Tinkering takes many forms on Android, and you don't need to root your device or flash a custom ROM to get your hands dirty. Installing one of developer joaomgcd's Tasker plugins will provide plenty of ways to customize your software experience in very particular ways. Want a notification with a gazillion buttons that save you from having to open up different apps? You now have that option with the latest version of AutoNotification.
This isn't the first time we've reported about Google's deplorable policies for removing apps from the Play Store. One day you're the developer of an extremely popular app, distributing it to thousands of users, the next it's poof gone with no warning, no explanation, and no way to easily communicate with the team to understand what has gone wrong.
The latest victim is the famous and ridiculously powerful Tasker app. Tasker has been available on Android since time immemorial and has made many a user extremely happy with its extensive featureset. Want to turn on the popcorn machine when you yell "movie time!" at your phone?
SmartThings is a company (owned by Samsung) that connects and manages your smart things. Smart lights. Smart sensors. Smart alarms. Whatever. Connecting them to the SmartThings Hub allows you to control them from your smart phone, even if you're not at home.
IFTTT's web service can automate your life. You create recipes that do what you want done using simple if this then that commands. But to get cooking, you need to have on the right channel.
Today IFTTT has announced a new Spotify channel that lets you integrate your music library. Examples of what you can do include automatically posting to your social network accounts whenever you add a song to a playlist and emailing yourself a summary of all the tracks you save over the course of a week.
If your home is particularly smart, you can set your Philips HUE lights to match the album art of your most recently saved track.
It's Friday afternoon, you've been breaking your back all week at work, and you can't wait to kick back with a cold, frosty beverage. You can't bring yourself to walk into the regular bars where your choices consist of Coors and Coors Light, and your favorite beer house just ran out of the Fuzzy Baby Ducks IPA. You could pick up a sixer from the store, but that just doesn't have the gravitas to impress your friends when they swing by later. Hey, you should homebrew your own beer! But, who has the time to learn and set it all up?
The Google Play Developer Console has undergone some pretty major changes over the years, including a complete overhaul 2 years ago. While the improvements continue to make for a more powerful and usable tool, some developers still find areas where it could be better. Google's engineers don't have time to build everything for everybody, but a new version of the Google Play Developer API makes it possible to build quite a few things for yourself. The new API allows developers to programmatically upload apks and modify almost every detail about your store listings.
The new web API allows developers to build scripts or applications to automate deployment and update product listings quickly and without directly working with the Developer Console.
A young Android device doesn't become a man until Tasker has come along to usher it into adulthood and some developer has used it achieve greatness. In the case of watches with Android Wear, this doesn't even require much work, for all the ingredients are already in place. This YouTube video shows a wearer using his Samsung Gear Live to control his home using Tasker and a selection of AutoApps.
In the video, we see developer Doug Gregory operate his living room lamp by issuing voice commands to his Gear Live. Likewise, he swipes on the watch's display to toggle the lamp manually, with the background changing to show whether the light is on or off.
Nest Labs only released its Developer Program just yesterday, which opened up its hardware to third-party developers, and IFTTT has already introduced new channels and recipes for use with the company's thermostat and smoke alarm. This integration will allow users to tie their devices to over 100 other products or services. Now you can have your thermostat turn on your fan shortly after sunrise, for example, or let your lights inform your Nest devices that you've turned them off and left the house.
With this kind of turnaround, the IFTTT folks probably had early access to the development program, as there are no shortage of combinations already available.
After reaching its funding goal shortly after hitting Kickstarter and finishing the campaign back in October, Pressy units have finally started shipping out to backers. Now while we wait for those to start arriving in peoples' hands, let's take a look at some of the nifty uses for them that are already rolling out. AutomateIt, a tasker alternative, has a new Pressy plugin that turns the device into a trigger for any actions the app is capable of pulling off. This greatly expands what tinkerers will be able to do with their new Pressy units.