Most describe Tasker as a task control and automation app. I see an Android programming app for the masses. Instead of scaring you with code rows, Tasker lets you use a friendly interface to create mini Android apps that bid.
Learning to use Tasks exhaustively is beyond the scope of this post. Instead, we go over the basics of using Tasker to program your Android device to do what is required by the rules you specify. Let's get started.
Calculate Tasks UI
Bags have been optimized for easy navigation and the user interface is very clean. There are four tabs at the top of the interface: Profiles, Tasks, Scenes and Vars (cards for variables).
- Profile – A form of container or package for context and linked data. You can define multiple contexts for a single profile, and all of these conditions must be true for the linked data to run.
- Task – A group of actions. Usually linked to a trigger or a context, but can also be a freely floating, standalone task performed manually.
- Scene – A customized user interface. You can create your own layout of buttons, menus, pop-ups and other user interfaces.
- Variable – A name for an unknown value that can change over time, such as battery level or date.
You can create project tabs, which essentially act as folders to organize profiles, tasks, scenes and variables. These will be displayed at the bottom of the user interface next to the lone home button icon.
This is simply a way to keep things in order within the app. You can create projects for email commands, location settings, vacation time or whatever you want.
The main menu button is located at the top right. Press it to display all settings and options. It can get pretty confusing in there, so try not to play too much with it first. We will use it briefly in the next section, so don't play with it yet.
Set permissions and grant access
Bags have the authority to control your phone extensively, but you must first grant it. Make sure the app can do everything you want it from get-go, because pop-ups and access requests can be annoying.
- Open Bags.
- Right main menu button.
- Select "More."
- Select "Android Settings."
- You will be presented with a list of settings. Go through each one and make sure that Tasker has access to everything.
Of course, you can always choose not to give Tasker access to specific things, but it will of course affect the app's functionality.
Profiles and tasks
In a nutshell, the profiles determine when you want Tasker to do something, while tasks dictate what to do.
It can also help to think of a task as a sequenced list of things to do. For example, you might want to set a night mode. This can force the phone to go into Do Not Disturb, lower the brightness and turn off unnecessary functions (GPS, Bluetooth, etc.) at a certain time.
In this situation, you would use a profile to tell Tasker when activating this night mode.
Creating a profile and task
To illustrate the concept of tasks and actions more clearly, let us try to create this night-mode task.
- Create a new profile:
- Open the "Profiles" tab.
- Press the "+" button.
- Name your profile. I will call this "Night mode".
- Choose when you want information to take place. I choose 8 pm to 8 am
- Press the back button.
- Create a new task:
- You will be prompted to create (or select) a task. Create a new one and name it "Minimal."
- You will enter the "Task Editor" page. Press the "+" button to create an action.
- Select "Audio".
- Select "Do not disturb."
- In the "Mode" section, you can set your specific settings. You can let alarms or priority contacts come through, for example.
- Press the back button. Now your first action has been created.
- Select "Display."
- Select "Screen brightness".
- Under "Level", select the desired brightness. Then hit the button again.
- For the next action, we turn off GPS. Just press the "+" button again.
- Select "Location" and then select "Stop Location".
- To turn off Bluetooth, simply press the "+" button, select "Net", select "Bluetooth," and set the "off" option.
- Press the back button and your night mode is ready!
This is the basic way to automate actions on the phone with Tasker. However, it is just the tip of the iceberg. You can ask Tasker to interact with apps, view messages with custom messages, use space to start tasks, and more.
Our idea is to show you how Tasker works. For more advanced automation, you can always search the internet or simply create your own data and profiles! We have also provided links to custom Tasks tutorial at the end of this post.
Adding a Closing Task
A Closing Task will tell Tasker what to do when a profile is no longer active.
Let's stick to our example above. The 8 o'clock phone lowers the screen brightness, does not activate Do not disturb and turn off GPS and Bluetooth. What happens after that?
You can create another task that does the opposite of what "Minimal" did. Then you easily go to the tab profiles and press the task name for a long time. Press "Add Closing Task" and select your Closing Task.
Importing and exporting
If you want to import a saved task into Tasker, just click on the "Tasks" tab, select "Import task" from the menu, browse for file and press to import it. Import profiles, scenes and projects work the same way.
To export a task, long press the task name, then press the menu button and select "Export." Again, other elements work the same way.
How to delete a profile, task or scene
To delete a profile, task, or scene, long press the name and then tap the trash. For variables, the trash can be replaced with an "X" button.
Rearrange actions in a task
To move an action up or down in a list of actions, just tap and hold the action icon at the top right of the Action name, then drag and drop the action name to its new location.
Running a task manually
Open the "Tasks" tab. Touch the task to be run and the "Task Editing" screen opens. Press the play button at the bottom of the screen. This is good for testing if your data really works.
Scene creation is actually an advanced subject that deserves its own separate tutorial, but I will briefly talk about this.
A scene is a custom user interface that you build from the beginning. It can use elements that you usually find on user interfaces, including buttons, doodles, images, maps, menus, shapes, controls, text boxes, text input fields, and web display boxes. Each element is customizable.
If you have ever done any programming before, you will know the concept of variables. They are close relatives of the variables you hear about in the algebra class. To define it easily, a variable is a name for a value that changes over time.
Just as scene creation, Tasker variables are also complex subjects that deserve their own separate tutorials. I speak briefly about them though, just so you know the tremendous power you get if you just climb the steep hill to learn how to use Bags.
Task variables always start with the percentage%. Variables in the whole case are embedded variables. They are usually derived from system information, device permissions or events. Some common examples are
% TIME (current time),
% DATE (current date),
% BATT (current battery level) and
% WIFI ] (if Wi-Fi is enabled or not).
Apart from embedded variables, there are two other variable types: local and global. Both are user-defined and user-defined. The main difference between them is that local variables can only be used within the task or stage where they are created, defined or used. Global variables are available to all Bags. Another important difference is in capitalization: local variables use all lower case letters but global variables have at least one capital letter in their name.
Okay, almost done. To learn more about using Tasker or visually reviewing what I've discussed so far, check out our video tutorial in the next section.
Some amazing Tasks projects to try
Bags are a powerful, complex and flexible automation and programming app, but it can be frightening. It has a steep learning curve. It takes time to get acquainted with it, and much more to be skilled, but time will definitely be worth it. It's a small price to pay for power, flexibility and control that Tasker allows you to use over your Android device.
Are you using Bags? What are you using it for? Or are you new to Tasker? How is your experience with it so far? Share your bags experiences with us. Sounds in the comments.