Automation has been the pursuit of so many an engineer throughout time, not just in terms of mobile, but in every facet of life, making it easier to cook, clean, drive and carry out actions in our daily lives. As smartphone OSs go, Android has seen the most action on the automation front and now it’s Microsoft of all companies, who are bringing in their interpretation of the next automation app to the platform, dubbed on[X].
Using a mix of web interface and Android app, on[X] allows users to program a host of functions based on rules and constraints governed by the various environmental conditions your smartphone may find itself in. As identified by AndroidCommunity, the most notable rivals are Motorola’s Smart Actions and Crafty Apps’ Tasker, both of which allow users to define actions directly from the smartphone they’re installed on.
on[X] differs in that users write actions from the web interface and the phone remotely picks up the tasks on-the-fly. As it stands, the app remains in the beta stage which is apparent from closer inspection of the functionality on offer. Key commands and controls like governing WiFi connectivity are disappointingly lacking at present, however there’s every chance these omissions will be ironed out in the first finished release. Another issue that some users may not gel with is the app's reliance on a Facebook account login.
Microsoft produced a slew of iOS apps last year, providing functionality in some cases beyond that of their own OS’s equivalent abilities and now they’re producing Android applications in much the same fashion. Suspicions lead us to believe that Microsoft will use the feedback and forum traffic to help enhance applications likely to trickle through to Windows Phone in some form in the near future, most likely following the launch of WP Apollo later this year.