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You can now automate your phone's settings using the 'Rules' feature on your Pixel

What you need to know

  • 'Rules' allow you to automate your phone settings based on triggers like location or which Wi-Fi network you're connected to.
  • It's similar to how Google Assistant Routines work.
  • Google is rolling out the feature to only some Pixel phones at the moment.

If you've ever used the Routines feature on Google Assistant, you're likely to enjoy Google's plans for Android 10. One of these includes something the company is calling rules, which is basically a way for you to automatically modify specific settings on your phone to suit different scenarios.

Similar to how Assistant's Routines work, 'Rules' can automate a lot of the menial setting scrimmaging you likely do on a daily basis — minus the soothing effect of having a digital nanny cater to all your needs.

The feature is also far more barebones compared to what you'd get with Routines. It currently only supports two types of triggers — location and Wi-Fi network — and only offers you a selection of four resultant actions: turning on 'Do Not Disturb' mode or changing the phone's profile between silent, vibrate, and ring. That's not a lot of options, but as you juggle work/university and a personal life, having your phone automatically set to silent before a lecture is likely going to save you a lot of embarrassment in life (I speak from experience).

Third-party apps made for the purpose of automating your workflow on the smartphone, like Tasker, will definitely leave 'Rules' in the dust, but for simple automation, it may not be that terrible, either. And if you're the kind of power user who'd be interested in something like Tasker, you're likely not waiting for something official from Google in the first place.

Some Pixel users on Reddit have spotted the new setting on their Android 10-powered smartphones, but it's definitely not seeing a widespread release yet. That means Google is likely doing a staggered rollout. Since only Pixel users have reported seeing the feature so far, there may also be some credence to the suggestion that it may be a Pixel-exclusive for a while.

14 Comments
  • Not here at the moment. Pixel 3a
  • "Google is rolling out the feature to only some Pixel phones at the moment." Google is so Google sometimes .. :-/
  • good thing my Note 10 already does that automation with Routines
  • Yeah...a bit late to the party, google.
  • Back in the olden days, I had 'profiles' on my dumb flip phone. Things like 'outside' which set the volume and brightness up. 'Meeting' which turned the ringer and alarms off. You could set parameters and save them as a 'profile' like 'car'. Some phones even let you associated profiles with times or calendar events. Later on Windows Pocket PCs let you associate with locations via GPS. Boggling that we are just getting back to some of this now.
  • I believe I had something similar with Windows Phone...It would turn off my wifi an go silent when I reached the office. Wifi would turn itself back on when I reached home....
  • I got it! Pixel 2 XL Android 10. Don't know how long IV had it since I came across the story today. Soon as I read story, I looked and it's active. Pretty nice feature, just needs more actions.
  • Where did you find it? Under the phone's settings?
  • It's under settings-system-advanced
  • It's on my Pixel 3 though I set up a rule this morning and it did not work. We'll see if it works tonight. I set up location, vibration on/off.
  • Update: both rules are working. :)
  • Got it on my 3xl but I honestly thought it would offer a lot more things to automate. Maybe not Tasker level but a lot more than only being able to set your phone to silent or vibrate when you arrive at a certain location
  • If it's already available for anyone with Google Assistant, and gAssistant can do it with more triggers and more features, why did Google build this???
  • I have it on my Pixel 3 XL, however, I wish it had more selections to automate. It's nice that it can cut off my ringtone when it connects to my work Wi-Fi, or turn my volume on when I connect to my home Wi-Fi.