Tasker (application)

Tasker is an Android application developed by João Dias. It focuses on performing user-defined actions based on contexts (application, time, date, location, event, gesture) in user-defined profiles, activated by click- or timer-based home screen widgets. It is expandable via plugins from the developer and third-party apps. Although the paid version is available on Google Play, a 7-day free trial version is downloadable as an APK on the developer's website. The trial version does not allow restoring backups.

Tasker
Tasker logo
Developer(s)João Dias (joaomgcd), previously Crafty Apps EU
Initial release2009[1]
Stable release
5.15.14
Preview release
6.0.8-rc
Operating systemAndroid
Size(Varies with device)
TypeAutomation, tools
LicenseProprietary trialware[1]
Websitetasker.joaoapps.com

ManagementEdit

Tasker works manually as well as automatically. It monitors the phone for contexts and performs tasks based on them. A profile stands as combination of a context and a task.[2]

ActionsEdit

Actions are basic functions that modify the device's settings or process data from a source such as a file on the user's phone or an HTTP request. Each task is composed of sequential actions. Some Actions may require root access or ADB. Common actions:[3]

  • Toggle each phone setting (such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Auto-brightness, etc.) on or off
  • Launch or "kill" a specific app
  • Set the audio volume to a specified value
  • Lock an application with a PIN code
  • Read, write, copy, move, and delete a file on the user's device
  • Basic image editing tools (such as cropping, filtering, and rotating)
  • Basic media controls
  • Get the GPS location of the phone
  • Call a number specified
  • Create, read and modify Tasker variables
  • Run JavaScript code
  • Integration with Google Drive
  • Text-to-speech

Tasker also supports third-party actions from apps such as SleepBot.

DevelopmentEdit

Tasker was inspired by Apt, a macro application developed by GlassWave in 2007 for devices running Palm OS. Tasker was first developed in 2009 for the Android Developer Challenge 2, where the app came 3rd in the Productivity/Tools category. The app was released to the public in June 2010.[4]

In November 2015, Tasker was removed from the Google Play Store for violating the Developer Programme Policy regarding Dangerous Products for system interference. The issue appeared related to Doze and App Standby features, which were offered instead of a blanket permission to ignore battery optimizations.[5] Google allows chat/voice apps to use the permission in Android to ignore the new battery optimization, features introduced with Doze Mode in Android 6.0 Marshmallow.[6] The app was back in the Google Play Store as a "paid app" in 2016.

In March 2018, Tasker was purchased by João Dias.[7]

App FactoryEdit

The Tasker App Factory allows Tasker projects to be exported as standalone apps. To add a UI, you can use a Show Scene action in Tasker. The resulting app can be distributed and installed on devices that do not have Tasker installed.[2] However, any required plugins must be installed on the destination device. It doesn't support files. App Factory is offered at no additional charge at the store.[2] Further, apps produced by the App Factory can be licenses on the Play Store.[8]

AutoAppsEdit

AutoApps is a separate application for Android that contains a suite of developer plugins. Each plugin adds conditions and/or actions to Tasker. In the app, the user can purchase separate plugins via the Google Play Store or subscribe for access to all plugins. Each plugin has a lite version that is free to use but restricts functionality (e.g. the lite version of AutoLaunch allows interaction with up to 20 apps). Some plugins also request the user to watch an advertisement to use for 24 hours.

List of AutoApps
Plugin name Functionality added to Tasker
AutoAlarm Read information regarding the next alarm set in the system's built-in clock app
AutoApp for Arduino Control each pin in an Arduino device
AutoApp for Pebble Add Tasker functionality to a Pebble watch
AutoBarcode Allows Tasks to launch via a QR code
AutoCast Cast a webpage or media from a service such as Dropbox to a Chromecast.
AutoContacts Read contact info
AutoInput Simulate UI interaction within the device via Android's Accessibility Service
AutoLaunch Launch apps by a specified info
AutoLocation Use geofencing to read the device's current GPS location and the user's movement state
AutoMEO Allows Tasker to control a MEOBox media player
AutoNotification Intercept app notifications, create formatted notifications, and add automated replies to messaging apps
AutoRemote Send notifications and commands across devices
AutoShare Intercepts info on the file being shared
AutoSheets Adds Google Sheets integration; allows Tasker to modify Google Sheets spreadsheets
AutoShortcut Run shortcuts from other Android apps
AutoTools Adds additional varied Actions to Tasker (such as reading HTML data from a website)
AutoVera Control Z-Wave devices through a Vera gateway
AutoWear Add Tasker functionality to a Wear OS smartwatch
AutoWeb Allows Tasker to use Web APIs
AutoVoice Allow Tasks to be triggered via a voice command; supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant commands[9]

Alpha AppsEdit

Alpha Apps are developer plugins that can only be unlocked via an AutoApps subscription. Below are a list of plugins that rely on the subscription.

List of Alpha Apps
Plugin name Functionality added to Tasker
AutoBluetooth Scan for nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices and react to their presence
AutoBubbles Create draggable icons that overlay the screen and trigger a Task when pressed
AutoCalendar Adds Google Calendar integration
AutoMail Adds Gmail integration
AutoMediaButtons React to complex media button press sequences
AutoPhoto Read EXIF data from photos
AutoRSS Read RSS feeds
AutoSpotify Adds Spotify integration
AutoWebVideo Adds YouTube integration
AutoXBMC Adds Kodi integration

TaskerNetEdit

As of Tasker v5.5 Tasks/Profiles/Projects can be sent into TaskerNet and shared. This system is hosted on Tasker servers. It is basically a cloud storage system for Tasker files.

TaskerNet entries support HTML descriptions for those looking to Import it.

IssuesEdit

Crypt actions are not available in the Google Play version of Tasker due to US restrictions. Android 10 requires ADB for setting the clipboard and the new Wi-Fi permission for toggling Wi-Fi.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Purdy, Kevin (July 29, 2010). "How to Turn Your Android Phone into a Fully-Automated Superphone". Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Ara, Wagoner (July 29, 2014). "Tasker review: The thing you need to do all the things". Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  3. ^ "Turn your brilliant Tasker tasks into stand-alone apps". TechRepublic. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  4. ^ "Tasker History".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "(Update: it's back) Tasker has been pulled from the Play Store". Android Authority. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  6. ^ Reed, Brad. "Hardcore Android users' favorite app vanishes from Google Play store". BGR. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
  7. ^ "Big News: Tasker Ownership Changed". Google Groups. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  8. ^ "Tasker App Factory - Android Apps on Google Play". 2016-11-04. Archived from the original on 2016-11-04. Retrieved 2017-09-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ "AutoVoice 4.0 combines Tasker and Alexa to automate your entire home". Android Police. 2021-05-25. Retrieved 2021-06-03.

External linksEdit