What is Tasker, what is it for and how is it used

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Android is getting smarter, an example of which is the Google Assistant routines, but as for task automation on Android, there is nothing like Tasker, the legendary application created almost a decade ago.

Tasker is something like IFTTT hypervitamin, being both easy and not so easy to use. If you’ve heard of Tasker but aren’t quite sure how to start using it, here are the first steps for you to start automating tasks like a champ.


What is Tasker

Taskerr

Its author defines Tasker as the total automation of Android, and he is right. It is the most complete way to automate commands on Android. It is not extremely complex to use it at a basic levelAlthough to get the most out of it – which is a lot – you have to dedicate some time to it.

It is a paid application, currently priced at 2.99 euros, although you have available a seven-day trial version on their website, so you can see if it’s what you’re looking for before checking out. The latest Android compatible trial version from Lollipop to Pie is available here.

Note that Tasker as itself is only the main engine, but there are other support apps that add more functionalities and that you can download from Google Play (note: some need to be purchased separately). There are dozens and you can find them here: these are just some of them:

  • Tasker Settings: to be able to change more system options from Tasker

  • AutoVoice: plugin for Tasker to add voice control functions.

  • AutoInput– To simulate tapping or typing with Tasker.

  • AutoCast: to communicate with Chromecast.

  • AutoNotification: advanced options to interact and create notifications.

  • AutoLocation: Add to Tasker the recognition of whether you are walking, cycling or in a vehicle, as well as in which location.

  • AutoShare: to interact with the Android share menu.

  • Tasker App Factory– Export projects as separate applications.

Tasker

Tasker

What is Tasker for

Tasker’s complexity means that it can be used for almost anything, although its main function is task automation. That is, take an action as soon as a condition is met.

Now, with Tasker you can create small user interfaces or execute tasks manually, so in a way it also helps you to create small utilities or applications that perform certain tasks or interact with Android or other applications. With Tasker App Factory you can even export your projects as standalone applications.

Projectz

Some of Tasker’s projects available on their forums

With almost a decade behind him, the amount of Tasker projects available on the Internet it’s overwhelming. If you want inspiration, in their forums you have a collection with examples, like this for bring back the notification ticker Android or chat bubbles for any application. These projects can be imported directly into Tasker.

How to use Tasker

Tasker2

The first time Tasker is opened it is normal to have a little blank page syndrome. And now that? There are four main tabs, and not much explanation on what each one does. Furthermore, this is a personal opinion, but the names of some of its main pillars are not entirely explanatory and give a little room for confusion. Are these:

  • Profiles. Tasker profiles are configurations that link tasks to contexts.

  • Contexts. They are the conditions for the execution of the tasks. For example, at a certain time, in a specific place or after the end of a countdown.

  • Chores. They are the actions that are carried out. A task can carry out multiple actions.

  • Scenes. It is a user interface generated from Tasker that you can use to display information or as an action launcher after pressing a button or the like.

  • Variables. Names for values ​​that change and that you might want to use in some part of your tasks, like the time or the battery level.

First, the profile

To start using Tasker, we are going to create a very simple configuration for set the mode to do not disturb and lower the screen brightness at night. Take it as a starting point for the world of Tasker.

The fastest way to do it is from the profiles tab, tapping on the floating button. You must first choose a name for the profile (it is for your information only, so choose what you want). Then choose the context or condition in the drop-down list. For our example we are interested Hour.

Profiletasker

On the next screen, set the time it starts the profile you want (I have chosen 11 at night) and the time it ends (I have set 7:30). There is no button to confirm, so use the back button to continue the process.

Then the tasks

The profile you just created does absolutely nothing, which is why Tasker proposes to create a new task directly. Press the button to start the process, the first step of which is to enter a name for the task, although it is optional.

Reduce brightness

This will take you to an empty window for the task, so the first step is to use the floating button to add the first action. Is it so organized by categories, so to adjust the brightness you first need to enter Screen and then in Screen brightness. Then you can adjust the brightness to the desired value, which in our case is zero.

Brightness display

You can add several actions to the same task, and as an example we are going to activate the do not disturb mode of the mobile. This one is in Audio Settings – Do Not Disturb, without you needing to modify anything since the default configuration is the activation of the mode. Note, Tasker needs permission to access notifications in order to do this.

Nomolestarpo

Go back to the previous window and you will see that your two actions have been added to the task. If you want you can test that they work properly pressing the play button. If you want to make any adjustments, tap on the action to edit it, or long press to delete it (with the scissors icon).

{“videoId”: “x83h4rt”, “autoplay”: true, “title”: “CUSTOMIZE your ANDROID to the MAX, EASY!”}

Finally, the exit task

So far we have configured that at 11 pm the brightness is reduced and do not disturb mode, but what happens next? Absolutely nothing, unless we configure it. For it we need an exit task, something like a way to return the system to how it was when the condition is no longer met.

To add an outbound task, go back to the list of profiles and tap on the one you just created. You will then see the option Add Output Task, which you must press to then choose the task that you created before. The difference is that the output task will run it in reverse, that is, it will deactivate do not disturb mode and return the brightness to the way it was.

Tasks output

Now you just have to wait to see that everything works correctly. If you don’t want to wait for the night, change the time so that it starts a little earlier and you can check that everything works perfectly. If everything has gone well, the brightness will be reduced and the silent mode will be activated automatically at the set time.

Of course, This is just the tip of the iceberg of what Tasker can do. As we mentioned before, its extensibility makes the application suitable to do almost anything on Android, with enough patience and dedication.


The news

What is Tasker, what is it for and how is it used

was originally published in

Engadget Android

by
Ivan Ramirez

.

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