Automating daily tasks and routines with Android

Using smart home devices to bring some degree of automation to your house can bring you a range of convenient benefits. Have Google Home or Amazon Echo read you your daily commute and schedule, or announce the news and weather. Or, automatically have alarms sound at a specified time on each working day of the week. These functions have been around for a few years now, since the initial release of these popular smart home devices.

However, now there's a little-known feature on Android known as 'daily routines', which offer you convenient, automated functions to save you time in your daily life. And what's more, they can be synchronised with your home products to trigger useful actions at specific times of the day. 

Creating a daily routine

One of the key changes that has been made to Android by Google is an upgrade to the native 'Clock' application. The Google Assistant has now been fully integrated into the app. Not only does that mean that you can now set your alarms using your voice, but you can also set full daily routines that are launched at specific times of day. 

To benefit from the changes to this app, you'll need to be running the most recent version of the application from the Google Play store. Tap on the Alarm section and then create a new alarm and designate the time to be triggered. This is the process that you'll be used to, but there's now a new option at the bottom of the app, "Google Assistant Routine"

Tapping on the plus icon beside this option will bring up a brand-new window that gives you an overview of the new routines functionality. You can select to set up a new routine, at which point you'll get a screen that will be familiar to you if you've used one of the Google Home products before. On this screen, you'll be able to set up a bunch of useful functions that can perform a range of useful tasks, such as: 

  • Automatically switching smart home devices on or off at given times, such as lights and plug sockets, or adjusting your thermostat to a specific temperature
  • Automatically setting your phone's volume to a given level, such as when you're headed to bed or waking up in the morning
  • Reminding you about upcoming reminders when the date draws near
  • Forewarning you of a lengthy commute in the morning

Once you've decided what functions you want to set up, you can choose the order in which you'd like them to trigger. For example, you can opt to hear about your commute before your reminders are presented to you. Once you've chosen a final order, simply tap the grey tick to approve and save the routine. It's all quickly and easily set up, and should take you no more than a few minutes to add a touch of efficiency and convenience to your everyday routines. 

If this, then that ... 

There's another way of further automating a variety of daily tasks, which is through something called IFTTT. This stands for "If this, then that", which means when one action occurs, another should automatically be triggered. It's the perfect way to have all your applications and devices communicate with each other, and it's something that's being continually developed all the time. 

On the IFTTT website, there's a whole library full of "applets" that you can use to automate your home whenever an action occurs. For example, the Domino's Pizza applet will automatically light up your smart home-connected porch lights when the pizza arrives. Or, there's an application that will synchronise events from your Google calendar to your iPhone, in case you're an iPhone user in a Google-enabled home. 

If you're struggling to get started with your smart home, then we can provide you with help in getting set up. You can contact WiseGuys by telephone on 0808 123 2820, or drop into one of our walk-in centres in Bournemouth and Christchurch, where we can also offer iPhone repairs, Android repairs, and advice for any other devices you may be having problems with. 

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