01
May
Automatic-icon

Automagic attempts to be Tasker, only easier to use. The problem is that Tasker is already pretty straightforward, and while Automagic makes certain things easier, it makes others more difficult. Still, a little competition never hurt anyone, and there are many ways Automagic challenges Tasker to step up its game.

Automagic-Banner

What it Does

The premise behind Automagic is nothing new. It is an app that automates tasks based on a wide range of variables. For example, you can tell Automagic to turn off auto-brightness when your phone's battery dips below 50%. If you don't want to receive any distractions while you're at your sweetheart's house, you can automagically set your phone to airplane mode when you're within 200 meters of their address. Actually, that probably isn't the safest idea in the world.

Automagic1 Automagic2 Automagic3

What sets Automagic apart is that it allows you to create these automatic tasks using flowcharts. Ovals represent Triggers, diamonds represent Conditions, and rectangles represent Actions. In the first example I gave, your battery life dipping below 50% would be your Trigger, and turning off auto-brightness would be the resulting Action. If you wanted to insert a Condition into this example, you could tell Automagic to only perform this action if you also have the device set to airplane mode. You now have an intuitive flowchat showing you that if A and B are both true, execute C.

Strengths

I find Automagic easier to grasp than Tasker. Each automatic process is called a Flow. Each Flow consists of a Trigger and an Action. Some Flows also have Conditions. Simple.

In comparison, Tasker has both Profiles, Tasks, and Scenes. Profiles contain the rough equivalent of Automagic's Conditions. Tasks would be the rough equivalent of Actions. Scenes are a different beast entirely. The design works, but at least for me, it takes more effort to conceptualize.

Tasker1 Tasker2 Tasker3

Automagic just keeps things intuitive. Everything is performed by Flows. Though this may sound more basic, the setup allows for great complexity. Flows can consist of more than just two steps. You can have Automagic perform various Actions depending on if a Condition is either true or false. And since flowcharts are visual by nature, the sequence of events are easy to follow.

Automagic4 Automagic5 Automagic6

Weaknesses

While I would argue that Automagic's flowcharts are easier to grasp than Tasker's interface, there are holes in the design. It's nice knowing that whatever is in the oval will be my trigger, but selecting what to put in said oval opens a long list of possible options. In comparison, Tasker places choices into categories. Lets say I want to create a trigger that depends on my battery level. In Automagic I have to scroll through a long list of options until I find "Battery Level." In Tasker, I select labeled icons for State > Power > Battery Level.

Automagic7   Vs.   Tasker4

Automagic does have support for custom widgets, but it lacks Tasker's plugin functionality. This extra level of integration with other apps gives Tasker a clear advantage. If your Tasker workflow already relies extensively on plugins, don't bother trying to convert to Automagic.

In Brief

Both Automagic and Tasker are simplistic tools for automating various processes. They're more complicated to use than most apps, but their power and usefulness make the learning curve a worthwhile investment.  But which should you use? I can't say. Both are solid apps. Both work. Which you should rely on depends on what your needs are, how your brain works, or - quite frankly - which one you've already paid for.

The paid version is available in Google Play, but you will have to visit Automagic's website directly if you want to check out a free 10-day trial version. If you rather not fork over money to automate your Android processes, consider checking out AutomateIt or Llama instead.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. He now lives in the City of Bridges, adjusting to the presence of actual snow. His phone of choice is the HTC One.

  • David Z

    "Tasker does have support for custom widgets, but it lacks Tasker's plugin functionality." typo? or am I misunderstanding this statement?

    • http://twitter.com/brotherpatrick Patrick Sterenchuk

      Clearly, a typo.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Fixed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/YanickPCole Yanick Cole

    I have the new htc one....Do "new" phones really need these type of apps or is tasker/automagic more for older phones? thanks

    • Freak4Dell

      It has nothing to do with the age of your phone, and everything to do with what you want to do with your phone. Apps like Tasker don't increase the performance of your phone.

      • clay bell

        CPU control in tasker can help with performance or battery issues though

    • squiddy20

      I have a Galaxy Nexus and use Tasker for a few things.
      One of them is playing a "wakeup" playlist when the alarm on my phone goes off, because I'd rather wake up to music than an annoying beep, or have to have duplicate music files in /sdcard/Alarm and /sdcard/music (since Android doesn't support symlinks, to my knowledge).
      Another example is when I start up Endomondo Pro to go for a bike ride, Tasker automatically turns on GPS, increases the screen brightness, and displays a Scene I created so I can select my biking music playlist or turn on Pandora. It's rudimentary and I could probably implement it better, but it works and that's all that matters to me.

  • KayIslandDrunk

    It amazes me how much llama is overlooked in these conversations.

    That said, for the non - techie I think flow charts are a great idea! Most business minded people understand them just fine compared to a more technical approach.

    • Michael

      Lama is fantastic. Agreed.

    • Patrickl69

      Indeed. it's much easier to use than Tasker. For most people, Tasker's complexity would just be holding them back when they could have set things up with Llama with no diffculty at all.

    • aaronratner

      I went to comment to say exactly this. Llama is simply amazing. It's incredibly simple yet powerful. I don't need the "extras" of Tasker. And the greatest this, besides being completely FREE (even though I've donated), is that it allows locations by cell tower which basically means I can use location based services without having by battery killed. I don't even know that it's there. I don't remember the last time I had to manually change my settings. It does night, work, day, weekend, home, etc. and I don't even have to think about it.

      • Haedocynic

        Tasker is no doubt less user friendly (I use it all the time, but I still find the interface counter-intuitive in many ways), but it can also use cell-tower locations. I suspect that it can do a whole lot of things that Llama can't as well based on what I read, although I have never tried Llama.

    • HarrisMirza

      llama also told me some cool facts about llama's, did you know that an unladen llama can reach speeds of 27 mph!!!

  • Mancubus99

    Here's a tip: Skip them both and use Llama. I purchased Tasker at full price and used it for a while until I found Llama. While it's not quite as powerful as Tasker it does everything I need it to do without any problems and is much easier to configure. Although I have both apps installed on my devices I exclusively use Llama now for all my automation. The best part about it is that it's 100% FREE. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kebab.Llama&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5rZWJhYi5MbGFtYSJd

    • http://twitter.com/cthonctic Cthonctic

      It really depends on what your use case is. The best solution is usually the one that's "as powerful as necessary, as simple as possible" to get the work done. That means, for most people Llama will likely be the better choice.

      However, personally I would rather not discover a few months down the road that I need to learn a new system to be able to script something specific that I didn't think of before. Extensibility has its merits, but as always there's a trade-off between it and simplicity/accessibility.

      • Haedocynic

        Exactly. With Tasker, you're safe. That is, at least you know you will never need something another program can do but Tasker can't. It comes at the price of a less intuitive interface. But one gets used to it.

  • Freak4Dell

    "I may be easily confused, but tasks sure sound a lot like Tasks."

    Easily confused indeed, and you're only making others confused. There is no difference between the tasks in the TASKS tab and the tasks you link to the contexts in the PROFILES tab. Tasks can either be run manually by themselves, or they can be linked to a context and run automatically. Selecting a task when creating a profile simply draws one of the tasks from the TASKS tab, or allows you to create a new task which will show up in the TASKS tab once completed.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah, I'm totally not confused at all after reading this.

      • Freak4Dell

        Yes, it's confusing to read, but that's just because of how Tasker is laid out. What your writer said is downright wrong, and confusing because it's wrong.

        EDIT: It's been corrected now, and this comment came off as a bit harsh, I think.

    • http://twitter.com/bertelking Bertel King, Jr.

      Ack! You're right. Easily confused indeed, indeed. The offending text has been replaced.

  • Jayson

    Automagic completely replaced llama and tasker for me. The long lists of actions become easier to navigate once you learn the naming conventions and figure out the search function.

  • NikhilW

    Reminds me of mobots, back in the old Symbian days. Anyone used them? http://mobots.org/

  • PhilNelwyn

    "In Automagic I have to scroll through a long list of options until I find 'Battery Level.'"

    Or just filter the list by tapping the search icon in the top right corner.

  • xnadax

    I just tried it out, and it seems they've added support for Tasker plugins now. My only complaint is that the triggers and actions still are presented in a long list instead of categorized, but at least there is a quick filter/search function in the list.

  • Cosmo

    AutoMagic is for nothing reallly or jus for kids maybe. Every simple widget can to do the same. Tasker is strong with his plugins and 15 seconds it is enough to get result, for example voice assistant. In AutoMagic it is impossible. Really i don't understand idea of this software. What for it was made ? To turn on or off wifi ???? Or maybe to do something but with IT good knowlege ....Anyway Tasker is more easy, more frendly and there are not things which you can't to do with tasker (autovoice, autoshare, autoremote....)

    • xnadax

      I disagree. Almost anything you can do in Tasker you can also do in Automagic, and I find Automagic much easier to work with. You must not have invested much time in trying to use it?