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Red Automate - Help and FAQ

How It Works

Red Automate allows you to build Profiles. A profile is a named collection of Actions (things you want to happen, like play a sound), Settings (changes a device setting, like ringer volume), and Triggers (specific conditions, like time of day).

Red Automate tries to match a set of triggers, be it time of day, location, or dock state. If ALL the triggers for a profile match, then two things happen:

  1. Phone settings are changed to what the Profile has
  2. Any actions that the profile has are performed

You can reuse actions, triggers, and settings in multiple different profiles. For example, if you wanted one profile for being at home during the day and another for at night, you could use the same Location trigger in two different profiles, each with a different Time of Day trigger. You also only need to create one Setting for "Silent" and reuse it for Profiles you've set up for "At the Theater" or "At Work."

An example Profile for when you are about to leave work on a cold day could be:

  1. T: 5:00pm
  2. T: At Work
  3. T: Temperature Below Freezing
  4. S: Ringer to Full
  5. A: Remote Start Car

In the above example, we have three triggers: a Time of Day to be 5pm, ad Location to be "at work," and one that says the outside temperature should be below 0C. If all of these conditions are met, the Profile becomes Active. When that happens, the device's ringer volume is set to full, and an OnStar command is sent to start your car.

What and How Permissions Are Used

Red Automate uses a lot of permissions, but rest assured that it does not share any personal information. Quite frankly, we here are Red Lightning don't even want to know who your contacts are. None of your information is ever transmitted to us or anyone else.

Internet access is used to access Google Map information when creating or editing a Location trigger, and http://forecast.weather.gov is called to get current weather information

Here are all the permissions in use and what Red Automate does with them:

  • ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION - Used to see where you are for "At Location," "Not At Location," and "Speed" triggers
  • ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION - Used when setting up location triggers, and as a fallback if COARSE_LOCATION is currently unavailable.
  • ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE - Allows us to check to see if we have a connection before getting the weather or map information
  • ACCESS_WIFI_STATE - So we can see what the current state of Wifi is
  • BLUETOOTH_ADMIN - Enables the app to turn Bluetooth on and off
  • BLUETOOTH - So we can see what the current state of Bluetooth is
  • CHANGE_WIFI_STATE - Enables the app to turn Wifi on and off
  • CHANGE_CONFIGURATION - used by most Settings to allow Red Automate to change device configuration
  • GET_TASKS - Allows us to build a list of installed apps for the "Launch Activity" action
  • INTERNET - Used only downloading map data from Google, and getting weather information from http://forecast.weather.gov
    • Note that for each of these two cases your location is sent to the provider to get accurate data
  • MODIFY_AUDIO_SETTINGS - Settings you create can change volume of media playback, the ringer, etc
  • READ_CONTACTS - Used to match Incoming Call and Incoming SMS triggers to your contacts
    • Contact info is NEVER sent to us or anyone else
  • READ_PHONE_STATE - Used for Phone State and Network State triggers to see if the phone is ringing, the network has changed, etc.
  • RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED - Red Automate will start automatically when you turn your device on
  • SEND_SMS - Allows SMS messages to be sent
    • ONLY used with a "Send SMS" action you set up
    • Use these actions with caution, as on many plans sending too many SMS messages can cost money
  • VIBRATE - Enables the app to change vibration settings for the ringer, notifications, etc
  • WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE - Allows backup of profile, action, setting, and trigger data
  • WRITE_SETTINGS - Save any values a Setting changes to the device, allowing that change to actually take effect

In addition, Red Automate accesses the following sensors. Devices without these sensors may not be able to use certain Trigger types:

  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient Light
  • Ambient Temperature
  • Magnetic Field
  • Proximity

This list should allow you, if you are wanting and able, to disable permissions you do not use in your profiles.

Profiles

What is a Profile?

In Red Automate, a Profile is a named collection of Actions, Triggers, and Settings. Every time there is an event on your phone that Red Automate is listening for, such as being inserted into a car dock, location, the battery running low, or simply being the correct time of day, each Profile is evaluated and the matching profile has its settings activated and actions performed.

Activating a Profile

Which profile gets changed to Active happens automatically. On each device event, Red Automate looks for a matching profile and activates it. A match is made when:

  • The device is in any of the locations specified by the Location Triggers the Profile has
  • The time of day is between any of the Time of Day Triggers the Profile has
  • All other Trigger conditions the Profile has match

What this all means is that you can build a Profile, for example, that sets the screen brightness to full when the phone is plugged in, and either at home or at work. Or, go silent between 10am and 1pm, as well as 9pm to 8am, but only if headphones aren't inserted.

If no profiles can match the current state of the device, then the Default Profile is activated.

Making a New Profile

  1. Tap "Profiles" in the list
  2. Select "New Profile"
  3. Enter a name for this profile

Setting a Default Profile

A Profile may be set as the Default. The default Profile is activated when no other Profile has Triggers that all match the current state of the phone. Use this Profile to set the normal settings you'd use most of the time. The default Profile does not need to have any Triggers, though all others should have at least one.

  1. Tap the Profiles tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Profile you want to set as the Default
  3. Select "Set as Default" from the dialog that appears

Renaming a Profile

  1. Tap the Profiles tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Profile you want to rename
  3. Select "Rename" from the dialog that appears
  4. Enter a new name for the Profile
  5. Tap "Ok" to save your change, "Cancel" to keep the old name

Deleting a Profile

  1. Tap the Profiles tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Profile you want to delete
  3. Select "Delete" from the dialog that appears

Adding Actions to a Profile

  1. Tap the Profiles tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Profile you want to add Actions to
  3. Select "Add Actions" from the dialog that appears
  4. A list of Actions will appear. Tap each that you wish to add to the Profile. You must have created some Actions to add them.
  5. After you have chosen all the Actions you wish to add, tap "OK"

Adding Settings to a Profile

  1. Tap the Profiles tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Profile you want to add Settings to
  3. Select "Add Settings" from the dialog that appears
  4. A list of Settings will appear. Tap each that you wish to add to the Profile. You must have created some Settings to add them.
  5. After you have chosen all the Settings you wish to add, tap "OK"

Adding Triggers to a Profile

  1. Tap the Profiles tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Profile you want to add Triggers to
  3. Select "Add Triggers" from the dialog that appears
  4. A list of Triggers will appear. Tap each that you wish to add to the Profile. You must have created some Triggers to add them.
  5. After you have chosen all the Triggers you wish to add, tap "OK"

Actions

What is an Action?

An Action is a task you'd like your device to perform:

  • Launch Activity
  • Play a sound
  • Send GM Vehicle Command
  • Send SMS
  • Send Email Message
  • Send Web Command

When a Profile is active, all the actions in that profile will be performed.

GM Vehicle Commands

If your General Motors vehicle supports it, you can send it various remote commands, like Remote Start, Unlock, and Lock. This feature requires that you have an OnStar subscription.

Making a New Action

  1. Tap the Action tab if it is not already active
  2. Select "New Action" from the top menu
  3. Enter a name for this Action
  4. Select the type of Action from the list that appears
  5. Select the target value for this Action from the next dialog

Editing an Action

  1. Tap the Action tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Action you want to edit
  3. Select "Edit" from the dialog that appears
  4. Enter a new value for the Action
  5. Tap "OK" to save your change, "Cancel" to keep the old value

Renaming an Action

  1. Tap the Action tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Action you want to rename
  3. Select "Rename" from the dialog that appears
  4. Enter a new name for the Action
  5. Tap "OK" to save your change, "Cancel" to keep the old name

Deleting an Action

  1. Tap the Action tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Action you want to delete
  3. Select "Delete" from the dialog that appears

Adding an Action to Profiles

  1. Tap the Settings tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Action you want to add
  3. Select "Add to Profile" from the dialog that appears
  4. A list of Profiles will appear. Tap each one that you wish to add the Action to. You must have created some Profiles first.
  5. After you have chosen all the Profiles you wish to add, tap "OK"

Settings

What is a Setting?

A Setting is a named value you want to apply to some aspect of your phone. You can change all sorts of options on your phone, including:

  • Alarm Ringtone
  • Alarm Volume
  • Airplane Mode
  • Bluetooth
  • Media Volume
  • Notify Ringtone
  • Notify Vibration
  • Notify Volume
  • Ringtone
  • Ringer Mode
  • Ringer Vibration
  • Ringer Volume
  • Screen Brightness
  • Screen Timeout
  • Speakerphone
  • System Volume
  • Unlock Pattern
  • Haptic Feedback
  • DTMF Volume
  • Wallpaper
  • WiFi

When a Profile is active, the settings on your phone will be changed to the values in the Setting you specify.

A Note on Screen Brightness

Some devices have an option to have the brightness level set automatically based on ambient light levels. This option must be unchecked for brightness Settings to work properly.

Also, due to the way system wide (not application specific) brightness setting commands work in Android 1.5 and later, the screen needs to refresh (turn it off, then on again) before the new backlight setting will take effect.

Making a New Setting

  1. Tap the Settings tab if it is not already active
  2. Select "New Setting" from the menu that appears
  3. Enter a name for this Setting
  4. Select the type of Setting from the list that appears
  5. Select the target value for this Setting from the next dialog

Editing a Setting

  1. Tap the Settings tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Setting you want to edit
  3. Select "Edit" from the dialog that appears
  4. Enter a new value for the Setting
  5. Tap the new value to save your change, "Cancel" to keep the old value

Renaming a Setting

  1. Tap the Settings tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Setting you want to rename
  3. Select "Rename" from the dialog that appears
  4. Enter a new name for the Setting
  5. Tap "OK" to save your change, "Cancel" to keep the old name

Deleting a Setting

  1. Tap the Settings tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Setting you want to delete
  3. Select "Delete" from the dialog that appears

Adding a Setting to Profiles

  1. Tap the Settings tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Setting you want to add
  3. Select "Add to Profile" from the dialog that appears
  4. A list of Profiles will appear. Tap each one that you wish to add the setting to. You must have created some Profiles first.
  5. After you have chosen all the Profiles you wish to add, tap "OK"

Triggers

What is a Trigger?

A Trigger some condition of the real world, like battery state, time of day, location, or whether or not a headset is plugged into your device.. Some triggers, like the headset or battery state, are matched as soon as they happen. Others, like location and time of day, are checked once a minute. Lastly, many of the sensors are checked every 10 seconds. These delays are implemented to conserve battery life.

  • Device Temperature
    • Requires internal ambient temperature sensor
    • Ambient temperature can be influenced by your device's CPU load, if it is in a case or pocket, etc.
  • Light Level
    • Requires ambient light sensor
    • Light levels are in SI lux units
  • Orientation
    • Requires accelerometer
  • Outside Temperature
    • US only, requires internet access. Checked every 30 minutes, and only when a trigger exists.
  • Proximity
    • Requires proximity sensor
    • Distance is in cm
    • Some sensors only report "near" or "far" and not the actual distance
  • Speed
    • Requires location services be enabled. Uses coarse Network Location by default to conserve battery.
  • Location
    • Requires location services be enabled. Uses coarse Network Location by default to conserve battery.
  • Not At Location
    • Requires location services be enabled. Uses coarse Network Location by default to conserve battery.
  • Time Of Day
  • Dock State
  • Power State
  • Wired Headset
    • Includes headphones with or without a microphone

Making a New Trigger

  1. Tap the Triggers tab if it is not already active
  2. Click the Menu button on your device, and select "New Trigger" from the menu that appears
  3. Enter a name for this Trigger
  4. Select the type of Trigger from the list that appears
  5. Select the target value for this Trigger from the next dialog

Making a Location Trigger

  1. Tap on the Triggers tab to open the triggers view
  2. Select "New Trigger"
  3. Give your trigger a name, like "At Work" or "At Home." Names must be unique. Tap "Create"
  4. Choose "Location" from the list of trigger types
  5. A map will be displayed. Once your location has been acquired, an icon will be added to show where you are. You do not need to wait for this to happen, however.
  6. Scroll and zoom the map to where you would like the triggering location to be. Then, tap on the map to place a marker
  7. Once the marker is placed, another tap somewhere else on the map will place a new marker, removing the old
  8. Starting inside the green range circle, draw your finger towards or away from the marker to resize the range. This will allow you to use one marker to cover a large area, which can come in handy. GPS does not work in buildings well, and the cell tower based coarse location service can have poor accuracy.
  9. When you have your marker in the position you want, and the range set to the distance you want, click the Menu button and select "Save." This will save the location information to the Trigger and return you to the Triggers screen.

Making A Time of Day Trigger

Time of Day is checked every minute.

  1. Tap on the Triggers tab to open the triggers view
  2. Press the Menu key on your device, and select "New Trigger"
  3. Give your trigger a name, like "Work Day" or "Sleeping." Names must be unique. Tap "Create"
  4. Choose "Time of Day" from the list of trigger types
  5. Select a "From" (aka Start) time. This will be the beginning of the block of time the Trigger will match
  6. Select a "To" (aka End) time. This is the end of the time block. At any time between To and From the Trigger will match
  7. Select the days of the week you want this Trigger to be live. Day buttons run Sunday to Saturday. Buttons with black text are enabled, those with grey are disabled. Tap them to toggle.
  8. Click "OK" to save the Trigger

Editing a Trigger

  1. Tap the Triggers tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Trigger you want to edit
  3. Select "Edit" from the dialog that appears
  4. Enter a new value for the Trigger
  5. Tap the new value to save your change, "Cancel" to keep the old value

Renaming a Trigger

  1. Tap the Triggers tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Trigger you want to rename
  3. Select "Rename" from the dialog that appears
  4. Enter a new name for the Trigger
  5. Tap "OK" to save your change, "Cancel" to keep the old name

Deleting a Trigger

  1. Tap the Triggers tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Trigger you want to delete
  3. Select "Delete" from the dialog that appears

Adding a Trigger to Profiles

  1. Tap the Triggers tab if it is not currently active
  2. Tap on the name of the Trigger you want to add
  3. Select "Add to Profile" from the dialog that appears
  4. A list of Profiles will appear. Tap each one that you wish to add the Trigger to. You must have created some Profiles first.
  5. After you have chosen all the Profiles you wish to add, tap "OK"

Backup/Restore

Red Automate can write all of your profile data to your device's external storage for backup purposes. Typically, this will be /sdcard/chronos.xml. The restore option reads from this same file.

To backup your data:

  1. On the Profile page, hit the Menu key (or the three dots in the action bar if you're device doesn't have a menu key)
  2. Select "Backup"

To restore your data:

  1. On the Profile page, hit the Menu key (or the three dots in the action bar if you're device doesn't have a menu key)
  2. Select "Restore" (Note that this will overwrite all current Profiles, Actions, Settings, and Triggers)

Have More Questions?

Contact us! We are more then happy to assist you. If you find a problem or have suggestions for improvements, please let us know. We are always striving to make our applications better.