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Automate your Android phone with SwiP

Create trigger-based profiles for popular Android tasks, with this open source automation app.

Do you find yourself performing the same tasks, over and over again on your Android phone? It may be time try a task automation app. You can use these apps to create profiles of your most commonly used settings, for example a Home profile where your device automatically connects to your home Wi-Fi. Profiles are triggered automatically when certain conditions are met, for example when your Android device’s GPS detects that you’re at home.

We featured some of the biggest names in automation on page nine, but SwiP is a new release that provides an open source alternative. This means the app’s source code is publicly available, so anyone can help develop it. You can download SwiP for free from the Play store, which also contains a link to the app’s source code. SwiP doesn’t require root, although you can access additional functionality on a rooted device. SwiP currently doesn’t work on tablets.

This tutorial is taken from Android Magazine issue 46’s Hacker Zone, on sale 24 December 2014. To ensure you never miss a copy of Android Magazine, buy it here or subscribe now.


  1. Check out the sample profi copy

    Try sample profiles

    SwiP comes with three example profiles. Take a closer look at these by tapping their accompanying pencil icons. The next screen contains all the options you can enable, disable or tweak as part of this profile. To edit an option, tap it and make your changes in the subsequent pop-up.

  2. Create a New Profile

    Create a new profile

    To apply either of these sample profiles, return to the main SwiP menu and tap the name of the profile that you want to activate. The next step is to create some custom profiles of your own. Tap the ‘+’ icon in the toolbar and then give your new profile a name.

  3. Check out the sample profi copy

    Build your profile

    By default, every option is set to ‘Unchanged.’ This means applying the profile won’t affect this item’s current state – if your Wi-Fi is off when you apply the profile, it’ll stay off, and vice versa. Work through this menu, tapping and changing all the options you want to update.

  4. Build Your Profile

    Sound, Connectivity, etc

    This menu is split into sections. In Sound you can set the volume of your notifications, media, ringtone and alarm. In Connectivity you can specify whether mobile data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled. In Display you set the brightness of your screen and how long it waits before going to sleep.

  5. Create a Trigger

    Create a trigger

    Save your profile by tapping the tick icon in the toolbar. You can manually activate this profile at any point, but you can get more out of SwiP by creating triggers. A trigger automatically activates its assigned profile when certain conditions are met. Tap on Triggers in the toolbar, followed by ‘+.’

  6. Assign to a Profile

    Assign to a profile

    Give your trigger a name and then work your way down the menu, tapping every option you want to edit. You must assign every trigger to a profile, so tap Profile and then choose a profile from the list. When the trigger’s conditions are met, it will activate this profile.

  7. Weekday and Time Triggers

    Weekday/time triggers

    You may want to create triggers that activate your Home and Work profiles based on the time and day of the week. To create these triggers, you need to edit the Start Time, End Time and Weekday options. You can also create location-dependent profiles using GPS information.

  8. Install as System App

    Install as system app

    Before you can use the Location option in your triggers, you need to give SwiP root access and install it as a system app. On the main SwiP screen, tap the three-dots menu icon, then tap Settings followed by Root and ‘Install as a system-app.’ Read the warning and tap OK.

  9. Create a Location-Based Tr copy

    Create a location trigger

    To create a location-based trigger, tap the Location option, find the location you want to use on the map and then long-press it until a marker appears. You can also specify your location’s radius by entering a value in the Radius field. Save this location by tapping the tick icon.

  10. Extra Root Options

    Extra root options

    Once you’ve granted SwiP root access, you get two new options to use in your SwiP profiles. These are enabling/disabling Airplane Mode and temporarily bypassing your device’s lockscreen. You should only bypass the lockscreen when it’s safe to do so, for example when you’re at home.

  11. Automate Your Alarms

    Automate your alarms

    If you’re always forgetting to turn your alarm off at the weekend, you could create a profile that turns Alarm Volume to 0, then link it to a trigger that kicks in at the weekend. You could also use SwiP to automatically turn the volume back up on Monday morning.

  12. Control Your Media Volume

    Control media volume

    If you regularly listen to music or watch movies on your device, you may want to use SwiP to automatically change the media volume when you plug your headphones in. Create a profile with the correct Media Volume, then create a trigger, tap Headphone and select ‘Plugged in.’

  13. Permanent Notification

    Add notification

    If you have several profiles you switch between manually, this is made easier by adding a permanent SwiP notification to your panel. Tapping this notification takes you straight to a list of all your SwiP profiles. Add it by opening SwiP’s Settings and selecting Permanent Notification.