An Android application called Agent wants to perform certain tasks automatically for users and anticipate their needs in a similar fashion as certain phones or Google features do.
While Agent is not yet capable to fully take on the Moto X (and other recent Motorola handsets) and it can’t compete with Google’s Google Now feature, it certainly is able to perform its own smart tricks.
The application costs $1.99, requires 1.5MB of storage and will work on Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or later.
So what can Agent do? For now the app has only certain features available – called agents – with more coming in the future. These agents include a “battery agent,” “drive agent,” “parking agent,” “sleep agent,” and “meeting agent.”
In order to squeeze the most of your phone’s battery life, and conserve battery life after it reaches a certain level, Agent will automatically dim the brightness of the screen, turn off Bluetooth and stop app updating in the background. Once the battery charges past that level, the app will automatically restore all these functions to their previous stance.
When moving faster than 25 miles per hour, Agent will automatically move your phone to drive mode. The phone will be connected automatically to a known Bluetooth network, and the app will read text messages out loud for the driver. Furthermore, the drive agent will automatically respond to the incoming message with a predefined SMS text advising that contact that the owner of the phone is driving.
Working closely with the drive agent is the park agent, which will note where the phone (car) stopped, marking it as a parking spot. The app will always remember the last five parking spots.
Sleep agent will allow the phone to automatically configure sleeping times and auto responders to contacts that call or send text messages during defined sleep hours. The app will also let you set up a list of contacts that can wake you up.
Similarly, the app will have a Meeting mode that acts pretty much like the Sleep agent. During preset hours, Agent will silence your phone in order to avoid unwanted interruptions during the work day. The app syncs with the Calendar app in order to let the user better customize the Meeting mode.
In order to perform these tasks automatically, the app will require access to location and calendar, but the information is apparently only accessed locally not sent to a server – at least that’s what Agent creator Kulveer Taggar said in an interview with AllThingsD.
However, the team behind Agent will apparently “carefully [monitor] patterns in when and where people change settings, so it can make better assumptions going forward.”
That said, while the app is certainly not a Google Now killer, it seems like it’s ready to bring some interesting automatic smart features to Android devices, especially to those handsets that haven’t received the Jelly Bean update (which comes with Google Now on board).