Uniquely Android: Llama

Uniquely Android is a series we started last month to shine the spotlight on those apps that take advantage of the unique capabilities of the platform and provide an experience that you wouldn’t find in most other phones. So far, we have featured Plug In LauncherAirDroid and Shush.

Ever since I first started the Uniquely Android series, the two apps that were recommended the most to me in the comments were Tasker and Llama. I had heard of Tasker, and had planned to feature it some day when I got a chance to put through its paces (I’ve been working from home recently, and felt my lack of moving out for long periods wouldn’t allow an ideal test). Another thing holding me back was the $6.50 price. While a novel app that does a great job demonstrating the power of Android, looking through the features I never found an exceptional use case for me. Plus, very soon I’d have an HTC One X (yes, I’m still on a T-Mobile myTouch 4G) and a bunch of NFC tags.

Enter Llama. There’s absolutely no excuse for not giving this app a shot since it’s free. And while the UI can certainly be a little confusing at first, you should soon be able to get the hang of it. I haven’t set it up to do a lot of things. I’ve got only two locations set up: my home and the gym. The tasks to perform aren’t much either: when I leave my house, I’ve made it switch of my WiFi, switch on mobile data and increase my screen brightness. When I return, I’ve set it up to do the reverse. At the gym, I’ve set it up to launch my weight tracking app when I reach, and switch of mobile data so I don’t get notifications when I’m there. When I leave, it switches on data again.

I’m quite thrilled to say that whatever I asked Llama to do, it did so with perfection. And best part is, unlike most location-contextual apps, Llama doesn’t hit your battery life. After a week of usage, not once did I see it even turn up in the battery details section of system settings, meaning that, at worst, it was using up lesser charge than Beautiful Widgets or Google+ or Facebook, etc. It’s so good, I feel awful not paying for the app and will probably make a donation once I see all the various combinations possible.

You can download Llama over here.

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  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107214144202094295079/posts James

    Tasker and Locale do this a lot better.

    • Trey Commander

      That just isn’t true. I own locale, tasker and llama. Of the 3 llama is the most useful and straight forward.

  • T-Keith

    This app deserves more credit. Tasker is very powerful, but needlessly complex and frustrating to set up. Llama is simply layed out without any complex conditions and terms to learn. It also has some powerful settings for advanced users, allowing me to do what I want.

  • Nikhil M

    @Raveesh Bhalla , you are using a T-Mobiie branded myTouch 4G in India and i assume it is not carrier restricted or else u would be paying for roaming. So can I, from Bangalore use an unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus from Play Store bought in the US, here without any network problems?
    Can it run on Airtel or vodafone without any issues?

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      Yes you can. Just to ease your doubt a bit more: I know several people using the Galaxy Nexus that were distributed at I/O, and everything works like a charm.

      • Nikhil M

        Awesome then. Getting one this October ( If Note 2 is not upto my liking )

        Oh and what about using google services like books, movies, magazines, music?
        Will google accept an Indian account for all transactions or will i have to create another account based in US?

        • Raveesh Bhalla

          No that won’t work from here. I’m uncertain simply creating an account will work either, it’s all based on location of device.

      • Nikhil M

        Thanks for the conformation.

  • Imparus

    “There’s absolutely no excuse for giving this app a shot, since it’s free”
    Don’t you mean
    “There’s absolutely no excuse for NOT giving this app a shot, since it’s free”
    Else you are saying we shouldn’t try it :S

    • Raveesh Bhalla

      apologies, corrected.

  • Trey Commander

    Llama is awesome. It accomplishes everything an intermediate tasker user could want and does it with an intuitive interface. That is more than can be said for tasker. Try out secure setting plug in with Llama to control things like 4g control and GPS control…

  • Jarrad Whitaker

    is this app open-source? I do not trust a free app with access to my GPS location.

    • MichaelTolly

      It doesn’t use gps . It uses cell tower ids. You have to teach it which cell towers are in the areas you want to set up. This is one of the reasons its a GREAT app since GPS eats your battery.

    • S K

      The app doesn’t need Internet permissions. So, your data is going nowhere. The developer actually talks about this.

  • stayflyer

    one of the greatest app i have i got the nfc tags but returned them because llama works so good. i have it set up for three locations church, home and work. it changes wallpaper, volume, bluetooth, wifi, damn near everything. I never get super hyped about a app but this one is great!

  • T-Keith

    What I do is turn on wifi when near my house, but wait to turn off Bluetooth until it sees my wifi network. This keeps Bluetooth from kicking off on me if I drive near my house.

  • Bartek Andersson

    I have a private and a work cell phone. So far I’ve only used Llama on my private phone with really satisfying results. For instance, when I get to work the ringer volume is reduced to one step above silent, all notification soundsd are muted. When I have a calendar event in my work calendar my private phone is totally muted. When i have a calendar event in my private calendar including the word Match (I’m a football/soccer referee) phone goes quiet. The phone is also almost completely quiet when at home between 22:00 and 08:00 so as not to wake the baby.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703661265 Ivano Vingiani

    Llama is great. Just the localization service is not alway working fine. It keeps switching profile whenever I lose signal and sometimes the cell’s area is too wide.
    Would like it to use Google localization instead of cell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

    I love the first 3 apps you’ve done in this series. Trying this one now. Keep it up!

  • http://twitter.com/SoWhy Prof. Professorson

    Again, you managed to introduce us to a really great app I had missed so far. This series rocks!