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:
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:
After selecting a descriptive name for my profile (“Mute when face-down“), I get to pick the first “context”:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
Once more, the wealth of actions available seems daunting at first:
What I want to do seems to be related to Audio, so let’s tap that and see what’s inside:
“Silent Mode” sounds about right. Let’s tap it and switch “Mode” to “On” (it’s “Off” by default):
We can now test our task by tapping the Test button — not a bad idea.
After verifying my task works, I tapped Done. I now have the basic profile ready:
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!