If your Android device relies on your interaction with it in order to do things, you're seriously missing out. There are several options that allow you to cut the cord, so to speak. The popular options have long been Locale and Tasker but, as you can see from their market pages, you have to be fiscally dedicated to the tasks they perform. In addition to that, these applications (Tasker especially) can be somewhat (read extremely) intimidating in the level of control they give you and the sheer volume of options at your disposal. If you're looking for something a bit simpler but still really powerful as well as significantly more free, AutomateIt might be just the tool you need.

AutomateIt or, as I like to call it, Tasker Jr., is a much simpler, free-as-in-beer phone automator that still provides an astounding amount of functionality. Currently, AutomateIt supports these functions:

Triggers:

  • Any SMS Trigger - Triggers on SMS received
  • SMS With Text Trigger - Triggers on receipt of SMS Message with a specific text
  • Battery Level Trigger - Triggers on a defined battery level
  • Bluetooth State Enabled/Disabled
  • Bluetooth Device Connected - Any device or specific device
  • Incoming/Hang Call - Any call or from a specific contact
  • Headset Plugged/Unplugged Trigger
  • Location Trigger - Arriving/Exiting a defined region
  • External Power Connected/Disconnected
  • Screen On/Off
  • Wi-Fi Enabled/Disabled
  • Connected to Wi-Fi network - Any network or a specific network
  • Time Trigger - recurring time events
  • Background data settings changed - enabling or disabling the background data setting
  • GPS Enabled Changed - GPS Activated/Deactivated and started/stopped looking for current location
  • SMS from contact
  • USB Connected/Disconnected Trigger
  • Airplane Mode Activated/Deactivated

Actions:

  • Notification - Shows notification on notification bar
  • Play Sound - Plays selected sound
  • Set Bluetooth State - Enabled/Disabled
  • Set Sound Mode - Normal/Vibrate/Silent
  • Set Volume - Sets volume of all streams or a specific stream
  • Set Wi-Fi Adapter State - Enabled/Disabled
  • Start Application
  • Enable/Disable other rules
  • Vibrate action
  • Enable/Disable Data Connectivity action - notice that this does not change your APN or background data state but actually cancels the data connectivity
  • Kill Application [Requires Root]
  • Launch Home Screen

That's  lot of stuff. There's no way I can demonstrate all of that functionality but I can, however, set up an example profile or two to show you exactly how easy it is, which, it turns out, is very.

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The main screen is very blank the first time you run the app. Fix that by tapping the "Add Profile" button on the top-left. I'm going to make a profile that turns off my Wi-Fi when my battery dips below 20%.  You are presented with two drop-downs in the profile creation screen, and they have lots of options. The first one is the trigger, or condition you want to facilitate an action, and the second is the actual action you want to be performed.

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For our purposes, my trigger is going to be battery level and my action is going to be "Set Wifi State". I'd also like to have a descriptive description:

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Now we have the general sketch of our profile drawn out. We can now hit those screwdriver/wrench buttons to configure exactly what we want to happen within those constructs. It's time to tap those buttons.

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This part is fairly self-explanatory. Select the specific options you want. Nailed it. Now just save everything and, when the battery drops below 20%, my WiFi will turn off. Done and done. That was easy, wasn't it? That's just the tip of the iceberg, though. As you saw in the list above, there is a way more that we can do here, including location based profiles, which are all the rage.

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Location tasks take a bit more setup but are totally worth it.

One big plus for AutomateIt is that you can (without digging through tons of intense menus) set the sample rate as well as have different sample rates for different profiles.

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You can set up an unlimited number of profiles. That's a lot. Like I said, I won't even try to show you everything this app can do because I write articles, not novels. If you've found that the other automation apps are just a bit too complicated or give you buckets of functionality that you'll never need, you definitely won't be missing out on anything with AutomateIt.

For the price of free, this app is absolutely amazing. It does everything without any bugs (that I could find) and it is significantly simpler than Tasker - SIGNIFICANTLY simpler. If you need your phone to adopt some autonomy, you can't go wrong here. 4 out of 5 just because it requires root to kill applications, which is something that makes me somewhat uneasy, as no other task-killing application needs that.

You can get AutomateIt for free right here: