Friday, July 5, 2013

Location and Event Driven Profiles Using LLAMA

Now that I have a phone that supports NFC I started looking into using NFC tags to turn things on and off depending on where I am. Before going to bed I could turn off all notifications, when I get to work I could turn certain options on or off, etc. I had always heard great things about Tasker so I bought it from the Play store but was immediately confused. Tasker is not an intuitive application and this is coming from someone who is very technical.

I ended up trying LLAMA by KebabApps which is a free app in the Play Store and very easy to use. It can use NFC tags for events but it's a lot more robust than just that because it allows you setup different locations and it learns where that location is based on the cell towers that your phone can see. This is information the Android OS is already collecting so there aren't any extra location services that are going to drain your battery. You can then enable various sound profiles and change settings depending on where you are or some other phone driven event such as NFC tags or connection states.

The events that I have enabled are:
  • At work - set sound profile to quite (turn all notification volume down to low)
  • When Wifi is connected - Set Android location service polling to every 4 hours
  • When WiFi is disconnected - Set Android location service polling to every 10 min
  • Leaving Work - set sound profile to normal
  • At Home - set sound profile to normal
  • At home 11PM-6AM - set sound profile to silent (notifications off, ringtone to vibrate)
  • Leaving home - set sound profile to normal

*Note: when LLAMA is learning a location it is recording all of the cell towers that it can see over the specified time period, so it is a good idea to have your phone connected to a charger. 


  1. Llama is great, isn't it? Too bad that it is not working now with LTE here in Japan (you get a "Cell:-1:-1:-1 - (Ignored) No signal/Unknown)" message and location profiles are broken. I think it has something to do with the way the towers are named (or not named?) here. I picked up an HTC J One (AU), and while I like the LTE speeds, I really miss my Llama.

  2. I haven't had any trouble with the LTE on Docomo, it picks up my home and work no problem.

  3. That so?! Damn AU, then! Picks up 3G, no problem. But not when I am connected to LTE (which is about 90% of the time). Are the cell towers named in a similar way to 3G on the Docomo network? And how accurate can you get your location? Very interesting. Thanks for that info!