Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

image 204   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every WhimWhen it comes to device automation, there’s just one 900-lb gorilla in the Android space, and that’s Tasker. True, Llama is an awesome free automation app, but it doesn’t aim for Tasker’s full power. Tasker is a paid app (it costs UK £3.99), so we’ve never really covered it in detail. Now the time has come to share with you one of the absolute best Android apps on the Market.

Tasker’s power lies in its versatility: It can single-handedly replace dozens of purpose-specific apps that tweak your device in all sorts of ways. Want your device to stop auto-rotating when you shake it, or when you run a certain app? Well, you could either install an entire app to do this for you, or you could just set up a quick Tasker profile to exactly the same effect. In fact, if someone’s already thought of this idea, you might be able to find a ready-made profile and just import it into Tasker.

Let’s take a look at Tasker’s main interface:

image 205   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

This happens to be my own personal Tasker, so you’re getting a peek at my own use. I use it to turn WiFi off every night so I don’t have to think about it, to reboot my device every morning because Skype messes up the microphone and rebooting is the only thing that works, to reboot to Recovery mode every Saturday so I never forget to run a Nandorid backup, and even to remind myself to do some push-ups and log my weight. All of this is a tiny fraction of what Tasker’s capable of (experienced Tasker users in the audience have much more elaborate setups, I’m sure).

To get a feel for how Tasker works, let’s set up a simple profile. This profile will mute the device whenever I place it face-down on the table. When I flip it face-up, the device will unmute.

To start, let’s press New:

image 206   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

After selecting a descriptive name for my profile (“Mute when face-down“), I get to pick the first “context”:

image 207   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

A context is a “trigger”. For us, that would be “flipping the device over”. This is one of the irritating parts of using Tasker – there are dozens of contexts, but no quick way to find the one you need other than rummaging through the documentation or trying each category until you find what you need.

Tasker considers “device lying face down” as a state (that makes sense), so let’s tap the State category:

image 208   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

Are you starting to get a feel for how comprehensive this app is? Here’s Orientation, right there at the bottom-right corner. Let’s tap it:

image 209   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

We get six different orientation options. Theoretically, I could have my device do something crazy when I put it left-side down. For now, let’s just for for Face Down.

image 210   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

Once I tap Done, Tasker takes me to the next step, Task Selection. A task doesn’t have to be just one operation – it can be a sequence of actions, too. Here, we just need to mute the device.

image 211   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

I don’t have a pre-set task to do this, so let’s create a new one. I tap New Task and choose a name, “Mute device“. Next, I need to add an action by tapping the + button:

image 212   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

Once more, the wealth of actions available seems daunting at first:

image 213   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

What I want to do seems to be related to Audio, so let’s tap that and see what’s inside:

image 214   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

Silent Mode” sounds about right. Let’s tap it and switch “Mode” to “On” (it’s “Off” by default):

image 215   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

We can now test our task by tapping the Test button — not a bad idea.

image 216   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

After verifying my task works, I tapped Done. I now have the basic profile ready:

image 217   Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim

When I flip the device face-down, it switches over to silent mode. When I flip it back up, it goes back to whatever state it was in before I flipped it. How simple is that?

You can consider this a “Hello World” kind of task for Android Tasker. It’s a very basic use of the app, and we hope to share more advanced uses in the future. Better yet, if you’re a Tasker guru and have some powerful profiles on your device, do tell us about them in the comments!

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8 Comments -

Alvin

Correct me if i’m wrong but since you didn’t specify an exit task, wouldn’t it stay muted when you turn the phone face back up?

Anonymous

I tested this: It just unmuted without me having to set an exit task. This is kind of confusing really: I had a different profile that turned WiFi on whenever I’m home, and it _wouldn’t_ turn it back off when I left home. I think it just reverts to the previous state when the profile ends — so if it was muted before, it will stay muted. 

An exit task would be a good way to ensure it unmutes. 

John

I’m friends with the guy who develops this..  only lives 5 mins from me!  No real point to posting this, just thought I’d get that off my chest…

Alvin

Good, please tell him to allow more mapping of hardware buttons like volume controls and that would be perfect! (when used with application triggers the possibilities would be amazing!)

Saraht1978

You might like this one http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1139927

Anonymous

The author has only scratched the surface here.  Tasker is an absolute beast…

– When Tasker senses I’m within my office’s wifi range it tweaks all my settings for the office, the coolest being that if I put my phone face down for more than 45 seconds it changes itself to silent mode and returns any calls with a, “In a meeting, get back to you shortly” SMS.

–  I’ve got three separate remote-on profiles.  If you send my phone a one word, case sensitive text (w/ the right word) it fires up Tasker.  One turns on my GPS and sends back a Google Maps link of where I am.  One turns on the microphone and the camcorder and spies, the last one I’m still working on – I want my phone to send my day’s appointments from the calender.

There is soooo much more.  I have tons of Tasker profiles and widgets on my phone.

Anonymous

Absolutely! This was a very very short intro compared to what can be done with Tasker. If we get positive feedbacks on this post, more will come.

Arshad Khan

ActionWorks is another application that is worth mentioning.Total phone automation.Its awesome and pretty easy to use.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.sigmacel.actionsworksfree