If you use your Android phone every day, there are probably a lot of repetitive tasks that annoy you. From adjusting your screen brightness every night to checking on your child’s location, there are plenty of tasks that take up our time.
Android automation apps offer the promise of performing many tasks for you while you sit back and forget about them. But what automation apps can you really trust to get things done?
With over 10 million downloads and a 4.7 star rating on Play Store, MacroDroid is popular and highly rated. The Android automation community considers it one of the most powerful and flexible automation apps. With MacroDroid, the list of things you can automate with your phone is nearly endless.
The app offers 70 triggers based on location, device status, connectivity, and built-in phone sensors. MacroDroid can react to triggers such as geographic location, battery level, or screen brightness. It also has triggers for light level, temperature, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity status.
MacroDroid also offers 100 programmable actions. Combined with triggers, you can do everything from playing custom sound alerts for your work email to tweeting from the app on your behalf.
Although the app contains advertisements, they are subtle and you will hardly notice them. It has a user-friendly learning curve and you can extend its functionality further with plugins. It is one of the most powerful and flexible free automation tools for Android.
To download: MacroDroid for Android (Free, subscription available)
Automate is another very flexible automation app with lots of options. With over 350 predefined building blocks, Automate can handle most of the actions you can perform on your Android smartphone.
Automate takes a different approach than other automation apps like Tasker and MacroDroid. To program an automated routine, you will need to follow a logical flowchart sequence. Visual representation of the automation process in the form of flowcharts facilitates understanding. It is fairly beginner-friendly for an automation application of its complexity.
If you need a powerful automation tool with a friendly learning curve, Automate is the tool for you. There is a strong Reddit and Google Groups community that you can access whenever you run into a bottleneck with the app.
Automate is ad-free, and just like MacroDroid, you can extend its functionality using plugins.
To download: Automate for Android (Free, subscription available)
3. Automate it
AutomateIt is another powerful automation app for Android users. Despite the similarity in name, the app has nothing to do with Automate either in UI or UX design. However, it does a lot of the stuff you’d expect from an automation app, and a few more.
Unfortunately, the app has some minor stability and compatibility issues. As a result, it works like clockwork on some devices and versions of the Android operating system, but it suffers from annoying technical issues on others. The app contains ads, but they are not intrusive.
Although the app is reasonably popular, customer support is slow and sometimes non-existent. It might not be the most complex automation app, but it’s not an ideal option for beginners.
If you’re wondering why it made this list, the app still packs a serious punch. If you have experience with Android automation and fancy some good automation challenges, you will find AutomateIt very useful. The weather and activity triggers are super exciting. Using them, you can program your Android smartphone to take action if it detects that you are entering a car, cycling, trekking, or standing still. Weather triggers allow you to create reminder alerts to, for example, park your car in the shade if the weather hits 30°C on a sunny day. There are lots of exciting things you can do.
To download: AutomateIt for Android (Free, subscription available)
There is one word to describe IFTTT: massive! This is a feature-rich app with so many features that it’s hard to keep up. The best way to imagine IFTTT is as an Android automation app that has tons of features you didn’t even know you needed.
IFTTT gives you divine control over your Android apps. Without lifting a finger, you can ask IFTTT to upload any image to Facebook posts you’re tagged in, the moment you’re tagged. You can have IFTTT automatically send these photos to a contact on Telegram or email them to a colleague. Or you can even automatically post them to Twitter. The power of IFTTT lies in its incredible collection of powerful applets, which are predefined automation routines.
Using applets, you can program complex automation routines with just a few clicks. In addition to helping you automate tasks on your Android phone, IFTTT can act as a bridge between your smartphone and smart home devices. You can use it to control smart bulbs, smart thermostats, smart doorbells, and dozens of other smart home products.
Unfortunately, despite all its good sides, IFTTT hides its most useful features behind a subscription plan. The free version gives you access to a very limited number of applets while teasing you with juicy features that you would have to pay for. The free plan is clearly meant to upgrade you to the paid plan. Moreover, the basic subscription model still has limitations that you can only overcome by paying even more for the Pro+ version. Subscription issues aside, IFTTT is a great option.
To download: IFTTT for Android (Free, subscription available)
The main selling point of aProfiles is its simplicity. Compared to other automation apps such as MacroDroid and IFTTT, aProfiles is significantly easier to use. aProfiles groups actions into profiles that it activates once a rule is satisfied.
For example, you can set profile A as setting volume level to 34, screen brightness to 43, and Wi-Fi on. You can set a second profile, B, with volume level 60, screen brightness 78, and Bluetooth off.
Each time a condition is met, one of the designated profiles will come into effect and the app will change your phone settings to reflect its definition. Although this approach to automation simplifies the use of the application, it has many limitations.
The app is the least granular feature of any app on our list. The free version cannot handle complex automation conditions. The app also contains ads, but they are not intrusive.
On the plus side, aProfiles has good built-in security. It has a restore action feature that can bring your phone back to its previous state if you break any critical settings on your device. aProfiles also has a log feature that keeps a record of all changes made to your device. It can be very useful to retrace your steps whenever something goes wrong.
To download: aProfile for Android (Free, subscription available)
Why use automation apps?
Besides automating countless Android tasks, automation apps can do so much more. They can perform functions that you would typically need a premium app for, at no cost. They can also reduce the need to fill your phone with lots of apps.
With MacroDroid, for example, you can create your own custom app locks, alarm apps, and phone temperature monitors. This eliminates the need to download standalone apps that perform these individual tasks.
IFTTT is free and popular. But as an automation tool, it’s not the only game in town. Let’s take a look at seven powerful alternatives to IFTTT.
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