Can Automatic adjust iPhone settings?

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Is there any way with Automatic, perhaps with IFTTT, to change iPhone Settings when the ignition is turned on and off? For example, I'd like to adjust screen brightness among other things, such as autolock (since I plug it in) to keep the screen alive, toggle "Hey Siri" always on, etc. 

I'm backing a Kickstarter project called AwareCar which supposedly will allow for a car context so that Settings can be modified, but that's not out until later this year, and frankly I'm not even convinced they can live up to that promise because as far as I know it might be a limitation of the API that apps can't modify phone settings. 

However, if there's any way to do this with your product, I'd like to know, or please consider this a request for future enhancement. 

It's bad enough Apple doesn't have built-in contexts for the iPhone settings -- there are clear use cases for having variable configurations for when the phone is plugged in, especially energy-related settings -- or when the phone has detected its location is at the office, we might want different volume and ring tone settings, just as one example -- so if there's any way a 3rd party app or gadget can solve this problem at least partially, I'm very interested to learn more.

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Posted 3 years ago

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Jonathan, Alum

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Hi Shannon,

Welcome to the Automatic community, and thanks for sharing your question with us! I'm going to talk with our engineers and get a more detailed answer for you, so please hang tight while I gather more information. :)

It's worth noting that iOS 9 will enable "Hey Siri" functionality without needing to be plugged in.

Update: I spoke with our engineers, and it doesn't look like something similar to what you've described is possible today. Perhaps with future versions of iOS, but as the product and OS stand today, it's not in the cards unfortunately.
(Edited)
Hey Jonathan! Thanks! I didn't include the background that Derrick suggested I ask the question/share the idea with the community--he may have already checked with the engineers, I don't know, but he did say it wasn't possible at this time (I just read  your update). Is this a limitation of your app or a security feature of the API? Come to think of it, I can't think of a single app that is capable of altering basic iPhone settings, except for Apple's own apps (such as iBooks being able to adjust screen brightness). I don't think it's possible with IFTTT either or I would have probably found a "recipe" for that by now. I believe the "always on" for "Hey Siri" when unplugged is a feature of iOS 9.1 (I installed the first beta, which actually seems faster and more stable than the 9.0 gold master). The thing is, I only want that enabled when it's plugged in and in the car -- when I'm home, I don't want it on, otherwise it'll be one of multiple devices that will respond to "Hey Siri" -- so it's not a matter of being plugged in or not, or always on or not, but rather in a specific context, such as in the car, which Apple, IFTTT, nobody seems to provide -- that's what the AwareCar Kickstarter project is about, but if there's SDK security preventing it then I don't see how they can deliver on that stretch goal.
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Nathan

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Sandboxing is a real pain.  The most important iPhone setting that should be available to Automatic is turning on "Do Not Disturb" as soon as the ignition goes on. From what I understand this feature is available with Android devices, but Apple has iOS setting pretty well locked down.
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Jonathan, Alum

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Hi Nathan,

You're indeed correct. Android has a lot of these capabilities that iOS lacks unfortunately.
I was afraid that wasn't part of the API that Apple has opened up. I thought that this <https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/awarestack/awarecar-make-any-car-smarter-for-9/description> Kickstarter project claimed they could do it on iOS (enable DND in the driving context), but now I see that they're promising it for Android only. I can understand why Apple would have security concerns about letting any app update user settings, but if Android allows it and did that cause any harm? Apple supposedly approves every app, so why not test for maliciousness then? I mean, there are serious use cases for it -- and potentially life-saving ones in this case, besides the obvious ones of convenience -- so Apple really needs to seriously reconsider their position on this.
Can we somehow lobby/petition this issue to Apple through some official channel?
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Jonathan, Alum

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Hi Shannon,

I know it's super frustrating, and I'd recommend submitting feedback to Apple (I personally do this a lot for many of their products). While nothing is guaranteed, it helps to make your voice heard. I'd suggest filing it as an "enhancement request" for iOS.
(Edited)
Thanks, done!

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