Remember back when Google showed off what Tasker could look like if it updated to support the new ICS guidelines and we all drooled? Then the dev behind it said that there's already a UI overhaul in the works and we started squirming in our seats? Well, today's the day we all freak out, because today the developer released a beta of Tasker 4.0b4 that shows off a completely redesigned interface.

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If you want to get in on this action, you can download the APK here. There are two separate download links, one for those who have purchased Tasker from the developer directly in the past, and one for those who bought it from the Play Store.

The overhaul certainly looks nicer than the weird purple bubbles of the Gingerbread and earlier era. However, there are still a large number of quirks. For starters, while the app uses ICS+ style tabs, you can't swipe between them, which is something you don't think about much until you can't do it anymore. Also, when selecting actions, it very confusingly requires you to hit the "Up" button (in the top left corner with the arrow pointing to the left side of the screen) to accept changes. This is very strange and not intuitive at all.

2013-01-22 15.59.18 2013-01-22 16.02.40 2013-01-22 16.09.36
2013-01-22 16.10.35 2013-01-22 16.10.58 2013-01-22 16.11.47

Some things are just quirks that can likely be attributed to the app being a beta (like the lack of swiping gestures), however some things are simply baffling. When selecting ringtones, you can type in the name of the track you want to select, but you do not have the option of a regular ringtone picker.

ringtonepicker 2013-01-22 16.18.49 2013-01-22 16.19.35

Ultimately, it's hard to look at this redesign as something that is a finished product. In fact, it needs a lot of work before it's ready. Of course, in our world, we're used to high-profile companies releasing things that function nearly flawlessly and still calling it 'beta'. This is closer to what an actual beta product looks like and we're willing to give Tasker the benefit of the doubt because it has been so good to us over the years. If nothing else, it's just great that the developer is attempting to bring the app into the new Android era of UI design.

Source: Tasker

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • ddpacino

    Looks nice...

  • Sam Tate

    Still looks pretty poor...

    • http://twitter.com/Putzy Lewis P

      Agreed. Just looks like they've chucked an action bar onto the current UI and removed their gradients etc.

      Doesn't exactly look as good as it could do.

      • Abhgiyan Banerjee

        Perfect example of why "good developer" doesn't necessarily mean "good designer".

  • pepcok

    This beta has a clear message on it, for all GB users (me included) - go get a new phone! ... and I guess I will.. LOL

  • hyperbolic

    It's about time!
    Though I imagined it with a slicker design

  • Max Barlow

    Google's was better, not surprising, but they could have taken the template

  • Kree Terry

    like most have said, while it is better it still has a ways to go to be where it needs to be design wise. Which with it being a beta im sure it will get there in time.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/psycho_maniac_ Jerry Lange

    This is a great start for the new UI. Hoping to get better as the months go by! I love this app!

  • Wayne Randall

    " When selecting ringtones, you can type in the name of
    the track you want to select, but you do not have the option of a regular ringtone picker."

    Try the magnifying glass..

    • Ryan O’Neill

      Would've never found that myself.

  • http://blog.ravrahn.net/ Owen Cassidy

    This is not a redesigned UI. The developer just set the theme to Holo and left it at that. It works exactly the same as it did before. I hope he actually does do a redesign, because the app is currently way too hard to learn.

    • Handroid

      Not exactly. You are right that the app is intensely hard to learn, but there are subtle differences in the design. Not like Google's design, but definitely upgraded.
      Being able to mulit-select profiles, for disposal or exporting, cloning or locking (If this was possible before, I never noticed it). I think he took the
      pop up window, that blocked interaction, and put it's contents into the
      upper dashboard.

      No longer need to long press the upper 'profile' 'scene' 'tasks' tabs, and the window that pops up, stays tucked up nicely at the header.

      There are a few others I can't think of right now, but I did notice that the previous beta I ran allowed for customizing the background colors of tabs, headers and footers, and the UI in general where as this beta doesn't.
      At first it sucked, but now that I am used to it, I was forced to update to this beta on my tablet as well.

      • http://blog.ravrahn.net/ Owen Cassidy

        Are you talking about the very recent update to Tasker or the one I was talking about two months ago?

  • dqqq

    Why doesnt he simply copy Googles suggestion? Thats why they made it in the first place..

  • http://www.facebook.com/flynnsiy Flynn Siy

    I just tried the beta...but my task widgets aren't working now. I'm on SGS3 running MIUI ROM. Can the others confirm if you can make task widgets on your home screens and if they are working when clicked on?

    • Wayne Randall

      Did you delete the old ones and create new ones? I'd try that first and if that fails, blame the Beta tag.

  • Ray

    Tasker is the most useful Android app. No need to redesign the UI. What it can do is all that matters.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      Agree that Tasker is the most useful app for Android, but it NEEDS a redesign, I am a pro android user myself, and find it cumbersome to do some tasks with Tasker, like moving or deleting tasks, the UI is so weird..

  • Ryan O’Neill

    The dark theme looks awesome, make sure you try it out in the settings before you go hating on the new UI.

    • http://www.facebook.com/rmkattan Rami Kattan

      Agree, the White theme makes the app look strange, but when I switched back to the Dark theme (Settings -> UI -> theme) it looked more usable for the beta.

      and just for curiosity, where did version 2 and 3 go? last stable version was 1.3.3u2, now 4.0 !!!??

      • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

        I think 4.0 means it's for Android 4.0+

  • Freak4Dell

    It's progress, for sure, and I hope it gets better with future builds. I really think this guy should consider hiring a designer, though. Hell, just convince some student that it can be added to their portfolio or something and pay them with lunch for a week. It's pretty evident this developer is an absolute genius in coding, but sucks at design, so it's time he called for help. Even his webpage is terribly designed.

  • satamusic

    Tasker is fine as it is right now.