I love automation. It makes me lazier. There’s nothing more fulfilling that sitting around the house, being lazy and enjoying myself. But one thing that’s always bothered me is automation on my Android. Sure, my Android does a crazy load of things by itself. But that’s nowhere close to where I’d like it to get. Thankfully, the friendly Android community is always on the lookout to make the Android experience that much better for people like you and me. They keep coming up awesome apps that make my life easier. One such app is Llama.
Hilarious, right? I can’t help cracking up every time I look at the name of this app. Llama stands for Location Aware Mobile Application. I am guessing that the extra ‘L’ was thrown in for some humor. Llama is a free app that takes on the incredible task of monitoring your phone and automating actions on it based on your location.
Ehh… Location = Battery Drain, right?
The beauty of Llama lies in the fact that it doesn’t use your actual GPS coordinates to track your location. As a consequence, you can say goodbye to all concerns about battery drain due to GPS usage. What it actually does is learns all the cellular nodes around your mobile phone and keeps track of them. Then, it keeps polling nodes from time to time to check if there’s a difference between the nodes it already knows. If there is, it assumes that you’ve moved to a new location, and based on that, it performs some function on your Android. Neat right?
So How Do I Set It Up?
Setting Llama up is not your usual walk in the park. It involves teaching it about the cellular nodes around your favorite locations. Then, you need to set up profiles for whatever actions you want it to perform based on your location. It seems like a lot of work but it’s totally worth the effort. Luckily for you, our guide has all this covered in a lucid way.
- The first thing that you need to do is obviously, install the app. Do that by visiting this link.
- Next up, launch the app. You’ll be greeted with a welcome screen that walks you through configuring the app.
- The app is divided into four sections i.e. Areas, Events, Profiles, Recent. Each of these has a specific purpose. Under Areas, you can tell the app about your favorite locations. For example, you can set up an Area for your work location, and one for your Home. Events are actions that’ll trigger some sort of automatic reaction. For example, leaving home is an event. Similarly, reaching your office is an event. Profiles work like how profiles work on other phones. So, you can end up activating “Loud” whenever you are in the supermarket, so you never miss a call/text. Recent shows you a log of all the cellular nodes that your phone has recently pinged.
As a demo, we are going to create some rules that turn off your Wi-fi and turn on your Mobile APN whenever you leave the comfort of your home.
Head over to the Areas tab within the app. Click the plus button at the bottom of the screen to add an area. Give it a name, say Home and click ‘OK’. Next, long tap on the area and select Start Learning Area. Thereafter, select a time frame for which you want Llama to learn about your home. During this time, try not leaving your home.
Now that Llama knows about your home, it’s time to teach it some tricks. Head over to the Events tab and click the plus button at the bottom of the screen. Give the event a name and make sure the Enabled box is checked. Then, click on Add Condition. You’ll see a ton of options. For our example, click on Leave Area and select Home.
Next, click on Add Action. From the choices that pop up, select APN and then APN On. Repeat this step and select Wi-fi and then Wi-fi Off. If you want, test your actions by clicking Test Actions. You can also add another Action to set the profile to whatever you like.
And that does it! From now on, whenever your phone enters an area that’s not registered under home, it’s going to turn off your Wi-fi and turn on your Mobile APN.
The recent tab will show you a bunch of cellular towers that your phone has pinged recently. You can use this list to assign any “orphan cells” to an area. Just tap the cell name to do the needful.
A few days with this app convinced me that I could get lazier with the right kind of luxuries. Now, I have my phone automatically go to Airplane mode at night, and occasionally connect to my Wi-fi to check on my emails and other updates. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are at least ten different set of rules on my phone and my life has never been easier. Let us know how your Llama spoils the life out of you.