Our smartphones are incredibly powerful tools. That being said, they rely on the user to input commands in order to carry out tasks. For some things this can be repetitive and a little annoying. Fortunately, there are ways to automate a number of different tasks, meaning your smartphone will automatically do them when certain conditions or situations are met.
There are a number of Android apps available that can automate various tasks and commands. However, many people find these apps confusing and not very user-friendly. Fortunately, Android includes a lot of basic automation options built into the operating system. Read on to find out how to enable some basic automation without having to fuss around with any apps.
Set Up Do Not Disturb
We all know the frustration of a noisy phone waking you up in the middle of the night. Whether it is a call from a telemarketer or the chime of a Facebook notification, being woken up isn’t much fun. Normally, this interruption in beauty sleep is due to forgetting to manually put your phone on silent. Fortunately, there is a better way to ensure that this never happens again.
Open the Settings app and navigate to “Sound -> Do Not Disturb.” In this menu you are able to specify the exact times that your phone will mute all sound and prevent all vibration. You can select the days and hours that your phone will automatically switch to Do Not Disturb mode. In addition, you can also specify which apps will mute. For example, you can choose to mute email or Facebook notifications, but allow calls and texts.
Unlock When Home
Most Android users have a PIN, fingerprint or pattern lock on their device. They are the first line of defense in protecting your privacy. Unfortunately, it can be annoying to unlock your device every time you want to use it.
Fortunately, you can disable the need to authenticate when you’re home or anywhere else you are confident prying eyes won’t be lurking around. Head to “Settings -> Security -> Smart Lock -> Trusted Places.” Here you will be able to enter addresses such as your home or office. When your phone recognizes that you are at these locations, you will no longer be prompted to unlock your device.
Note: your GPS needs to be on in order for this to work.
Back Up Photos and Videos
It’s safe to say that smartphones have replaced traditional point-and-shoot cameras as the preferred way to capture images. With megapixel counts in the double digits, smartphone cameras can produce stellar photos. Unfortunately, better quality pics result in larger file sizes. With limited storage, photos and videos can chew up a lot of space on your phone. To avoid this, backing up photos is essential. Regrettably, this is a chore most of us tend to ignore.
Luckily, there is an easy way to automate your photo and video backups. First, download and install Google Photos. (For some phones, Google Photos is installed by default.) Open the app and navigate to “Settings.” Tap on “Back-up & Sync.” In this menu, simply flick the toggle labeled “Back-up & Sync.” This will allow the Google Photos app to back up all of the photos and videos on your device to the cloud. The best part is that the storage is completely free, provided you don’t mind if your images are compressed. If you would prefer your backups to be the full-sized originals, you’ll get 15GB of free storage. Once you hit that limit, you’ll have to open your wallet.
Warn of Data Usage & Auto Disconnect
The Internet is far more complex compared to the early days of amateur Geocities websites. Now we also have streaming audio and video and social media networks, and graphically it’s more complex as well. As a result, it’s really easy to consume a lot of data. If you have a limited amount of data, you are probably all too familiar with the sting of a large bill from your carrier when you go over your limit.
Fortunately, Android can tell you when you’ve consumed a set amount of data. Furthermore, it can even disconnect you completely from cellular data to ensure you don’t go over. To do so, head to “Settings -> Data Usage -> Billing Cycle.” Here you can specify the amount of data you have with your plan and your billing cycle and name your limits.
Do you automate tasks on your Android device? What do you do to help make your life easier? Let us know in the comments!