, I tried AutomateIt Pro and I agree, it's much easier to get to grips with than Tasker. But it couldn't do everything I wanted it to - so now I'm just using Tasker again. But thanks for the tip!

  13. Ham3D
    October 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Automating Your Android Smartphone , Yes please , and the answer has 6 letters : Tasker

    • sam
      January 7, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Tasker is nice but really not user friendly. Once set up! You are ready to go... It is indeed a powerful app but you need time to learn how to use it. I tried it and got lost in operations. I tried Trigger, it is not as good as they claim. Also has some bugs when it is coming to disabling wifi and so.

  14. Marian Cimbru
    October 25, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Thanks for info but I prefer one app for doing all this things...

  15. Tyler McMillian
    October 25, 2012 at 3:07 am

    This is interesting!

    Thanks Ryan!

  16. Ashwin Ramesh
    October 25, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Really good article! Thanks Ryan!

  17. Nguy?n Tân
    October 25, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Interesting! May I'll install and enjoy it!