Get your life together with Agent, the utilities app for Android that just became free

By Erin Griffith , written on January 1, 2014

From The News Desk

Since Agent launched ten weeks ago in the Google Play store, tens of thousands of users have downloaded it to organize their digital lives. Eighty percent of downloads use the app every day to manage their phone's modes related to battery life, sleeping, parking, meeting and driving.

Now, to ring in the new year, and according to CEO Kulveer Taggar, to "think about growth," Agent is free to download. The company has worked out a way to refund paid users and may eventually offer a premium upgrade.

Agent isn't meant to organize your life, it's meant to optimize your phone for what you're doing when. "My phone as a device should know when to go into this or that mode," says Taggar. That includes managing battery life, automatically reading texts when you're driving, disconnecting from bluetooth when you've stopped driving, recording where your car is parked, and sending reminders to follow-up after meetings, and one-click "running late" buttons for meetings.

Agent is working on upgrades that include integration with apps like Evernote and Dropbox. If your phone knows your next meeting is 30 minutes away, for example, you could launch Uber in one click. Other use cases, such as a way to let a select number of people know that your phone's battery is running low, or rules that put your phone on silent when you enter the office, will also be developed.

The app takes advantage of the Android operating system, which allows developers to take control of more permissions within the device than iOS does. No iOS app can put your phone on silent, for example, but Android phones can. iOS advocates argue that the tight controls give the user a more unified, consistent experience. Taggar says Google, which created the Android operating system, is working to fix this with consistency standards for Android devices made by HTC, Samsung, Nokia and Motorola, and the app makers who develop for them.

Previously Taggar founded Auctomatic, a Y Combinator startup which sold for $5 million to in 2008. His team developed Agent under the parent company Egomotion, which also developed Trigger, another task management app for Android.

Agent isn't alone in its mission to make smartphones smarter. A popular app called Assistant does some of the same things, and an app called Tempo is also a competitor, though it focuses more on information calendar management than basic phone optimization. Taggar believes integration with third party apps, as well as a superior user experience, will help differentiate Agent. The app's tens of thousands of users clearly agree.

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[Feature image courtesy pasukaru76]