Welcome to the world of automation on Android platform. Automation on Android is simply, an app doing what you would normally do repeatedly. For example, if you are at the office, your phone would connect automatically to your office Wifi, turn it to vibrate mode, and disable readout voice messages. Then at home, your phone will automatically switch the settings to normal. And then, at night (say from 10:00 pm to 6 am), your phone will only accept calls from emergency contacts, switch off unnecessary settings, reduce volumes, reduce screen brightness, etc. The limit is endless. This makes automating repeated tasks and actions very easy on Android.
There are many automation apps on Google Play Store. Only four apps top automation processes. They are Automagic, Automate, MacroDroid, and Tasker. These apps are not free, but worth every penny. And you don’t need the four Apps. You only need one of them to make your life simpler and smarter. We will take a look at their various strengths and weaknesses. Read on, without many stories.
These automation apps have Triggers, Conditions and Actions. Triggers are what initiate actions. A Trigger is something that suddenly happens or when it happens, then your phone will do a list of actions. Conditions are requirements for the Trigger. The Condition simply means “under certain circumstances”. Conditions are not always necessary. Finally, Actions are what your mobile phone would do if a Trigger happen. Just keep these simple explanations in mind to understand how these apps work. The different app uses its own custom words, but they all mean the same thing.
This is the simplest automation app on Android. It uses a flow chart and it is as simple as an undergraduate reciting ABC as in nursery school. Automagic features a simple interface, where a user can create flow operations. It has most of the features available in other automation apps. Automagic uses Trigger, Condition and Action to execute your automated tasks. It has one Trigger, if the Condition(s) is true (not necessary), then a list of Actions will happen automatically. This is called a Flow on Automagic.
Pros of Automagic:
- It uses a simple flow chart consisting of a Trigger, Conditions and Actions.
- Automagic is the easiest to understand and create automation.
- It requires little or no documentation for a user.
- This app is one of the cheapest and very reliable.
- It has an inbuilt user interaction (UI) tool like click, scroll, etc.
Cons of Automagic:
- This App is not available for free. You have to pay outright to test this app. There are no trials.
- It has the least active community. Questions may take time to be answered.
Tasker has been the most and widely used automation app on Android. It ranks the top 10 paid tools apps on Android. The reason for this is that it is the pioneer of Android automation and it is one of the best apps to use. Tasker features Profiles (Triggers) — Tasks (Actions). On Tasker, tapping and holding down the Profile that you have created will give you an option of creating a Condition by clicking on the + icon (Add).
Pros of Tasker:
- It has an Exit task. This stands out and saves time of creating another negative Trigger for automation.
- It features a Scene tab. Scenes are used to make interactive and wonderful dialogues, like making your own invincible screen lock. (Scenes are cool). Other automation apps lack this feature.
- It has a simple and understandable interface.
- Tasker has the widest community for answers and support.
- There are more than one million tutorials on Tasker and its Plugins. Using Tasker is simple, and getting help and tutorials is simpler.
- It is the most widely used automation app on Android.
- It comes with the option of making and exporting Android Apps. This is awesome. Other automation apps lack this feature too.
- If you can afford its endless plugins, then Tasker ranks number one automation app on Android. There are free alternative Plugins. This is why it continues to rank higher on Google Play Store.
Cons of Tasker:
- On older devices, it requires other apps (Plugins) to access some features.
- There are no inbuilt UI interactions. A user must install a Tasker Plugin (another app) to access this. This Plugin is not free.
- Aside from missing UI interactions, it is one of the best automation apps. But lacking this feature, it costs much.
- If you can’t afford its endless Plugins, then it is an average automation app.
- Sometimes, a paid plugin is required on older Android devices.
MacroDroid is another app to automate your daily tasks on an Android smartphone. It features the three steps:- Trigger — Constraints [Conditions (This is not always necessary)] — Actions. This is called Macro on MacroDroid App.
Pros of MacroDroid:
- It is simple to use and understand.
- It has many examples in the community, better than what Automagic has.
- An inbuilt UI interaction like click, etc. that is easy to use.
- There is a Drawer feature, a floating icon feature and other interactive features not found on the other automation apps. This feature is one of the interesting things about this app.
- It requires little documentation to use and operate on.
- It doesn’t need a catalogue of Plugins for basic tasks on older Android devices.
- MacroDroid works best on older Android versions. Everything works well without plugins.
Cons of MacroDroid
- Costlier than the three others.
Basically, this should be the most powerful tool in Android automation. You can create any application and automation without using plugins or other apps. The point is, it requires deep documentation and patient practice. If you head to their community, you might consider uninstalling most of your applications and use Automate to recreate them. This will definitely save you space and phone battery. Automate is powerful and cheap but requires deep knowledge. It is NOT as simple as they advertise it to be.
Pros of Automate:
- It is very cheap; the cheapest of the automation apps without ads.
- It is good for programmers. People who have an interest in programming should try this app.
- It features UI interactions too.
- A large community of developers with so many examples.
- It uses simple Flowchart for building automation tasks.
Cons of Automate:
- It requires deep documentation to perform simple to complex tasks.
- There is no way to group your Flows. Automate is the only app lacking this feature. You cannot categorize your automation.
We have come to the end of this Android automation apps overview. It is left for you to choose the one suitable for you. Head over to Google Play Store and request trials from the app makers. MacroDroid and Automate are available for free on limited Triggers and Actions. You can play with them to know the one suitable for you. All these apps do the same thing in the same way. So, no matter the one you buy, you can easily replicate all the functions in the other apps. You’ll only miss certain features as I have described above. Automated tasks that will take 2 mins to set up on Automagic, will take 3.5 minutes to set up on Tasker, take 4.5 minutes to set up on Macrodroid for beginners who didn’t go through the documentation.
I tried them all and I returned back to Tasker. First, I can use the inbuilt Lockscreen available and I can make an invincible lock screen for certain apps using Scenes. Lastly, some of the Tasker plugins (NOT free!) are good at doing some other kinds of stuff. Remember, this is my choice.
- In terms of ease of usage, Automagic ranks the highest, followed by MacroDroid or Tasker. These apps come with the ability to categorize your automation Triggers.
- In terms of the cheapest, Automagic ranks higher and better. This is followed by Automate.
- In terms of developing complex automation apps, Automate is better and the best. In fact, Programmers should try Automate.
- When it comes to the quality of delivery, Tasker ranks the highest. This may require little documentation.
- In terms of older Android versions application, MacroDroid ranks the highest and the best.
- In terms of general usage and not considering financial costs, all of them are good. But if you really have money to throw around and make your life simpler, then, Tasker is the best.
- Making your task so simple has never been tough with our smartphones.