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How To Make Your iPhone Read Your Mind

Forget Siri. Talking to your iPhone is cool, but you still have to tell it what to do. Wouldn’t it be better if your phone could just read your mind? With a few tweaks, you can make your iPhone automatically turn off the passcode when you’re at home, turn off notifications when it’s placed face down, or even change the brightness on a schedule you create. It’s not full-fledged mind reading, but it’s about as close as you can get for now. Here’s how it works.

Every day I manually turn down my phone’s brightness when it gets dark outside — the auto-dimming just doesn’t work for me. I’m sick of turning on Bluetooth every time I get in my car, and then turning it off to save battery when I’m everywhere else. I’ve also been woken up in the middle of the night by someone “liking” my post on Facebook one too many times — I’d like a way to automatically silence it when I’m sleeping (and, more importantly, remember to un-silence itself when I wake up). I turn on the passcode lock on my iPhone because I care about security, but more than anything, I’m sick of entering it when my phone is in a secure place — that is, in my own home. I want these things to happen automatically, so I don’t have to worry about them.

Below, I’ll walk through five different ways you can make your phone read your mind, though each is just a small example of the things you can do with any given app. I’ll show you how to:

  • Automatically turn off your phone’s passcode lock when you’re at home
  • Automatically turn off notifications when you place your phone face down
  • Automatically turn Bluetooth on when your phone is docked
  • Automatically turn off battery-killing services when you’re at home
  • Automatically change your brightness according to a schedule

You’ll need to be jailbroken for this to work, since it’s essentially Tasker for iPhone — don’t worry though, it’s super-easy to do. And it’s well worth it, because when you’re done, you’ll be able to automate just about anything with your iPhone.

If you have an Android phone, be sure to check out how to turn your Android phone into a fully-automated superphone with Tasker instead.

Turn Off Passcode Lock When You’re At Home

Having a passcode on your iPhone can be good for security, but do you really need it when you’re just sitting at home? Here’s how to turn it off whenever you’re at home and automatically turn it back on when you leave.

What you get: Automatically turn off your iPhone’s passcode when connected to the Wi-Fi network(s) of your choice.
What you need: CleverPin ($US1.99) from the Cydia app store.
Difficulty: Easy.

  1. First, download and install CleverPin from the Cydia store.
  2. Open up your Settings app and scroll down to CleverPin. Slide both the Enable switch and the “Connected to Network” switch to On.
  3. Tap Networks and then press the “Add Current Network” button (provided you’re at home and connected to Wi-Fi). It’ll add your home network, and be sure to turn off your PIN lock whenever you’re at home.

You can also turn off the PIN lock when you’re playing music, charging or in aeroplane mode. It will also automatically reactivate your passcode when you leave the house.

Turn Off Notifications When You Place Your Phone Face Down

Your phone’s mute switch can be useful, but I often find I forget to switch it back on when I want the phone to ring. Instead of using it to silence your phone, you can use an app to automatically turn off notifications when you put your phone face down. Here’s how.

What you get: Automatically put your phone in aeroplane mode when face down.
What you need: iSleepWell ($US0.99) from the Cydia app store.
Difficulty: Easy.

  1. First, download and install iSleepWell from the Cydia store.
  2. Head to your Settings app and scroll down to iSleepWell. Slide “Enabled” to On, and it should start working immediately.

That’s it! When you place your phone face down, wait a few seconds, and your phone will emit a sound letting you know it’s going into aeroplane mode. You can turn this sound off, tell it to go into aeroplane mode based on the time of day, increase or decrease the sensitivity of the accelerometer, enable on AC only and more.

The one thing you have to be careful of with iSleepWell is that your phone may go face down more often than you realise. When you put it in your pocket, for example, it will go into aeroplane mode whenever you sit down if you have the screen facing toward you (putting it in your pocket the opposite way fixes this). If you carry it around in a backpack, you’ll want to be similarly careful it doesn’t go face down. This is why I like to keep the sound enabled; it lets me know if my phone’s silencing itself accidentally. Overall though, it works well, and assures I won’t forget to unmute my phone when I wake up in the morning — since all I have to do is pick it up and start using it.

Turn Bluetooth On When You Dock Your Phone

I only use Bluetooth when I’m in my car, so I’d rather not have it sitting around eating up battery when I don’t need it. Here’s how to automatically turn Bluetooth on when you dock your phone and turn it off when you undock it.

What you get: Automatically turn Bluetooth on when you plug your phone into AC power.
What you need: Activator and SBSettings from the Cydia app store.
Difficulty: Easy.

  1. Download both Activator and SBSettings from the Cydia store. You may already have Activator on your phone, since it’s required by so many other apps.
  2. Open up Activator and tap “Anywhere”. Then Scroll down to Power and tap “Connected”.
  3. Here, we’ll assign the action that we want to happen when we connect the phone to AC power. Scroll down to the SBSettings toggles and tap Bluetooth. Then exit Activator.

From now on, whenever you plug in your phone, it’ll automatically turn on the Bluetooth service and connect to any known devices (like your car or a Bluetooth headset). Note that if you want it to turn Bluetooth off when you disconnect it, you’ll have to repeat the above steps, but pressing “Disconnected” in step 2.

Note that there’s a tiny quirk with this method: Activator doesn’t actually know whether to turn Bluetooth on or off when you plug in your phone, it just toggles it. So, if you had Bluetooth turned on for some reason when your phone wasn’t plugged in, it would turn it off when you docked it. It will give you a little popup every time it toggles the setting, though, so just pay attention and make sure it’s doing what you want it to do. Otherwise you may accidentally find yourself without Bluetooth when you want it.

If you don’t use Bluetooth, you can obviously use this same feature to toggle any other setting when you plug in your phone. You can also set Activator to open up a specific app when you plug in, reboot the device, activate voice control and more. You can also set it to perform an action when you plug in your headphones, as well as assign actions to a number of different button presses. Play around with Activator to see all the cool stuff you can do.

Turn Off Battery-Draining Services You Don’t Need (and Perform Other Actions) Whenever You’re at Home

Your phone has a lot of settings you don’t need when you’re at home, like Location and Bluetooth. Instead of manually turning them off every time you walk through the door, you can set your iPhone to automatically turn them off whenever you’re home. Here’s how.

What you get: Automatically turn Bluetooth on when you plug your phone into AC power.
What you need: SBProfiles and SBSettings from the Cydia app store.
Difficulty: Annoying.

There’s a trick to installing SBProfiles to get everything working as it should, so if you’re installing it for the first time, use this quick guide before you start making profiles. When you’re ready, here’s how to turn off battery-hogging services:

  1. Open up SBProfiles and tap the Profiles tab along the bottom. Press the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner to create a new profile.
  2. Give your new profile a title if you like (I called mine “Home”) and tap the Trigger button. This determines when the profile is activated. In this example, we’re going to trigger the profile every time we connect to our home Wi-Fi network, so turn “Joining Wi-Fi” to On and enter your network’s name in the box.
  3. Tap Back and go to Toggles. This is where you tell SBProfiles which settings you want to toggle when you join the network from step 2. In this case, let’s drag “Location” and “Bluetooth” up to the “Off” category. You can drag others up to “On” or “Off” if you want here, too.
  4. Tap Back and then press Save. The next time you reconnect to your home network, your iPhone should turn off location settings for you.

To turn those settings back on when you leave, you’ll need to create another profile (called something like “Not Home”), choose “Leaving Wi-Fi” under Trigger, and drag those services to “On” under Toggles.

Obviously, this isn’t the only thing you can do with SBProfile’s Wi-Fi trigger feature. You could also use it to silence your phone when you’re at the office, for example. Play around with the settings to see what else you can do.

Turn Down the Brightness at Night (and Perform Other Actions on a Schedule)

The iPhone’s auto-brightness setting isn’t very good. I find that it’s always too bright at night, but if I turn it down, it stays overly dark during the day. Free app Flux will help you make the screen less harsh at night, but your phone will still be pretty bright. Here’s how to change your brightness on a schedule.

What you get: Automatically change your brightness (and perform other tasks) according to a schedule.
What you need: SBProfiles and SBSettings from the Cydia app store.
Difficulty: Annoying.

There’s a trick to installing SBProfiles to get everything working as it should, so if you’re installing it for the first time, use this quick guide before you start making profiles. When you’re ready, here’s how to tweak your brightness on a schedule:

  1. Open up SBProfiles and tap the Profiles tab along the bottom. Press the plus sign in the upper right-hand corner to create a new profile.
  2. Give your new profile a title if you like (I called mine “Evening”) and tap the Trigger button. This determines when the profile is activated. This time around, we’re going to set it by time of day, so enable “Trigger at Time” and set it to whatever time and day of the week you want (I set mine to 7pm every day).
  3. Tap Back and Slide “Set Brightness” to On. Put the brightness slider wherever you want (I set mine to the very bottom) and press Save. From now on, your iPhone will set the brightness to its lowest setting at 7pm every day.

Again, if you want to set the brightness high in the morning, you’ll have to create a new profile called “Daytime” and repeat the process, setting the brightness to a higher level than in the “Evening” setting.

There are a lot of other useful things you can do with SBProfile’s scheduling, too. You can put it in aeroplane mode when you’re sleeping to turn off notifications, reboot your phone once a day to clear out active apps that slow it down and more. Play around with the settings to see what other fun stuff you can cook up. And, if you don’t like SBProfiles, the $US6.99 iScheduler does a lot of the same things, though it can also send SMS messages and launch apps on a schedule.

Those are just a few things you can try with some of the great mind-reading apps out there. It’s not quite as powerful as Tasker for Android — I still wish there were an app that could perform actions based on my location — but you can automate quite a few things with only a schedule and Wi-Fi detection. Got any profiles you love to use or have any other automation apps we missed? Share them with us in the comments.


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