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Automate your Android device with Mini TaskerThis free Android application can be programed to automatically launch different programs and change settings based on your time and place. Here's how to get started.
We all have our own daily routine with our smartphones. When I arrive at work each morning I adjust my brightness, unable Wi-Fi, and turn my phone's volume down. I've done this so many times that it's become second nature, but there's an easier way. Android is a powerful platform and there are apps out there that can be programmed to do these tasks automatically. I'm Dan Graziano and I'm going to show you how to automate your Android device with an easy-to-use app called Mini Tasker. Unlike many of its competitors the app is free in the Play store for devices running Android 4.0 or higher. Mini Tasker is designed to automate different Android actions. Say you want music to start playing when you plug in your headphones or maybe you want the brightness to be turned down when your battery is low. All this and more can be set up in just a few steps. Open Mini Tasker and click on the plus icon. Select the Launch an App option and choose the app you wish to use. For me it's Pandora. Next click on Headset Connected and choose which kind of headset you plan to use, the one with the mic, without a mic, or any type. For automating the brightness, once again click on the plus icon but this time select the Screen Brightness option and set it to your liking. After hitting okay, scroll to the bottom of the page and select Low Battery. Mini Tasker can also be used to silence a call from an unknown number, send a text message at a later time, and even change settings like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth at a specific time or place. All this can be done by clicking the plus icon, but be warned. Setting up automated tasks based on your location may affect your battery life because your phone will constantly check your coordinates. You may have noticed the cloud icon next to the plus symbol. Clicking this will reveal a list of pre-written tasks that you can enable on your device. You can also share automated tasks that you've created with a long press and selecting the 3 dot symbol. These are just some of the hundreds of different things you can do with Mini Tasker. For more information check out my blog post at howto.cnet.com. Now go and get automating. For CNET I'm Dan Graziano.