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How To Best Use The Motorola Smart Actions App

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Motorola’s Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX both come with an app developed by Motorola called Smart Actions that can automate tasks based on a wide range of triggers. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the phones and I’m glad to see that Motorola is bringing the app to others in the near future.

Smart Actions is easy to use but it’s power isn’t always apparent from the start. It can help save battery (for you RAZR users who still need it), cut down on your mobile data usage, or shut off radios when you don’t need them.

Motorola includes some useful starter rules that you can customize or tweak to your liking. The smart actions I’ve created are mostly from scratch and based on the things I do every day. I go through my favorite rules in the how to video below.

Here are some other suggestions:

Turn 4G/mobile data off when you turn Wi-Fi on

  • Trigger: Wi-Fi set to Enabled
  • Action: Cellular Data set to Disabled

Smart Actions Location

Current location finder

Connect to Bluetooth headset when you get to work

  • Trigger: Location
    • Create a location for work by clicking the green + sign in the top right of the Location screen.
    • Use your current location if you’re at work or add by searching for the address or adding from your contacts.
  • Action: Bluetooth set to Enabled
    • The RAZR will automatically connect if the Bluetooth headset is on.

Change the ringtone volume for one special person

Useful if you usually have your phone on silent or a lower volume but need to know when a certain person calls, such as your child or parent.

  • Trigger: Incoming Call
    • Tap “From the following numbers” to choose one or more people to trigger this specific rule. You can type a name or a phone number to bring up a list of your contacts.
  • Action: Ringer Volume
    • Slide all the way up to 100%. Tap the checkbox next to Vibrate for even more impact.

Let your partner know you’re almost home

  • Trigger: Location
    • Create a location tied to a location near your home, such as the gas station a few miles away or a local shopping center.
  • Action: Send Text Message
    • Add the person you want to notify in the To: field and type the message your phone will send each time. Ex: 5 minutes from home!

Turn off email and social network notifications at work

  • Trigger: Location
  • Action: Background Data set to Disable
    • This won’t turn off data completely so you can still use the RAZR for other Internet-connected activities. You can also manually trigger updates. This way they won’t tempt you while you’re supposed to be working.

Those are just a few suggestions. Based on the things you do every day with your phone what smart actions would you create?

K. T. is a lover of technology, gadgets, and all things geek. She has the enviable job of playing with evaluating mobile tech and apps all day. Follow K. T. on Twitter @KTBradford, on Google+ and Tumblr or email her via her website, KTBradford.com.

27 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    02/08/2012 at 2:21 am

     http://www.droid-life.com/

  2. Anonymous

    02/08/2012 at 5:51 am

     http://www.gossipcop.com/

  3. Pete

    02/09/2012 at 4:10 pm

    I ahve a question about one of the suggestions you made. If I want my phone to text my when I am 10 minutes away. I set the trigger location and text her phone with my message. My question is this, in the morning when I pass through the trigger lacation will it text her?

  4. Gregg

    02/10/2012 at 9:04 am

    Pete – you could set a timeframe rule, so the text would only be sent in the evening and not the morning.

    • Pete

      02/16/2012 at 4:50 pm

      I just made my home network secure. I entered the key in the phone but it will not recognize home rule now. Any ideas?

  5. Heng

    02/17/2012 at 9:19 am

    I just tried to implement rules via the app and it won’t let me do so unless wifi is enabled. Isn’t that going to drain my battery further if it is always searching for wifi?

  6. Ecs

    02/17/2012 at 3:35 pm

    how can I create a smart action to change the authentication setting on an email account dependent on whether or not I am on wifi or 4g?

  7. David Carano

    03/01/2012 at 5:40 pm

    Driod Razr…  If you set a rule to turn off cellular data while conected to Wifi.  Manually turn off Wifi or leave wifi area and cellular data does not turn back on.  Any ideas?

  8. Daniel

    03/23/2012 at 7:52 am

    Unable to turn wifi on or off based on location.  the first smart action i wanted to create and i am unable to.  thats a disappointment.  Three ways to locate and location trigger is tied to wifi in such a way as to disable it as an action.  Pity

    • Justin

      03/25/2012 at 1:02 pm

      I had the same problem… Check out “Verizon wifi auto on” app from the market. It lets you set locations that will automatically turn on wifi, letting you then use your locations for smart actions.

  9. Daniel

    03/23/2012 at 8:29 am

    I had to get creative with mine. to work the wifi on or off…  i basically have to assume that if i’m plugged into wall charger or usb charger I am at work or home so I turn wifi on and disable cellular data and gps.  If I am plugged into navigation dock I turn wifi off and cellular data on. 

  10. Rocco

    03/31/2012 at 7:13 pm

    I tried to set a smart action to send a text message to all missed calls. However it is not working but the smart actions icon indicates that it is. Can anyone help me out with this?

  11. DLSigler

    04/05/2012 at 11:25 am

    How can I use the app to turn off applications.  For example, we use an App at work that allows me to hook my phone to my work calendar and email.  I figured out how to start it when I arrive at work, but cannot figure out how to get it to close the app when I leave.

  12. Rafael Barcellos Fanti

    04/16/2012 at 12:16 pm

    I can’t add new location, i dont know why, when i click green cross nothing happens 

    • MoorReese

      05/11/2012 at 12:01 pm

      I have the same issue but I do not even see a green cross on the choose a location screen. Did you ever figure this out?

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  14. Kerry

    08/18/2012 at 12:59 pm

    I am using the rule: At Work, turn on Bluetooth. Now how can I use the NOT of this rule? I want Bluetooth turned off when NOT at work.

    • Pa

      10/20/2012 at 9:43 am

      Ya, I wish there was a not for everyone trigger or action

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  16. matt

    11/03/2012 at 8:26 pm

    Is there any way to make opening an application like “Play Music” to automaticaly turn on the bluetooth unless my headphones are plugged in.

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