Locale

I wrote a post on saturday asking for an android app that would turn my wifi on and off when I was in certain locations. I got a ton of great comments and installed a bunch of apps on my phone as a result, including Locale, JuiceDefender, Y5, and Tasker. I promised that I'd write a blog post telling everyone what was the best solution for me. This is that post.

Locale, JuiceDefender, and Y5 all do the thing I wanted (turning wifi on and off based on location). Y5 is drop dead simple. You don't need to do any configuration. JuiceDefender is very powerful and can do a lot of things.

But I'm really taken with Locale and it is the solution I opted for in the end. It's not a battery saver app, it's a location configuration app. And I think it is a very smart idea. With Locale you can tune your phone to do different things in different places. Here's some copy from the Locale website:

With Locale, you create situations specifying conditions under which your phone's settings should change. For example, your "At School" situation notices when your Location condition is "77 Massachusetts Ave.," and changes your Volume setting to vibrate.

It's been almost 30 years now, but I still remember that 77 Mass Ave means school (MIT). I guess the team behind Locale is out of MIT. If so, I like this app even more.

Here's what I've done with Locale so far. I've set up Home and Office as "situations" and geolocated them on my phone. I've set wifi to turn on whenever I arrive at eiter location. And I've set wifi to turn off whenever I leave either location. I've set volume to vibrate at the Office and to ring loudly at home (I leave my phone by the front door and don't take it around my house).

I'm trying to figure out how to make Locale turn on Bluetooth when I get in my car and turn it off when I get out. I'm going to try to geolocate my garage and see if I can make that work.

The user interface of Locale is simple and yet fairly powerful. I think it can do so much more and I hope they keep adding features to this app. The idea that I have an intelligent phone that configures itself depending on where I am is very powerful and I think there's a lot of potential here.