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Web automation: putting the internet to work

Mohan Manohar November 24, 2012
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Web is multifaceted and it has many directions and fast becoming part and parcel of life. Take some break out of your daily schedule and then think all about it all over again , you will realize how important this phenomenon is as with due course of time , it had gained popularity and everyone is trying out newer possibilities to reach out to internet to make it more user-friendly and customized to suit your needs. With the advent of Web 2.0  the web has become more social and the bright example of this is the latest updates from Firefox 17 , now the social networking can be integration and that is making it more and more user friendly  to suit all the needs that was indeed attune to the user. Now, people have more than one Facebook account and separate
accounts on Google+ for blog and then for personal information and with this the whole trends now fast becoming more and more easier, with the advent of cloud storages and other related internet work around, people want it to become more and more automated so that it would suit the needs of people.

Then, the question arises why not automated process for all the online social networking accounts and then another question pops up why not scheduling so that with ease and more care one can share all these information equally on each and every social networks and that would made it more and more user friendly and that can suit the needs of people more that they what ought to be imagined into. Posting your favorite YouTube videos into your Facebook timeline and then making it visible according to your own liking and that would have made the whole process of sharing a lot more easier than you would normally thought of and to do this there are options on YouTube where you can connect your account with Facebook through safer Authorization and that was the sole way to make it work for you and in this way what  you post of YouTube , it can then be posted to Facebook automatically and thus it would save yourself from manual posting and thus the required time and then  it would save the bandwidth costs and in this way the entire process is automated, is not this a smarter move to say to the least.  


What is better and smarter is that this process of automation does not require to you have the additional knowledge of coding as the entire process based on API and Oath and that will make the two accounts connected without giving your password and with this you can control what should be shown and what not to be shown.


Web automation: If This-Then That


Creating a new task using IFTTT


Probably the most widely known used service is ‘If This-Then That’, better known as www.ifttt.com it provides the most minimalistic approach to save the task or the recipes and makes it more and more realistic and automated. As the name suggests you give it a condition like ‘If This’ and then it does the job ‘Then that’ The condition in this instance can be called as the trigger and then the job is called as an action. It does have all the major services at hand like that of Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Instagram and so on and also with this you can make multiple services into one that can be called as shelves. So, one such way, you can put one channel trigger into the other that can be called as the trigger and all the totality it is being called as shelves. What is task? Task is an automation rule defined by the user.  On line account is a channel and in order to activate the task, you need to activate your online account at first, so you first had to activate these channels by signing into Oauth as most of the channels do offer these kind of authorizations like that of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and so on and for this you do not have to send your pass word and that is why this is the safest method of activation.


Now, you had gone through the entire process of task automation, and now it is the time to act upon the tasks, then log in to your dash board and there you would see the number of channels which you have just activated and with it the entire list of channels and then you can go for the task that is the automation the user had done it for. On the right side of the dashboard you would see all the activated channels and then click on create a task. You will be send to another page and there click on the big blue ‘this’ , let us assume you want to first activate Facebook then click on the icon , thus your Facebook channel is now active. Now the assignment of tasks that is the trigger part, and for it you will se suppose ‘You are tagged in a photo ’and thus this action will be done automatically every time you tagged in a photo  ,  this action may produce slight delay in action though , as Ifttt polls your data in every fifteen minutes interval . Then you will be asked about necessary details, then add tags that has to be easily found and this way the drop box saving can be done, here is how to do it.  Our task is to save the picture to drop box from a specific URL, first activate Drop Box channel by using Drop Box credentials, then select ‘Add file from URL’ action. Then give the necessary details in order to complete the action , then select the image source to be the file URL , and designate the path to save the picture to drop box.


Web automation putting the internet to work: Tasker


Your phone can be configured to automate several tasks which you can perform on a daily basis. I show you how using Tasker

Automate nearly any task with Tasker


Tasker is without doubt the most powerful tool for automation. It is not free, it costs pretty hefty in Play Store. It is more than its worth and for sure you will find favorable rich benefits from it and with it the benefits will be immense for you. You can try it for seven days and get the test drive of it from it developer website http://tasker.dinglisch.net/download.html 

You might need to enable ‘Unknown Sources’ in your phone’s settings to” install.apk” files. There are three principal components for installing Tasker: Actions, Contexts and Tasks.  It comes under “Tasker profile” . Context sets up the task; it determines what starts up your task. It can include opening and closing of an app. When the handset to be plugged into charger , whether to receive annoyance sms or not , whether to use or toggle Bluetooth, WiFi radio signals ,and all these can perform multiple of tasks. So, any logically automated tasks can be performed by Tasker with ease, it can go beyond your imagination. Suppose, you want to start music player whenever, you want to plug-in ear phones, then start the:

Tasker , create a profile and rename it.
Choose ‘state’ then ‘hardware’ under state category. Select ‘Handset’ from the hardware menu.
Go to App ‘option under Action category’. Select ‘Load App’ and choose the app you want to load. 
Tap the ‘green check mark’ to activate the profile and then exit the application. Now in your notification area preferably on the right hand top side of the application , and there you should see the small lightning shaped icon there and that will say that Tasker is running in the background. 
You can check it out, plug in your ear phones and you will be amazed to see the difference as the music player will automatically run.

Here are some tasks to try out with Tasker:


You can turn on GPS automatically whenever you open Google Maps and this works for stock Android 2.2 or lesser.
Whenever you place the phone upside down it would silence the phone.
Load to-do lists  first thing in the morning 
Automatically turn off brightness to preserve the battery in the evening and turned it on in the morning.
Remind you via SMS or a reminder whenever it is your friend’s birthday or any other event on Google Calendar.
When your phone is docked inside the car it will auto-respond to your call or when you are asleep at home.
It can use some specific application to display the alerts on your lock screen.
It will automatically unlock your phone whenever it sensed the home Wi-Fi network. 
It can automatically perform the back up action and then upload your important contents to Drop Box or Google Drive etc.
There are free alternatives to Tasker like that of Auotmate It! And Llama but Tasker performs all the tasks efficiently.

Web automation putting the internet to work: Microsoft On{x}


Your phone can be configured to automate several tasks which you can perform on a daily basis. I show you how using Microsoft On{x}



The better alternatives in these category is from surprisingly from Microsoft and it is only available to Android platforms only and not with Windows phone that is known as ‘On{x}’ after logging in , with the help of its JavaScript API it creates the automation tasks . It will remind you to buy sugar on the way back from work, automatically sending out SMS when you leave from office. Its creation of task is known as recipe and for the first time user it does hold some complex matter but with due course of work and practice you can master it.  For sure it is not the rocket science to try it out. Here is how you can use ‘On{x}’ to automate tasks on your Android device.

Download the ‘On{x}’ for Android app from the Google Play Store
This app is currently under beta and sign up using your Facebook credentials and it only supports log in via Facebook.
Then head over to ‘On{x}’ website and then log in again to finish the log in function.
There you can see the list of recipes say it the tasks to perform with your phone. Simply clicking ‘add’ these will be pushed to your phone and the tasks will start performing immediately. 
You can customize any recipes or tasks , you can specify your home or office locations by bringing into Bing maps , or if any task like SMS that require any sort of phone number then you can provide it and ‘On{x}’ will perform the task for you immediately.
It also supports NFC better known as near field communications that draws its references on existing RFID technology to create ‘tags’ that supports two way communications. Its task launcher allows you to automate action by tapping your phone against NFC tag. You can perform an action like turning on the Wi-Fi or turning up the ringer volume all the way.  So, with a mere tap any task can be performed all the way. It is the futuristic technology and plenty of work needs to be done to make it easier.


Smart phones have evolved at a dramatic pace over the years, and now it is smarter than laptop. In this workshop I have showed you how to automate certain repetitive tasks on your phone and turn your gadget a true extension of your brain. Here we have learnt about some futuristic stuff using NFC tags and device’s NFC chip. 



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Mohan Manohar

Mohan Manohar is a blogger from India who founded Ittech back in 2007. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand.

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