EndUser.Profiles

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The Profile Manager (available on CM10 via Settings/Profiles) is a feature that is implemented specifically for CyanogenMod. You will not find documentation of this feature in other Android platforms as a result.

The basic idea is to allow you to group "sets" of settings together and then apply them all at once, either manually or automatically.

For example, perhaps at night you want your ringer turned off and during work you want it at a low volume and in the afternoon (when you might be at your son's game) you want it to be loud.

Below you can see a list of all the options that can be set in a profile.

While looking at the list of profiles (unless you've changed them they are "Default", "Home", "Night", "Silent", and "Work" -- Any of these can be renamed or deleted except "Default) you have several options. If you click on the name of the profile (for instance, "Home") then you will change to that profile -- all the settings under that profile will now be active. If you click on the slider icon to the right it will take you into the settings for that particular profile. Or you can click on the "Application Groups" tab (opposite "Profiles" at the top).

Changing Profiles

Once you have decided exactly how you would like your settings to be during each of your contexts, then it is a question of how to choose the correct profile at the right time. In general you can choose a profile manually or automatically.

Choosing Profiles Manually

If you long-press your power button you will get a menu which includes the current profile. If you click on that then you will be presented with a menu of available profiles. Clicking on the desired profile chooses that profile and all setting changes are made to to your phone/tablet.

There are also widgets available which can be placed on your home screen which allow you to choose a given profile. See here for more details and the download.

Choosing Profiles Automatically

Choosing a profile automatically can be done at a certain time (e.g. at 11:00 every night I want my "Night" profile to be activated) or by means of a location (e.g. when I get in my car I see the availability of a bluetooth device and the profile "Car" can be activated automatically or when I get home I see my own AP wirelessly and so I want the profile "Home" activated automatically.) Here are some options, from simplest to complicated, from least capability to greatest capability:

  1. The alarm clock that comes with CM7 or CM10 can automatically activate a profile whenever an alarm goes off. Each alarm entry has a Profile field, to which you assign a profile that will start when the alarm triggers. This is a good enough option for automatic switching based on time events and it comes with CyanogenMod by default.
  2. There is a free application available on xda-developers.com called Profile Switcher. It is somewhat basic, but it does allow a simple scheduled on/off of any given profile. It also allows for switching on a certain profile for a given period of time (e.g. activate "Meeting" profile for the next 45 minutes). This would suffice nicely for many uses as long as they are time-related.
  3. Locale is another option, giving more capabilities for activating profiles automatically.
  4. There is a paid application called Tasker which lets you teach your phone to sit up and beg. It's not *quite* like programming your phone, but it definitely takes a bit of learning. But when you combine it with Profile 4 Tasker +Widget you can activate any profile based on any of what Tasker calls "Contexts". I won't go into great detail here (there are lots of tutorials over at the Tasker web-site) but you can choose wireless availability, GPS location, cell tower proximity, bluetooth availability, timed schedules -- just about anything you can imagine. Then whenever that context is true, Tasker can activate the profile you choose (or it can do any of hundreds of others of tasks as well -- meshing with CyanogenMod Profiles is just a tiny portion of what it can do).
  5. Another paid app can come in handy if you want to automatically switch profiles for day and night time: "Good Night, Android!" It also offers the ability to create launcher shortcuts for profiles.

All Options

Here are some of the options that can be set in a profile

  • Mobile Data (on/off)
  • Bluetooth (on/off)
  • GPS (on/off)
  • Wi-fi (on/off)
  • Data-Sync (on/off)
  • Portable Wi-fi Hotspot (on/off)

Then for your volumes you can adjust:

  • Alarm (0-7)
  • Media (0-15)
  • Ringtone (0-7)
  • Notification (0-7)

For Vibrator you can adjust:

  • for calls (on/off)
  • for notifications (on/off)

For system settings you can adjust:

  • the lock screen mode (turning off the pattern or the lock screen entirely, like if you use a 3rd party lock screen)
  • Airplane Mode (on/off)

Application Groups

Application Groups allow you to group your applications together so that you can establish certain settings for that group of applications.

You could, for instance, group all your social media under a single application group. Then you would be able to change the notification style/volume/tone of all of them at once.

This is a bit confusing, but just think it through. You have the possibility of many profiles. You also have the possibility of many Application Groups. You have the same set of Application Groups across all Profiles and each Application Group has the same apps across all profiles. Each profile can define the settings for any of the Application Groups in any way that seems appropriate. Then activating that profile also changes all those settings on each Application Group where something is set. Make sense?

You define each "Application Group" in terms of what the name of that group is and which applications are included in it. You do this in the tab next to the "Profiles" tab on the main screen in profile setting. Then when you have these already defined you can choose settings for all those applications together when you are defining your "Profile" (after having clicked on the slider-icon next to the name of the profile you want to modify). Here are the settings you can change for a given set of applications:

  • Notification mode (on/off/no override)
  • Notification tone (choose your ringtone)
  • Ring mode (on/off/no override)
  • Phone ringtone (choose your ringtone)
  • Vibrate mode (on/off/no override)
  • Lights mode (on/off/no override)

Future of Profiles

There was some talk back in February/March of 2012 that the Profiles feature in CyanogenMod was going to be developed into a full-blown application allowing the various possibilities for automatic switching. However, it appears that the decision was made to leave that functionality in the hands of the 3rd party apps like Locale and Tasker.

Perhaps at some point the "hooks" for Tasker/Locale will become built-in.