Tasker: Android Scripting-Like App

Tasker is an impressive Android app that has been getting a lot of publicity in certain quarters. I have only dabbled with it, so I won’t try to expand on the reviews that are already out there. Just a few small hints and comments

Based on reviews and my initial look, the level of customization you can accomplish with Tasker is extremely impressive. You could easily create a Profile that is equivalent to the “Where’s My Droid?” app, for finding a lost or misplaced phone, for instance. For those who want this kind of functionality, it is well worth the ~$5 cost.

Beyond what it can do, just as an app in its own right I think it is the most sophisticated, most complete app I have seen. The phone-based and web-based documentation also seems quite thorough, and a community already seems to be springing up.

Download Tasker from the site, not the market–that way you get a 14-day trial instead of the standard 1-day trial.

I found the vocabulary a little confusing. What they call Contexts, I would call Events. But the Events keyword is already in use, for the specific Android system events (as opposed to events that are tied to the GPS location, the date/time, the state of the device). What they call Profiles, I would call Macros.

I think the next frontier for Tasker will be for Android Apps to expose APIs that can be called from Tasker. There are already a couple of those evident. For instance, I would like the MyTracks app to automatically start recording a track any time I fire it up, because that is what I want to do 95% of the time I invoke it (it is a little slow to load, and I am usually in a hurry when using it, because I am about to leave on a group bike ride). Or better yet, maybe I have a shortcut to MyTracks that does this; if I invoke the standard app, without shortcut, then I would get the standard behavior.

If you are a tinkerer or hobbyist, try Tasker, I think you will be impressed. If you just want to use your phone, then this is probably not an app for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: