My Favourite Android Apps: Llama – Location Profiles

One of my favourite Android Apps at the moment is Llama – Location Profiles. This app utilises the mobile phone towers to identify locations or “Areas”. I have tried similar profile switching programs that use locations determined via the internet or GPS but they either lack the precision or use too much battery. With one such app I could be up at the local shops and my phone thought it was still at “Home”.

Llama AreasTo define an “Area” in Llama you put the app in learning mode and it logs all the mobile phone towers it can detect. Whenever your phone detects a tower from the log Llama determines that you are in the specified “Area”. Conversely when your phone detects a tower not logged for your location Llama determines that you have left the “Area”.

Since your phone has to connect to the towers anyway it isn’t using any extra battery to gather this data. Also due to the high number of towers around the suburbs you don’t have to travel very far before your phone finds a tower outside the learned area. This gives a fair amount of precision. Sure I might get to the end of the street and still be at “Home” but at least I’m not at “Home” when I get to the shops. For even more precision you can add an “Event” that triggers when you go out of range of your WiFi.

Llama EventsThe next thing to define are “Events”. “Events” monitor certain “Conditions” and perform “Actions”.

“Conditions” include:

  • Entering or leaving an “Area”
  • Time and Date Schedules (yes “Date” schedules, do you want your ring-tone to sing “Happy Birthday” to you?)
  • Charger Unplugged/Plugged-in
  • Battery level dropping below X%
  • Specific WiFi network connected/disconnected

Actions include:

  • Activating a profile (silent, loud, vibrate, discreet ring-tone, etc)
  • Turning on/off WiFi, Mobile Data, GPS, Bluetooth, etc#
  • Adjusting screen brightness and timeout
  • Starting an App

#useful to note that you can specify to not turn Bluetooth/WiFi off if they are connected. This can help prevent drop-outs if you happen drift outside/inside an “Area” while connected.

Llama ProfilesYou can then define some “Profiles” to handle ringer volumes, ring-tones and vibrate method. You can also vary the Llama notification bar icon so that you can see at a glance which profile is active.

One other feature worth mentioning is that within the profile you can define specific contacts with volume overrides. For example when your phone is on silent you can allow certain contacts to ring out loud. They call this feature “Noisy contacts…” but it can just as easily be used to silence certain contacts during audible profiles.

I would like to end this article by outlining some of the Area/Event/Profile combinations that I use.

Silent Night

  • Between the hours of 10pm and 6:30am
  • When at “Home”
  • Change Profile to “Silent”
  • ie. phone does not go silent if I am away from home

Left Home

  • When leaving “Home”
  • Turn on Bluetooth – since I usually leave home by car this connects my phone to my car-kit
  • Turn off WiFi
  • Change Profile to “Loud”

Back Home

  • When at “Home”
  • Turn off Bluetooth
  • Turn off GPS
  • Turn on WiFi

Low Battery

  • When the battery level drops below 20%
  • Turn off Bluetooth, Mobile Data, GPS and WiFi
  • Dim screen to 1% brightness

On Charge

  • Enable Mobile Data – just in case phone dipped below 20%
  • Turn off Vibrate

…and now a fun one…
At the MCG

  • When it’s Friday, Saturday or Sunday
  • When at “MCG” (Football Stadium)
  • Disable Bluetooth
  • Change Profile to “Loud”
  • Change ring-tone to “Hawthorn Football Club Song”

The combinations are limited only by your imagination and there are sometimes multiple ways to achieve the same conditions. I highly recommend this app even if you just use it to silence you phone overnight. You could say Llama – Location Profiles help me sleep at night 😉