Have you ever wished your smartphone would start playing music whenever you get home? How about turning off social networks when you’re in the car? Tasker is a phenomenal app capable of greatly expanding the functionality of an Android phone by automating these types of tasks, but it can be quite confusing for new users. Automagic is an alternative that presents users with an easier way to automate their Android phone by performing many of the same tasks using easy-to-understand flowcharts.
How Does Automagic Work?
Automagic uses flowcharts to make automating tasks easier to visualize. These flowcharts are referred to as Flows. Each flow consists of two or three things: triggers, conditions, and actions. The bare minimum necessary to complete a flow are triggers and actions. Think of this as “If A is true, then do B.” Conditions are intervening variables, such as the “C” in “If A and C are true, then B.” For the sake of this guide, I will create a task that will send a text whenever my battery level drops below 5% and WiFi is not connected. In this case, the trigger is my battery state, the condition is WiFi state, and the action is sending a text.
The first step in creating a flow is to create a trigger. Starting a new flow will place an empty shape onto a blank canvas, and touching this icon presents a menu of possible triggers. The list is long and unwieldy, but it includes options ranging from being near a specific location to screen brightness dropping below a certain level.
You can proceed to the next step by clicking on the plus icon and dragging it out to a new position. If you choose to set a condition, it is done precisely the same way as creating a trigger. Choose another function to measure and specify the desired parameters.
You can designate two different responses depending on whether the condition’s state is true or false. If you only select true, then nothing will happen as long as the condition is false. The visual nature of flowcharts make it easier to follow all of the different possible branches.
Editing a task is as simple as selecting any step and pressing one of the buttons that surrounds the icon. Tasks are easily altered, moved, or deleted. In the screen below, I have not entered the phone number I wish to send an SMS message to, but I can easily do so by selecting the pencil icon.
All you have to do to enable a flow is flip the toggle in the toolbar. Automagic runs in the background while you use other apps, so you can choose to forget all about the app after you’ve enabled a flow or two. They will perform automatically just like the countless other background tasks that keep your Android device running.
Automagic is not more powerful than Tasker, and if you can already do everything you need to using the latter, there’s no reason to download the former. That said, Automagic may be easier to grasp, and it is capable of performing many of the same tasks. Automagic’s intuitive interface may be just what you need to make your smartphone ever smarter.