Automate your gadget options
Author: Tariq Abdulla
Date: 25 Aug 2016, tested on HTC One S
Interesting functionality, nice interface, neat design
No significant shortcomings
Automate for Android unleashes the power of your gizmo by putting you in control of creating programs to automate whatever tasks you want. The possibilities really are endless with this one, and it’s easy for those with little to no programming experience to get into it, as the interface uses flowcharts. I really love the way that you only have to grant the app permissions for things that you are actually using, and you do it by installing tiny extensions for each permission.
Automate comes with some simple examples to get you started, and you can have a look at their flowcharts to see how the app works. The examples are functional and cool. You can have it take a photo with the front camera if someone fails at unlocking your phone. You can also set it to only enable WiFi when you are at home. This one uses a simple dialog to ask you whether you are currently at home, or lets you pick your home location on a map. From then on, it checks your approximate location every 5 minutes, to enable or disable your WiFi.
I have a WiFi switch on my homescreen to stop it sucking power when I’m not at home or work, but I am forever forgetting to turn it on or off. With just a little tweaking, I could put my office location in there too, and save loads of power from my phone fruitlessly searching for a WiFi network. In fact, if I’m feeling lazy, someone in the Automate community has doubtless made and shared that particular program already.
Automate is free and 100% cool and useful. I think it would be the perfect tool to teach children a bit of programming, or to get into it yourself. The possibilities really are endless, from taking photos, getting all kinds of sensor or location information, send change all your settings; even opening and executing tasks in other apps. Of course, remember it’s a powerful app; back up your stuff before you play around with using it to move and delete files etc.