Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time.
Tasker is the current king of Android automation, but it's not exactly easy to use. Other apps have tried and failed to make it easier to understand the complex actions and various dependencies that arise when you automate Android. Dessin takes a completely visual approach to setting up actions – it's a little like an interactive flow chart. Is this the next big thing in Android automation?
Dessin is designed around a series of nodes, each one with specific actions like toggling WiFi or silencing the phone.
You gotta love it when a community of developers congregates around some exciting hardware. That's certainly what's happened with the Pebble smartwatch: it's been getting steadily more capable ever since its release, thanks in no small part to Android and watch app developers. We've seen apps link the Pebble and the popular automaton engine Tasker before, but PebbleTasker (catchy!) does it better than anything else so far.
This go-between app will install a companion app on the Pebble and allow you to assign any three tasks you want to the top, select, and bottom buttons on the right edge of the watch.
The developer behind some of the best extensions to the popular Tasker automation app has released another plugin into the Play Store, one that expands on how users can launch and access apps. AutoLaunch offers two primary functions: the ability to dynamically launch apps and the option to pull up app queries. You can head over to the plugin's website for instructions on how to get set up, but first, see the new functionality in action in the video below.
If there is one thing we all eventually rely on with mobile devices, it's having a sturdy Wi-Fi connection. Whether it's because of a low data cap, you live or work somewhere with a weak cell signal, or like me, the local cellular technology is stuck in the stone age, you probably have a few wireless networks saved on your phone or tablet. While you probably take it for granted that your devices will automatically connect to these networks when they are in range, some people are finding that feature hasn't been working as expected since upgrading to Android 4.3.
Let's be honest, most of us will never get to live in a crazy futuristic home like the Jetsons, but that doesn't mean we can't strive for a few of the simple luxuries. To that end, Doug Gregory is on track to make his living room smarter than the bridge of the USS Enterprise, all with a few electronic controllers and extensive use of Tasker. There's no way around it, you really need to see the video for this one.
Automagic attempts to be Tasker, only easier to use. The problem is that Tasker is already pretty straightforward, and while Automagic makes certain things easier, it makes others more difficult. Still, a little competition never hurt anyone, and there are many ways Automagic challenges Tasker to step up its game.
What it Does
The premise behind Automagic is nothing new. It is an app that automates tasks based on a wide range of variables.
Hot on the heels of Tasker's official 4.0 release which brings a Holo-styled UI for users on Android 4.0+, Crafty Apps has just dropped the price to $1.99. Normally priced at $6.49, this is the first time any of us can recall the popular automation app having ever been on sale.
If you haven't heard of Tasker, it has long stood as the most popular automation app for Android. While not the easiest to learn or the most user friendly, its power and flexibility remain mostly unrivaled, even becoming the platform to build a game.
Back in January, Tasker dev Crafty Apps showed off the app's upcoming redesign, which finally brings the Holo look to the table. Now, that update has left its beta stages and made its way into the Play Store. Yay for that!
However, there's a catch: the new look isn't for everyone. The app will actually continue to show the existing interface for those on Gingerbread and under, while those on Android 4.0+ get the pretty new UI.
This is one of those things that you just have to see to believe. Developer Dave Sapien is working on an "experimental pop up text adventure" that relies on Tasker as the development environment and Tasker App Factory to package the apk. This isn't a particularly easy feat, given that the platform is mostly unsuitable for complicated sounds and graphics. His solution is to make the entire game out of simple dialog boxes, each with two options that guide a player through the story.