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Thursday Poll: Motorola Owners – Are You Using Smart Actions? Which Ones?

One of the top selling points for Motorola’s current lineup of phones has been their Smart Actions app. For those not familiar, think of Smart Actions as an app that tries to help streamline your life, make tasks happen automatically, and potentially extend your battery life. In a lot of ways, it’s like Taskr or Setting Profiles in that it allows you to set up profiles or activities that trigger actions on your phone. Leave home for work every day at 8AM? Smart Actions may recommend that you have it automatically turn off WiFi and launch Google Maps. When you arrive at work, Smart Actions could recognize the location and toggle WiFi back on help save battery while you are away from a charger. Make sense?

We want to know if the Motorola users in the building are taking advantage of these though. Have you found any of the Smart Action recommendations to be helpful? Is your battery lasting longer? Is the app annoying? Answer the poll briefly, and then tell us which actions you have found to be most beneficial in the comments.

Are You Using Smart Actions?

View Results

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  • Rlarson_mn

    I have a Razr Maxx. I played with this feature for a bit but ended up removing all of those I constructed. Most centered around things I do automatically anyway using the manual method. Those that centered around saving battery useage I found not necessary due to my units massive battery, which btw is why I purchased this specific phone and ot the Nexus.

  • Bob

    I just got my Razr Maxx, so I haven’t had much time to experiment yet, but I’ll try it out. Like most people, I wish it had more options. It would be nice if opening an app could be a trigger, so that I could turn on GPS when I open Maps for example.

    Right now I’m using it to turn off data when wifi is on, and to do some battery saver stuff. I use timeriffic to mess with my ringer and notifications during work hours because it has more options for that.

    • LionStone

      I keep a GPS widget right next to my Map/Navigation app so it’s pretty seamless. It would be nice to have Maps/Nav give you the option once you open it…two less taps.

  • djembeman

    I’ve got a Droid Bionic. Smart actions don’t work properly, at least on stock. I tried a leaked version a month or two ago. No smart actions for me.

  • Steve S.

    I used to use them, but since recent updates, I feel the battery life on my RAZR has vastly improved, and no longer use them.

  • roge

    I dont use this. It is totally useless since my razr can’t be with wifi or 3g or even gps on permanently cos the battery won’t last 12 hours in such conditions.So why turning wifi on or off automatically instead of manually when i really need to use it ? Also i believe this program uses a lot of resources in the background reducing a part of my poor battery life.
    So, unless they develop a more lasting battery i will worry about extending its life. So far there isnt even a decent battery life worth extending.

  • AranelAlasse

    I make my phone launch Pandora each morning to help me wake up. So I wouldn’t say that it actually helps my battery. ;)

  • paul_cus

    I use Smart Actions everyday. Never had any issues. I mainly use the one that turns off data when the screen is off. Also use the one that turns off data when connected to wi-fi. Honestly, the RAZR’s battery life would be dreadful if I didn’t use Smart Actions.

  • Steve Z

    Does anyone know if you can have smart actions turn up the ringer volume in the car, even if the car doesn’t have bluetooth? Near as I can tell, bluetooth is required. Thanks.

    • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

      You have to have some trigger that Smart Actions can use to tell that you’re in the car. Obviously the standard location triggers don’t work since your car moves around. Bluetooth works well if your car has Bluetooth. Most of the other triggers probably aren’t unique to your car.

    • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

      If you have the CarDock, you can use plugging the phone into the dock as the trigger to activate it, for example.

  • Illinipoke

    Anyone have a working link to the bionic hack version of this?

  • PyroHoltz

    i agree with the wifi location limitations. i have noticed when using the wifi on, turn cell data off, multimedia messages dont seem to work correctly. i believe normal txt messages work fine but when a picture is attached, the phone wont send/receive

    • LionStone

      That’s strange…I sometimes turn my mobile data off when I’m in 1x and don’t need the internet, and I was impressed that I can still send/receive mms.

      • PyroHoltz

        Great….another thing my D4 somehow manages to screw up.

        thanks for pointing this out to me…. :-|

        /goestositinthecorner

        • LionStone

          Sure thing…after thinking about it, I wonder if its because your wifi is on? I rarely use wifi except when I fly so not sure if it makes a difference for you.

  • http://twitter.com/BriCo84 Brian Cohen

    BTW, the article is a little inaccurate…in order for Smart Actions to recognize your location you MUST have Wifi turned on (biggest drawback to smart actions…hopefully fixed in the next version)

    • Sunupe

      I bought the phone partly because of smart actions. (mainly for the battery life) I was trying to use it as a gps location to activate triggers. But, my job (work at a jail) doesn’t have wifi so I was a little disappointed. I just use the time as triggers: (ex: 8:00 triggers my phone to vibrate and turn off data/cellular)
      I think smart actions is a great evolution to a cell phone. Yes..older models can’t use it. I had a Droid X and it was not compatible.

      • SUNupe

        Oh, I have the Droid Razr Maxx!

  • Trevor

    I would make it so data would turn off when my screen went off

  • http://twitter.com/BriCo84 Brian Cohen

    LOVE smart actions…without it the 4g antenna would eat up my Droid 4′s battery in about 5 hours. For Droid 4 and RAZR owners, Smart Actions is a must, for RAZR MAXX owners, completely unnecessary.

    Now, if only Verizon would stop making you have the 4g antenna on to receive picture messages (MMS)…

    • LionStone

      You should be able to send/receive MMS with mobile data OFF, in either 4G, 3G or 1X. I can confirm this on my stock TB but I haven’t tested it with other devices. My pop has the RAZR so I’ll test this on his phone this wkend…unless someone else chimes in.

      • http://twitter.com/BriCo84 Brian Cohen

        sorry, I guess I wasn’t specific…the main reason to use smart actions, is so that when you are on wifi, you can have it automatically turn off your external antennas (4g, 3g, AND 1x). Everything still works and you save a ton of battery…with the exception that you can’t receive MMS….errr actually you can receive them but you can’t download them.

  • RoadsterHD1

    night actions for me. Turn ringer off except certain people and black wallpaper. From 10pm to 6am

  • lgreg64

    I use the smart actions for meetings at work all the time.

  • Jason

    Easily get days of battery life out of my razr maxx, and never worried about battery level. Only use one rule.

    Display off = disable mobile data
    Display on = enable mobile data

  • HeneryH

    Weekday Sleep Time
    Weenend Sleep Time
    Silent Mode
    Unless one of my VIPs then ringer=on

    • f0r71fy

      Same

  • stupidllama

    i like it, just started using it but one thing that need improvement is to control notifications. In nighttime mode i can turn the ringer off (except for important contacts), i would like to be able to disable email notification except for certain contacts, like my boss or my firewall, my main issue is that i get some crap email in the middle of the night and my notification led blinks all night, if i could turn that off for everything except select contacts that would be great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/amtrombley Anthony Trombley

    I’m usually pretty disciplined about my phone. I do use Timerrific for switching between silent, vibrate and ringer on, and use Juice Defender Ultimate to extend my battery life. Everything else (like bluetooth, GPS, etc) are used so rarely I don’t need a profile for it.

    So in short, no, I don’t use Smart Actions. I use specialized 3rd party apps that fit my practical needs better.

  • DroidCzar

    I made one to auto open iheart radio at night when I turn my Bluetooth headset on. I also have it auto silence at kids’ schools, library, doctor, dentist, etc. When I’m on home wifi, it adjusts my display timeout. I know taskr does a lot of those same things, but this is free. It also suggests new smart actions based off my habits

  • TD

    Couldn’t find Smart Actions on my Droid X.

  • BlueLetter

    I’d use it if I didn’t have ample time between work and home to switch my phone into silent mode

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.paulsen Thomas Paulsen

    Always use it for
    - Silent phone when at the movies
    - Start Google Music when plugging in headset (“Walk the dog mode”)
    - Maintain different profiles (Home/Work/Away) for wallpaper and ringers
    - Battery Saver

    Agreed, Moto needs to extend the feature set. For example to control the media volume. When I plug in my headset, lower the volume… basic stuff.

    • LionStone

      Don’t know about your device but the TB will give you a setting to adjust media volume when you plug in.

  • udispyn

    I was using smart actions, like ringer silenced at night, and connect to wifi at home. I found that my phone would always go to silent, i would miss calls and texts, once I took them off haven’t had a problem since.

  • Scott H

    I have a couple set up: 1. sleep – during certain hours when I’m at home and the phone is charging and not moving the volume and brightness are decreased and voice announce is turned on (I still need to figure out how to silence everything but ringer). 2. meeting – when I’m at work and have a calendar event on my work calendar (and work calendar only) my ringer is silenced.

  • TD

    Couldn’t find Smart Actions on my Droid X.

    • sk3litor

      I think it wasn’t introduced until the razr. I could be wrong though. My friend has a Droid x and I don’t think he has it. But then again he’s never even changed the launcher or even the wall paper for that matter. He thinks its gonna screw something up;-)

      • Mack`

        True but there is a version of it floating around that works on most other phones. Works on my Droid X2 (CM7).

        • sk3litor

          I see I see. I must say though after all this talk about smart actions I checked out tasker and I love that shyte

  • David H.

    I use quite a few actually, and the difference is astounding. A friend of mine has the same phone and battery life comparison is pointless. He barely makes a day, I made a 36 hour all night reno marathon.
    mine are all semi customized though.
    I use battery saver, but only make it turn off gps if it’s not charging
    i have low battery saver if it gets below 25% which lowers the default brightness
    and another one at 50% which lowers brightness
    sleep which checks if I am at home and turns everything on IF it’s charging
    before I dropped it in the ocean I used a few others that I can’t remember… :(

  • frstsaxman

    I have to use a combination of local and the smart actions to have the phone do everything I want it to. I travel between work, school, my home, my fiances home so I need different things at each locations and different things for day and night at each location.

  • dbam987

    Smart Actions is a great app to have. I use it for the following:
    + Getting in my car, sync’s through bluetooth, auto-magically plays a playlist
    + Battery Extender, Low Battery Saver, and Nighttime modes are also enabled
    + Home / Work profiles enabled too
    I get decent battery life with Smart Actions enabled, and I like not having to manually remember to silence my phone when I get to the office.

    • Liderc

      Did you say auto-magically?

      lol

      • Pat Hamilton

        Biz Markie!?

  • mcdonsco

    Turn ringer off when in the car cause it comes through my integrated navigation system

    Turn cell data off when using wifi

    Turn ringer in full volume if i miss a call

    At first I didn’t use them as I was disappointed I didn’t have more control (like telling it when to enable 4G vs 3G etc) but I’ve since found some uses…still would be nice though if they added more granular controls…thus far though I have yet to find any battery saving setups that work for me.

    The lack of full control is often annoying though…like, not being able to tell it to only turn wifi on when I’m at home or office…location and wifi triggers for some reason are disabled when the action is wifi…wtf?

    • rp780

      If you stack smart actions don’t you have the ability to same turn wifi on when I’m at home or office?

  • http://twitter.com/rigrossman Richard Grossman

    I use the smart actions on my MAXX for battery saver, night time, and Work – makes it easier than shutting off the ringer or the phone itself

  • John Jenness

    Car settings based on plugging it into the CarDock. Wifi of course, Late night battery savers.

  • Jordan

    I use Battery Extender, Low Battery Saver, Work and Home Profiles, Night/Sleep Profile, When connected to Headphones the Play music app launches. I find it useful.

  • Mike

    I have it turn the volume down at work, silence at night, and change a bunch of settings when I’m in the car. I also have it set to shut off all the power draining stuff if it gets below 20% battery at night if I’m not charging it.

    I used Settings Profiles before on my Droid X, and it was able to do some things that I wish Smart Actions could do. Occasionally Smart Actions won’t pick up my location either, and doesn’t apply rules based on it. Overall, I like it and hope they improve it.

  • SMF Razr

    I use the app a lot. I have set the app to turn things on and off based on specific connections. I have tried to use the location based settings, but there are some issues with it (the location based setting is best on wifi connections). If the app could access GPS, I see this app working a lot better.

    The dock settings work best. I have my Droid Razr attached to a Bionic Lapdock (with some modifications) and the smart controller right now. I didn’t have to touch ANY settings other than the power slider on the smart controller and everything paired up!

  • Story_Ninja

    I use it. It toggles off wifi when I leave the house. Toggles wifi on when I arrive at work. Puts my phone on silent when I am at work and turns off cellular data. saves a ton of battery. I get like 12 or 14 Hrs. mid range level of usage mostly during lunch and breaks. Text, voice and media streaming.

    Its actually very handy. One of my fav features. Is it will turn my phone on silent at bed time. But it has a VIP list where certain folks can breakthrough and ring my phone even late, because if they are calling its probably important. Oh and there is even an action that puts the phone into a low usage mode if say I go home and forget to put the phone on the charger, that mode will kick in at like 8 or 9 PM. so when I wake up in the morning. I still have some juice and not a dead phone. Overall id say its a nice feature to have. But I wouldnt but a phone simply for it alone.

    Droid 4/4life.

    • Scott H

      What triggers and actions do you use for changing wifi? When I’ve tried to set up actions to turn wifi on or off, the wifi option is grayed out and not available to select.

      • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

        The reason the WiFi option gets turned off is that you have a Location trigger selected. Smart Actions requires that WiFi be on and stay on with an Action with a Location trigger (because it doesn’t feel that your location can be determined accurately enough without WiFi on), so it won’t let you turn WiFi on or off on that action.

        • Scott H

          How do you set your trigger to determine that you left the house if it’s not based on location?

          Thanks for the reply, btw!

          • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

            In my case, I do it based on connecting to my car. For me, leaving my house in the morning and connecting to my car are basically the same. I don’t know about the original guy you replied to.

          • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

            In my case, I do it based on connecting to my car. For me, leaving my house in the morning and connecting to my car are basically the same. I don’t know about the original guy you replied to.

      • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

        The reason that the WiFi option is greyed out, I mean.

  • guseppe16

    I use Smart Actions a lot. Mostly used: silence phone at night, turn off certain background data when phone is idle, turn off data/dim screen when battery is low.

  • MyStroPro

    I was using it – until I flashed the AxioM rom. Automation was awesome. I plugged in my headphones and my music player would open. I got into my car and my WiFi would shut down, GPS turn on, and bam, ready to go.

    Smart Actions made automating simple switches awesome imo. It’s an easy to use interface, and something that should become built in to Android OS in the future. I’m not saying it has to be implemented the same way completely, but automating switching based on triggers.

  • ckdk44

    Personally, i use it to stop background action and sometimes my 4G connectivity when my phone is in my pocket. Sure when i turn it on then everything comes back on and its a battery drainer, but at least it wont suck my battery when i’m not even using my Droid Razr.

  • br_hermon

    Don’t have a Motorola phone anymore *Tips bottle, pours one out for my OG* but on my Gnex, I use tasker for tons of stuff. Much better than smart actions since you can customize it completely to your liking. Tasker profiles and with NFC tags is where its at boys.

  • Steve Lambert

    I have it set up for my office, my home and my car. I have my email app pop up at work. When I am connected to my car dock, I have it turn off my wifi. At home it turns my phone to vibrate. I think it is an amazing app. I wish they would also let you block apps (like my email app for work at home).

  • duke69111

    How many of these no votes are from people who don’t have a Motorola phone?

    • Knlegend1

      Right

    • MyStroPro

      Exactly. That’s one of the problems with this poll.

      • motoman

        I am a moto razr maxx user and I voted no. Don’t really have a need for it I guess.

        • Pfigurella

          Same for me. Plenty of battery with that thing!

          • http://twitter.com/rigrossman Richard Grossman

            if you use your phone with lots of GPS locating or games during the day, then the battery saver comes in handy with the MAXX

      • MooleyBooleyTroll

        I unplug around 5-5:30am and plug back in around 10pm and have never ran out of juice on my Maxx. I have never had the need to use smart actions.

      • joe

        We all know this is a Nexus fan site now. So most of those no votes are probably GNex owners.

      • jeff

        I used to use Locale and Tasker but I find Smart Actions to be more reliable and less buggy.

    • chuckers

      Some of them :p

    • Shadowcell

      I own a Motorola phone but it doesn’t have Smart Actions.

      • http://fujibayashi.jp/ Gasai Yuno

        I concur. Same here.

        • kb RazrMAxx 4.0

          It’s only for Razr, Kellex, the author should have specified this in the title…

          • http://twitter.com/whoisajimmy Jim

            D4 has it as well. D3 might, but iunno.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10602828 Mike Hilal

      I used to use them on my bionic…they were more annoying than they were helpful. I stopped using them, then I switched to a Gnex.

  • 10yck

    I find them very useful. The one for the car is great. It turns off wi-fi, turns on gps, puts it in car dock mode, bluetooth turns on etc.. I’m on the road a lot so it is very helpful.

  • http://twitter.com/jonathanM21 jonathanM21

    I use:

    1. Charging reminder
    2. Low Battery Saver
    3. Night time battery saver
    4. Timeframe – silent ringer during work hours
    5. Timeframe – launch manhattan commuter bus tracker website each morning

  • rp780

    I’ve managed to use smart actions to extend the battery life of my RAZR past the 24hr mark…It works for me.

    • Droidzilla

      My wife gets a day and a half out of her RAZR (non-Maxx) and only uses Smart Actions to silence her ringer during work. Then again, she does run in 3G mode and only has about 40 apps (less chance of something misbehaving than with my 140+ apps).

      • Liderc

        That’s because all your wife does is text.

        • roge

          Not even texting my friend. Tbe non maxx razr drains its battery at a rate of 1% per hour in stanby mode with gsm On. You send an sms and it will automatically drop two percent more and so on. If you use 3g only in stanby mode theb double the battery use or tripple it better. No need to use smart action if there is no battery to save for the only way to have a nlt so poor performance is by disabeling this things.right after you are done checking your mail and so on which i guess smart actions can’t do.

  • Mack

    Thus far I’ve found that I do fine managing these things myself. I can see how the app would be very useful for those that find themselves with a busy schedule and a lot to remember.

    • panicswhenubered

      So we can just assume that you don’t have much to do each day and have little-to-nothing to remember. I’ll make a mental note that your existence is insignificant.. lulz :o)

      • Mack

        Haha well not much to do today anyway, relaxing by the pool at the moment. I am also pretty fortunate to have a pretty stress free job, got to love being a college kid. :)

    • feztheforeigner

      If anyone was to use these “Smart Actions” it would be this community and the majority of us seem to not use them. I would guess that less than a quarter of the mass public even know about this…

      • http://twitter.com/BriCo84 Brian Cohen

        That seems like a pretty inaccurate statement considering the poll shows more users DO use smart actions (although it seems pretty split 50/50).

        • feztheforeigner

          Not at the time of my writing. It was 55% don’t use smart actions…

      • http://profiles.google.com/johnthacker John Thacker

        I suspect a lot of people answering “No” don’t have a phone that actually has the Smart Actions apps, whether because it’s non-Motorola or because it’s an older Motorola phone without it.

  • Guest

    I love smart actions, I wish it had more options though. I love having my phone go to silent based off of calendar events or the time of the day.

    • r0lct

      If you want to do more check out Tasker in the market.

      • FortitudineVincimus

        Word. Tasker has allowed us to do “Smart Actions” since before there were “Smart Actions” – and you can do 100x more. Tasker is the bizzzzomb

      • Michael Quinlan

        +1 for Tasker. Smart Actions are okay, much like AOL was okay when what you really wanted was the Internet.

  • craig1989

    Anyone seen this running on the gnex? I’d definitely be interested in that

    • bmuenter

      there is a market app for that! I don’t know the name off hand but I heard it works pretty well

      • r0lct

        Tasker

      • craig1989

        Yeah I have tasker, it’s very cool but definitely more complicated, I’d like to see it on the gnex as an alternative simple option

  • Finite

    i only use it to silence my phone at night. otherwise its a good idea and concept, but hard to utilize in daily life unless your one of the few that actually has a specific situation for this.

  • Knlegend1

    Heck yeah