Automate your Android device with on{x}

Android devices are seriously customizable, and Microsoft is jumping in with on{x}, a script tool that lets users automate processes pretty easily.

I love customizing and automating my Android devices; it's a large part of their appeal. Microsoft is making it easier with on{x}, which, despite its somewhat precious, fancy bracketed name, is a neat tool for setting up automatic rules for your Android devices. Here's how it works: 

  1. Install on{x} here. It's still in beta for now, but it works well. 
  2. Run the app and log in with your Facebook account. You won't be able to do anything on the device yet, but you need to let on{x} know how to reach it. 
  3. Using any computer, open up the on{x} Web site and log in with Facebook again. 
  4. Click Recipes near the top left to check out the list of premade automation rules, which is currently somewhat short. 
    Step 4: Select on{x} recipe.
    Step 4: Select on{x} recipe. Rob Lightner/CNET
  5. Click any recipe name to customize it (if applicable). Any highlighted section in the recipe can be modified by clicking on it to add phone numbers or whatever else is needed. 
  6. After you customize it, click the Add button and that rule will be sent to your phone. 
  7. Make sure you check out each recipe; many of them are much more general than they sound. For example, the first one on the page is called "Launch calendar when I arrive at work," but you can change it to launch any app when you arrive at or leave any location. That in itself may be all some people will care about, as it's pretty cool.
  8. You can also create your own using their JavaScript API. The documentation is simple and clear, and this may be a great way to teach yourself simple coding if that's not already in your skill set, but it's not for everyone. If you don't see something you want, ask in the on{x} forum and see if there's interest. 

That's it! This simple, powerful tool can make life a lot easier for Android users. 

I love automating my life. Here are more ways to do it: 

About the author

    Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.

     

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