06
Apr
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Tasker is the Swiss Army knife of Android power user apps. In fact, that comparison hardly does Tasker justice: it's like the software offspring of a Swiss Army knife and a Tricorder, with an optional Sonic Screwdriver attachment. The much-loved automation and scripting engine got a huge update today to version 4.3, with a list of new features, bugfixes, and small changes that's far too long for us to cover in total.

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Here are some of the highlights:

  • state Humidity (where supported by hardware, untested)
  • action Say: parameter Use Network: improves speech synthesis with some engines (API 15+)
  • action Alert / Beep
  • action Alert / Morse
  • action List Files: added Use Root parameter (requires rooted device to use)
  • permission RECEIVE_SMS for new Android 4.4+ SMS support
  • action Scan Card: specifying a directory will recursively scan it
  • state Wifi Near: support for 'Scan always available' (Android wifi setting)
  • action Phone / Set SMS App (change default, Android 4.4+)
  • Run Log: log monitor and exe service start/restart/stop
  • action Set Tasker Pref: humidity sensor entry
  • app creation: kid app launch data is available in %intent_data in the launch task
  • App Context: App button
  • state: Ethernet Connected
  • action Load Image: parameter Max Width Or Height
  • action Set Timer (system timer) (KitKat+))
  • action MIDI Play, userguide section on MIDI
  • action edit: search menu option
  • state Variable Value: multi conditions
  • multiple If conditions in actions
  • search: search names of installed plugins and show as features
  • Prefs / Misc: Reduce Memory Usage option
  • Prefs / Monitor / Use New Cell API

There's nothing earth-shattering in there, though I dare say that dedicated Tasker users could find lots of interesting uses for an alert played out in Morse code. The state Humidity addition recognizes that more and more high-end phones are coming equipped with a humidity sensor. Also note several additions made to better support KitKat's SMS implementation and timer function, and the Run Log action should be useful for developers and general tinkerers.

Developer Crafty Apps has also added support for event plugins, which you can read about here, and more timeout options for plugins. Event plugins listen for actions instead of conditions, opening up opportunities like the SMS triggers seen above. On top of all this there are a huge number of bugfixes. You can check out the unexpurgated update notes on the official Tasker website, because they're too long for the Play Store.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://shanked.me/ Shank

    Read the update on Twitter; misread "humidity" as "humanity," and assumed that the UI was no longer a mess. Oh well. Humidity is cool too.

    • Kathy William

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      ❥❥❥ �❥❥❥ ❥❥❥ ❥❥�❥ ❥❥❥Anybody moved from Llama to Tasker? Any particular reason?

  • James

    After the update, I had some trouble with my "cell near" profiles. They didn't seem to activate properly anymore, so I had to turn on the "Use New Cell API" preference and start adding more cell IDs to the trigger lists to get them to work. I'm not sure why leaving the new API off and using the cell IDs already stored seems to fail now, but I guess it's OK with the new API and IDs. The only thing is I'll have to spend some time adding more IDs at each location I have with a "cell near" profile. Oh well.

    • shadowx360

      Same here. Thought I was the only one.

  • bat0nas

    Somehow I'm happy with Llama. Anybody moved from Llama to Tasker? Any particular reason?

    • r0xp0x

      I did, though it was like a year ago, so I don't really remember the exact reason. I think it was something that I used Llama for one thing or two, and Tasker for something else, but I could get the same function in Tasker, though a bit more complex to make it work. But if Llama does the tings you want it to, there's really no need to move to Tasker (in my opinion).

  • Vardan Nazaretyan

    The best $2.99 I have ever spent. And it keeps getting better with every update. Great work, kudos to the developer!

    • theunknown

      I second that

  • Tony Pettinato

    Support for event plugins means apps like Pushbullet can now trigger actions, so you can send a push to your device and have it do whatever you like based on the content of that Pushbullet push.

    • Christopher Lee

      I was under the impression that you could use a notification listener for the same purpose? Although it was more hacky and I haven't looked into it in a while...

      • Tony Pettinato

        Exactly: it was hacky. With native support now, any app can plug in.

  • NoBullet

    This is easily the most awesome app in which I have no idea how to use. I love it.

    • Matthew Fry

      For me, it's not so much the how to use, it's the how long to do something useful. Tasker + Triggers is actually a damn powerful combo.

    • JPB

      Tasker + Auto Cast will blow your mind if you have a Chromecast.

  • Maelsturagm

    Does it have a UI yet?

    • theunknown

      It does but not a user friendly one.
      Pent, the Dev has himself said that he is not good a UX and UI designs on his Google Groups posts

  • Keith Ketover

    Still no NFC?!?

    • Owen Finn

      It has NFC?

      • Keith Ketover

        I'm saying that as far as I can tell Tasker still can't trigger actions based on scanning an NFC tag. At least not without a plug-in or other app to pass the trigger along.

  • Keith Ketover

    Still no NFC?!?

  • Mr_Gee

    Guys... you missed the "BT Near" functionality!!

  • br_hermon

    Seriously... I get just as excited when a new Tasker version is released as I do a new version of Android. LOVE IT

  • J_Grouchy

    I really really really really really want to have a reason to use this app that I have had installed on my phone for two years. I just can't think of a single scenario that I personally would really need to automate.

    • Fanarl

      Same here,.

  • Matthew Fry

    I give you virtual kudos* for using the awesome word, 'expurgated.'

    *actual cash value 1/10000000 of a cent.

  • nm92706

    Any chance on getting a list together for best recipes for tasker?

  • thedairycow

    Bluetooth Near was in the beta, hopefully it carried over to the release. That's how I know I'm in the car, without disrupting my Torque setup!

    I owned Tasker for more than a year before I got around to setting anything up, now I have almost 20 active profiles. So much easier than hunting down separate apps for everything.

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