Android is getting smarter, being an example of this Google Assistant routines, but in terms of task automation in Android, there is nothing like Tasker, the legendary application created almost a decade ago.
Tasker is something like hypervitaminated IFTTT, being both easy and not so easy to use. If you have heard about Tasker but you are not sure how to start using it, here we will take the first steps to start automating tasks like a champion.
What Is Tasker?
One can define Tasker as the total automation of Android. It is the most complete way to automate commands on Android. It is not extremely complex to use it at a basic level, although to get the most out of it – which is a lot – you have to spend some time.
It is a paid application, currently priced at Rs.199, although you can get a seven-day trial version. So you can see if it is what you are looking for before going to checkout. The latest Android-compatible trial version from Lollipop to Pie is available here.
Keep in mind that Tasker as if it is only the main engine, but there are other support apps that add more features and that you can download from Google Play Store. They are dozens and you can find them online : 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 touches or text writing with Tasker.
- AutoCast: to communicate with Chromecast.
- Auto-notification: 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 what location.
- AutoShare: to interact with the Android share menu.
- Tasker App Factory: exports projects as independent applications.
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, perform an action as soon as a condition is met.
Now, with Tasker, you can create small user interfaces or execute tasks manually, so that 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 projects as independent applications.
With almost a decade behind them, the amount of Tasker projects available on the Internet is overwhelming. If you want inspiration, in its forums you have a collection with examples, like this one to bring back the Android notification ticker or chat bubbles for any application. These projects can be imported directly in to Tasker.
How Tasker Is Used?
Initially, Tasker opens with a normal blank page syndrome. And now that? There are four main tabs and not much explanation about what each one does. In addition, this is a personal opinion, but the names of some of its main pillars are not entirely explanatory and give rise to some 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.
Tasks: They are the actions that are carried out. A task can carry out several 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 somewhere in your tasks, such as time or battery level.
To start using Tasker, we will create a very simple configuration to set the mode to not disturb and lower the brightness of the screen at night. Take it as a starting point for the world of Tasker.
The fastest way to do it is from the profiles tab, by tapping on the floating button. First, you must choose a name for the profile. Then, choose the context or condition from the drop-down list. For example, I’m choosing the time option.
On the next screen, set the time at which the profile you want begins and the time it ends. There is no button to confirm, so use the back button to continue the process.
The profile you just created does absolutely nothing, and that’s why Tasker proposes you to create a new task directly. Press the button to start the process, whose first step is to enter a name for the task, although it is optional.
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. They are organized by categories, so to adjust the brightness you first need to enter Screen and then Screen Brightness. Then you can adjust the brightness to the desired value, which in our case is zero.
You can add several actions to the same task, and as an example, we will activate the Do not disturb mode of the mobile. This is in Audio Settings – Do not disturb, without needing to modify anything because the default setting is mode activation. Note, Tasker needs permission to access notifications in order to perform this action.
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 prove that they work correctly by pressing the play button. If you want to make an adjustment, tap on the action to edit it, or long-press to erase it.
So far we have configured that brightness is reduced at specific and the Do not disturb mode is set, but what happens next? Absolutely nothing, unless we configure it. For this, we need an exit task, something like a way to return the system to how it was when the condition ceases to be met.
To add an exit task, go back to the list of profiles and tap on the one you just created. You will then see the option Add Exit Task, which you must click to then choose the task you created before. The difference is that the exit task will execute it in reverse, that is, it will deactivate the do not disturb mode and will return the brightness to the way it was.
Its Your Turn, Practise
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 went 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 for doing almost anything on Android, with enough patience and dedication.