How to Turn Your Android Phone into a Fully-Automated Superphone

What if your phone automatically went silent when you step into the movie theatre? Texted your significant other when you finished your long commute? Or automatically turned down the volume when a particularly loud friend called? It can; here’s how.

Android application Tasker gives you total rules-based automation for your Android phone. It’s not free, but it offers a free 14-day trial download.

Tasker can do nearly anything on your phone. It’s mostly limited by your imagination. Here are some up-front ideas about neat automations that come to mind:

Set preferences for each application: Give the Kindle app a longer screen time-out. Make Maps or Foursquare automatically turn on GPS, and have a file browser launch when you trade out SD cards. Have your music and other audio apps lower the volume to 50 percent when you plug in headphones, so you never get a way-too-loud moment.

Time of day automation: Make your phone go into airplane mode overnight, but re-connect for a few minutes every 30 minutes to grab messages. Set up your phone to play specific or random songs from your collection as an alarm, back up files from your SD card every day, load up an application at a certain time.

Set up contact rules: If you’ve got a friend who talks too loud, make your call volume go down when they ring. Create a home screen widget that sends an automatic SMS ("In the car," maybe) to the last person who called. Set your phone to pop up a more iPhone-style message box, rather than background notifications, when you miss calls or get SMS from certain people. Have your phone always record messages from a certain caller.

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