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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Have you ever wished your phone would just automatically silence itself while you're at work? Or maybe that it would immediately start Pandora when you plug in your headphones? Wish no longer: Tasker's got you covered.

This contest is now over. We have selected the winners - see if you are one of them towards the bottom of the page.

Tasker's goal is to automate (you guessed it) tasks on your Android device. This may sound a little trivial at first blush. But make no mistake, Tasker is anything but a trivial application. In fact, I can honestly say that Tasker is the single most feature-rich Android app I have ever used. The number of potential scripts which could be made to run on Tasker is seemingly limitless. If you can imagine a recurring scenario, Tasker has probably got a way of automating behavior for it.

How many apps can you now uninstall because they can be replaced by Tasker tasks? Probably quite a few.

Pomp and circumstance aside, Tasker is just as capable of doing things which are relatively simple.

Some Basic Tasks

I'll admit, Tasker is a complicated application to use when you're just starting out - especially for the less tech savvy among us. Have no fear, resources are in place to help you out. Tasker's profile wiki page has a number of common, popular profiles written by Tasker users. But, we'll go ahead and do a couple examples of our own just to show you that it's not quite as daunting as it may seem.

Silence Your Phone At Night

So, you're the kind of person who enjoys your sleep. In fact, you enjoy it so much that you'd turn off your cell phone every evening if it wasn't for the fact that it also serves as your alarm clock. You usually silence your phone before bed, but sometimes (perhaps when coming home a little late), you simply forget to. Tasker to the rescue!

snap20100825_222351 snap20100825_222407 

To do this, simply open Tasker, and under profiles hit "New".  From there, select the category "Time",  and set a time frame (in this case, the hours where you're typically sleeping. Now you'll be sent to the task page. Hit the little "+" and select the "Audio" category, scroll down until you see "Silent Mode" and select it. Set the Mode to "On". Hit done, and then hit done one more time at the bottom of the tasks page.

Ta-da, your phone will now automatically silence itself between the hours you've specified. You can also create a task with different hours and specific days of the week as well (using the "Day" category when creating a profile, then adding the "Time" category afterward), to silence your phone during work (or school) hours!

Start Pandora When Your Plug Your Headphones In (Or Any Music App)

This task is just as easy. Create another new profile, only this time, select the "State" category. Under "State" you should find the "Headset Plugged" option, select it. Now, create a task and select the "App" category. Select "Load App" and find Pandora (or whatever radio/music app you use) on the list. Done and Done. Now, whenever you plug your headphones in, the app you selected will automatically start!

snap20100825_224955 snap20100825_225010

These are just 2 simple things Tasker can do for you; there are countless more (see here on how to launch a list of all your music apps when headphones are inserted), but we feel like you've probably gotten the idea here.

Lifehacker has several articles on Tasker (including a number of awesome recipes) as well:

Endless Possibilities

The title of this section may seem a little overblown, but I'll give a list of things Tasker could potentially do on your Android phone through simple scripting, via Tasker's official website:

  • passcode-lock sensitive applications (e.g. for child safety)
  • change phone settings by
    • application: long screen timeout in a book reader
    • time: screen brightness lower in the evening
    • location: ringer volume high at the office, turn off keyguard at home
  • wake up with a random song from your music collection
  • Text-to-speech; read out loud: incoming SMS/ phone number, WiFi/Bluetooth status, when it's time for an appointment, when the battery is low etc etc (Android OS 1.6+ only)
  • launch a music application when your music SD card is inserted, otherwise a file browser
  • start the day with a particular application showing
  • change all your home icons and wallpaper every day, or in particular locations
  • turn the phone upside down to return to the home screen, tilt 90 degrees to the left and back to toggle speakerphone during a call
  • create a Home widget to
    • toggle bluetooth/wifi on/off
    • launch wireless settings dialog
    • show a menu of tasks to choose
    • send an emergency SMS with your GPS location
  • remap camera, etc buttons to other applications, or show a menu of applications and/or actions
  • decrypt/encrypt and/or zip/unzip application data on the fly when an application is launched/exits
  • pause music playback while in a particular application, restart on exit
  • change the Home icon for any application
  • take a time-lapse photo series (possibly 'secretly')
  • make a regular backup of a file on the SD card
  • track your phone location via SMS in case of theft
  • extend the use of the media button on your headset: take a picture from a distance or go to the previous media track with a long press
  • record call times and destinations to the SD card
  • show a popup when an SMS arrives from a particular phone number
  • setup a birthday SMS to be sent months before it happens so you don't forget
  • record battery levels over time to a file on SD card
  • make automatic recordings of what you say during phone calls to SD card
  • during the night, turn on airplane mode to conserve battery/reduce radiation, but turn it off every 15 minutes to check for SMS/voicemail.
  • setup a vacation SMS message, with different messages for different callers
  • launch a music application when headphones are connected

In the end, Tasker's capacity to automate is limited only by your imagination. And as the list of community-contributed profiles grows, Tasker will only become more useful.

If you have any trouble or questions about Tasker, there is a nice support forum available right here.

Download

Tasker is available in the Android Market for £3.99 (roughly $6 USD), and here's the QR code:

QR code for market://search?q=pname:net.dinglisch.android.taskerm

Giveaway

The Tasker developer was kind enough to sponsor a giveaway of 20 free Tasker licenses.

And the winners are:

  1. Brian Brown
  2. David Beck
  3. Paul Durivage
  4. Angel W. Zenon, Jr
  5. Andrew Tolmie
  6. Rich Morrison
  7. Dave Lind
  8. Joe T Wang
  9. Stephen Brink
  10. Bob Kanwischer
  11. David Hoyt
  12. Timothy Adams
  13. Keith Smith
  14. Calvin Leung
  15. Brian Cavner
  16. Javier Laglaive
  17. De'Ounte Davis
  18. Graham O' Malley
  19. Darren Joe
  20. Peter Vito Vitikac

Emails have been dispatched notifying them of how to collect their winnings.

Thanks for playing!


How To Win

Entering the contest is really simple - just make sure you complete the steps below.

Step 1.

There are 2 parts in this step: complete either one of them to be eligible or both to double your chances of winning.

Tasker is this week's #Android app of the week at @AndroidPolice. Here's the review and giveaway of 20 free licenses http://bit.ly/ap-tasker

OR

Step 2.

Fill out this form, so that we know who to contact in case you're a winner.

Step 3 (optional).

In the comments below, tell the Tasker developer and the whole world what tasks you either want to or have already accomplished using Tasker.

Again, steps 1 and 2 are required to enter.

Terms

The contest starts immediately and runs until September 3rd, 11:59PM PST.

Winners will be announced here and notified via twitter, Facebook, or email.

Good luck, everyone!

David Ruddock
David's phone is an HTC One. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, imparting a legal perspective on tech news, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • DevilDogVIKING

    I think it would be cool if you could have it automatically reply to someone that texted you while you were driving. It could automatically detect I'm driving using the gps.

    • Meko

      It can do this very easily.

  • Jeremy

    I'll second the reply text while driving idea. That would be fantastic.

  • Adam Rinehart

    What I'm trying to figure out how to do with Tasker: If I'm at home or work, where I know I have wifi, enable it ONLY when an app needs it. So if I'm at home and launch the browser, start up wifi. But if I'm out and about, skip the wifi.

    • Meko

      You can do this too.

      Create a context for when you launch the apps you're talking about. Then create a variable for the location of your home and create a second variable for the location of your work. You need to get the %LOC variable information for both locations first.

      Once you have this, setup the task using said variables and the IF and 'Go To Action' options for the task.

  • DF

    Automate texts while driving, ringer/notification volume during work hours, & block calls during certain hours

  • http://www.sassy-sweet.com keithsmith22

    There are many tasks I would complete. As simple as turning down my ringer while I am at work and church, to sending auto text replies while driving. One thing that would be useful (assuming it can be done on Tasker) would be to turn wifi on and off depending on GPS location. I only use wifi at work and home but hate having to remember to cut it off when not at those places. Trying to save that precious battery life. Thanks in advance whether I win or not.

    • Meko

      You can do this too.

      Create a context for the location you’re talking about. Set the ringer to whatever you want for each location.

      Tasker generally puts things back to the way they were before it kicked off a task when the situation goes to the opposite of what you called for.

  • Stephen W

    I am very busy and during the weekends I like to sleep in, but I forget to turn off my alarm. Hopefully using Tasker I could eliminate that so that I could sleep in more.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      You can set which days you want the alarm to go off in Android already. Not sure why you'd need another app to do that?

  • Enyo

    I would like Tasker to recognize media volume setting changes when changing apps and automatically save and implement those changes the next time that app is launched.
    (Instead of having to do it all manually)

    • Ru

      I'm not sure if it can recognize changes and save them with the app, but I know it can look for the startup of a particular app and set the settings however you want.

  • dethduck

    I'd love to set it up to open my spam folder, select all mail there and delete it. beats the hell out of doing it manualy.

  • Meko

    I've created said tasks so far:

    Super Alarm: Kicks off M - F at specified time. If i hit snooze, it rings again 5 minutes later but at a higher volume. Keeps going higher until max volume then rings over and over (loops) until I turn off alarm. For critical days (MUST GET UP !!!), it will even sent a text to my wife to CALL MY @$$!

    You have 'x' unread SMS messages: Kicks off when I receive an SMS and phone is in lock state. If volume is on, then 1st text plays my normal notification for SMS messages. Every other SMS received before I clear notification makes phone play the following message out loud "You now have 'x' unread SMS messages". Once I unlock the phone, unread messages is set back to 0.

    Repeat pulse for missed calls: Missed call kicks off a loop which vibrates every 5 minutes for one hour telling me I have a missed call. Vibrate lasts for 1 full second. ... Yes you can customize how your phone vibrates too!

    Battery level when unplugged: When I unplug the phone from power (AC or USB), and if volume is not on silent, Tell me how much batter remains: Says "You have 'x' % batter remaining.

    LOVE THIS APP!

    • Ru

      Love the SMS and Battery ones - any chance you could share that on the tasker site?

  • Meko

    I also forgot to mention. I have another context setup that if headphones are plugged in to start Retro Radio. Upon unplugging the headphones, set the Media volume to 0.

    Retro Radio does not recognize when you unplug headphones and keeps playing music. This makes for some interesting situations if your headphones get pulled out and you're in a quiet area.

    • Kane

      I wish there was a way to start an app and have it go through some steps, like in TuneWiki, I want it to go to my Shoutcast Favorites, rather than the front screen. I dont think that's possible unless TuneWiki devs provide support specifically for Tasker though, otherwise it'd be doable.

  • http://vinodlive.com vinod

    Would like to control the brightness intensity, volume and sms on various use cases.

  • Megs

    I ALWAYS forget to mute my phone when I get to work and then someone calls usually during a meeting. Then I usually forget to unmute when I leave so I miss calls - it would be great to have Tasker do that for me.

    • Ru

      Tasker can easily do this, but it can go a step further. I have a task to silence the phone when my calendar shows me in a meeting. Then even if I am at an offsite meeting it will silence the phone so I'm not interrupted.

      • Kane

        Care to share the steps for that?

  • http://twitter.com/geeknik geeknik

    I've already rooted my Droid, installed a custom ROM and now I want to take it to an even higher level with Tasker. =)

  • Dyason

    When I'm sleeping I'd like it to reply to any sms/phone calls saying I'll contact when I wake up. Also any calls from number X I'd like to ring out loud.

    Also when roaming abroad it would be great for it to disable mobile internet automatically.

  • http://griyamobilkita.webs.com sewa mobil

    Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  • Tuck

    My needs are simple. My main aim is to have wifi turn on automatically at home and work and have the phone use EDGE bands whenever wifi is on. I would also like to have Evernote launch whenever my calendar shows I'm in a meeting. It's he I take all my notes.

    • The Dude

      Tuck, have you been able to find a way to force EDGE when connected to wifi with Tasker? This is basically all I want to do, too. If there's a script for it in Tasker, I'll buy the program right away, but I haven't found anything/any posts that indicates this is possible.

  • http://knayam.com Mayank (@knayam)

    Exactly what I was looking for. I always wished there was such an app. Thanks to the dev.

  • Carlos

    One thing I would try to do is automatically set all my downloads to go in the root of sd card instead of download folder, or if not at least move them there so I don't have to use root explorer to move whatever I want to flash in recovery.

  • Michael Ewart

    I had the free trial of tasker and loved it - I created an awesome alarm clock with a voice-spoken morning greeting, followed by a song as my alarm, and then it opened up my calendar app for the day. I also created tasks for certain events like plugging in my headphones (a menu of apps to open), opening the web browser, plugging in my charger, and docking the phone. I did not have too much time to play around and mostly copied my tasks from the wiki page (adapting them a little), however I am a college engineering student and am definitely eager to come up with many new and original tasks and share them with the community on the wiki page.

  • Tapan Chugh

    As i am a student, it will be really helpful to me. It could detect when i am in the classes and could switch the phone to silent mode.

  • http://www.androiddevelopmenttalk.com Android application developer

    Awesome app i just loved its features
    and i bought it

  • Nils A

    I just love this app but I have one problem! I'm using Advanced task cleaner 2.0 to kill apps so i would like tasker to use it for me when my battery is under 15% but I cant figure out how to do it! I know its possible to make a shortcut for task cleaner to kill apps to put on my homescreen but i cant find that action in tasker! plz help! :o

  • HoraceVbryan

    Sounds good...I'm in like Flin...

  • http://www.ceriamultimedia.com/sewa_tv_plasma_lcd.html sewa tv plasma

     nice post, thanks for the informations.