One of the reasons why I really love Android above all else is the sheer amount of customizations you can do. And to top it off, you don’t even need to root your phone for most of these awesome customs. One of the most often used tools in any mobile OS is automatic profile changer. And why not? Automatically silencing your phone when you’re at work or in school is uber convenient. In order to do this, most profile changer apps are time-based to fulfill their function. But what if, for example, you’re on a holiday or you’re not at the office/school at the moment? Then you’d have to manually change your profile settings to un-silent your phone. That’s where Llama shines.
Unlike other profile changers, Llama takes into account not only the time, but also where you’re currently located to change profiles. That means that you can set different profiles for different locations. And don’t worry, it doesn’t use GPS to pinpoint where you are. Instead, it relies on the cellular phone masts in a given area. In one way, it’s ingenious, and in another, it does bring some limitations. However, I found this approach absolutely flexible. The app uses three components: Areas, Events, and Profiles. Areas refer to the locations where you want effects to occur, which are called Events. One of the Events available are Profiles, which are the different sound levels and vibrations. On your first use, you’re given 4 Profiles (Loud, Normal, Quiet, and Silent), two Areas (Work and Home), and 6 Events (Left Home, Left Work, Normal at Home, Normal outside Work, Quiet at Night, Quiet at Work). You can edit any of them, and even add more. For the Areas, even though you have two initial ones, the app needs to know here your “Home” and “Work” are. The easiest way to do this is by long-pressing an area, and choosing Start Learning Area. Once you’ve selected the amount of time you want the app to learn the phone masts in your selected area, then the app goes to work. It automatically triggers the Event/s associated in the Area and saves the collected phone masts. The Events are what make this app very powerful and flexible. As stated, you associate events with respective areas. It’s also where you select the time when the events are in effect. So, for example, my phone will be on silent from 7AM to 4PM every weekdays while I’m in the building, but it automatically changes to a normal ringer when I go to the mall for lunch, and then go back to quiet anytime I head back to the building. But manipulating the ringer sound isn’t the only thing it can do.
You can automatically turn on WiFi, BlueTooth, NFC, etc. when you’re at home. Or turn everything off when you’re at church. Heck, you can even automatically run an app, change the ringtone, change wallpapers, and all other bells and whistles you can think of. While it’s not necessary that you’re rooted to do all these, there are a couple of root-exclusive actions, specifically automatic rebooting or powering off your phone. You can even put in multitudes of conditions to give you more control and flexibility to your events. Of course, not everything is perfect. Relying on phone masts brings its own downside. Let’s go back to my example above. While that’s flexible in most situations, it wouldn’t work as well when your work is just beside the mall since the mall and your Work Area would have the same phone masts.
I couldn’t make a Movies Area and event because of the same reason. By itself, it would be stupid to create a Car profile (even though there are car-related actions available), but if you pair it up with NFC triggers, then it would work wonders. Also, phone masts are kind of inconsistent in some areas for some reason. For example, my phone detects unknown phone masts everyday, despite the fact that I’ve been using this app for over two years now. However, phones rarely lock on to one phone mast, usually changing locks every few seconds.
Despite these shortcomings, I would still say that this is one of the staple tool apps for me. Most apps that can do the things that it can do require root (like the uber excellent Tasker, for example), but this one does not. To top it off, creating and editing events, etc. are very easy to do, unlike other apps (again, such as Tasker). At the very least, please check it out. A very powerful tool app at such a bargain-basement price (a.k.a. free!) such as this should be in every phone, IMHO. Follow the link if you want to try it out. I’m sure you’ll love it.
[Play Store: Llama – Location Profile]