D-Tips: ‘Settings Profile’ for Android

Thank god I don’t know Dr. Drew otherwise I’m sure he’d stage an intervention between my phone and I.  It runs my life.  As I’m usually on the move from 5a – 10p, I rely heavily on the technology a good phone puts in my hand.  Since retiring my trusted Nokia 9300 in Oct. 2008, I’ve been dedicated to the Android Mobile OS.  As such, I’ve come across some killer apps and setups that keep me a deadly mobile ninja.

May I introduce ‘Settings Profile.’

Taken from the ‘Settings Profile website – www.probeez.com – ‘Settings Profile’ is an Android application that allows you to:

  • Automatically activate profiles based on battery conditions, locale, or rules
  • Automatically start programs or tasks
  • Manage wireless communications and display to save battery and increase power life
  • Control volume for media, mp3, notifications, and phone ringer
  • Set ringtones, touchtones and vibrate
  • Autopilot Airplane mode, Toggle Network, Wifi, Ringer, Bluetooth, Brightness, Silent, Screen Timeout
  • Conditions for Time, Day, Location GPS, Battery, Calendar, Incoming Call, Missed Call, Headset, Car/Desk Dock, Unread SMS/Text, Scheduled Period

The P.A. to My P.A.
My phone is my Personal Assistant, and I basically consider ‘Settings Profile’ as a Personal Assistant, to my Personal Assistant.

What You Need to Know
Based on very flexible rules and conditions you create, ‘Settings Profile’ will automatically adjust all sorts of settings on your phone for you, without need for your attention.  I do this for several reasons. Mainly, it’s for ‘tactical’ reasons such as increasing battery life, but it also performs several ‘convenience’ tasks for me, such as synching up my RSS feeds.

Once you install the Settings Profile application on your Android device, you’ll have the options of creating as many Profiles, Rules and Locales as you want.

  • Profiles are collections of settings.  (E.g. Wifi on, Bluetooth off, Screen timeout after 30 seconds etc.)
  • Rules are conditions that determine an action.  (E.g. If it’s between 10a-11a and the phone is plugged in, run XYZ application.  .)
  • Locales are Geographic locations, based on GPS, proximity of Cell Towers etc.  (E.g. Phone is near local Starbucks, near home, at work etc.)

The Execution
Setting up your different Settings criteria is extremely straightforward.  Through a combination of the above mentioned Profiles, Rules and Locales, ‘Settings Profile’ automatically gets your phone to do the stuff you want it to, without any effort from you.  You don’t need any idea other than how you’d like your phone to perform, and a couple minutes to create the setup.  For examples, here are some of my critical setups –

  • Default Profile
    This profile is activated once the phone starts ‘discharging,’ aka unplugged.  This shuts off synch, Bluetooth, and unneeded services.  It changes the display to timeout after 30 seconds, and sets the brightness to ‘Auto.’  (All this is to improve battery life.)  I don’t have it adjust GPS, as I keep this on at all times.  (I’m constantly in Google Maps searching for things, or tracking my position via GPS.  Too much of a pain to switch on / off.)  I also keep data on as I manually check Facebook etc. often.  (If I were to have it kill data, battery life would be even more amazing.)
  • Charging Profile
    If ‘Settings Profile’ detects a power source plugged into my phone, it immediately activates everything and cranks it to 11.  (Spinal Tap reference.)  Since the phone is plugged in, who cares what type of drain I’m putting on it, or how bright my display is.  Fire on all cylinders!  (Note – This automatically kills the ‘Default Profile.’)
  • Synch Profile
    Once an hour my ‘Synch profile’ activates, which background synchs all my apps / data.   (Gmail, K9 Mail, Facebook, Tweetdeck etc.)  This saves a ton of battery and more importantly keeps my phone from beeping every 5 seconds due to the 24/7 Push notifications.  My ‘Synch’ profile is allowed to run for 5 minutes before ‘Settings Profile’ app kills it.  If it doesn’t finish synching everything in that 5 minutes, after another hour, Synch will activate again for 5 minutes.  (Note – because my background data is active, I can always manually synch/refresh the apps when I like.)
  • Home Wireless
    When ‘Settings Profile’ detects certain cell tower ID’s around my home, it automatically activates my Wireless profile, which auto connects me to my home network via Wifi, increasing my data speed and saving some 3g bandwidth usage. (T-Mobile throttles me after 5gigs.  Yes, I use 5+ gigs a month of bandwidth to my phone…)  Note – in order to get this to work properly, I had to create a ‘Wireless On,’ and a’Wireless Off’ profile.
  • NewsRob RSS Synch
    I used NewsRob for my RSS feeds, which as far as I know is the only RSS reader that has built in features for ‘Settings Profile.’  (NewsRob is actually what led me to ‘Settings Profile.’)  If the phone is plugged in, and the time is between 4am and 4:30am, the phone will automatically synch all my RSS feeds which I can peruse throughout the day.
  • Clock
    This turns my phone into a bedside digital clock at night.  If phone is plugged in, and it’s between 11pm and 5am, it will activate a fancy little clock I can look at while I sleep.   (Default Android Clock.)  Once phone is removed from power source, clock application gets killed and I’m automatically placed at my main home screen.

One thing to note, with the exception of my ‘Default Profile’ and ‘Charging Profile,’ all these different rules / conditions work together and are complimentary.  For instance, if my ‘Default Profile’ is active, the ‘Wireless Profile’ or ‘Synch Profile’ gets activated on top of the ‘Default,’ and won’t screw anything up when Wireless or Synch profiles end.  This is important to note as I had some competing profiles when I first began my setups. Once you start creating profiles, ensure you’re not creating competing rules/settings, and always ensure you’re not activating / killing something you don’t want.

Settings Profile is available in the Android Market, and last I checked it was $3.95. You’ll earn this tenfold within the first month of a properly configured Android device!

Stay Tuned for more D-Tips, and Activate Your Charging Profile!

–D