For years, Tasker has been one of the best power-user apps available for Android, with the ability to automate (or create shortcuts for) a vast number of actions. Dozens of third-party plugins are also available for Tasker, further expanding its functionality. But after eight years of development, Crafty Apps EU has now transferred ownership of the application to joaomgcd, a major Android developer known for Join and AutoApps.
João Dias, better known online by his handle Joaomgcd, is one of the most prolific indie developers around. In addition to his work on a smorgasbord of Tasker plugins, he's also released Join, a Pushbullet alternative that allows sending commands to your phone via a Chrome extension on a nearby PC. The latest update to the extension adds voice control, so users can "push" links to Android or perform other tasks with a Star Trek-style voice command. It even uses "Computer" as the prompt - classy.
You can do a lot of stuff with Tasker - the possibilities are almost endless. Because they were almost endless, developer joaomgcd has gone and filled in the gaps, creating AutoTools, a new Tasker plugin. Joao calls this 'Tasker Plus,' namely because it can do everything Tasker cannot do.
Instead of being a new app, AutoTools hooks into Tasker and extends it, giving the latter new functionality. This is hugely powerful: you can, for example, set dialogs to appear for a reason of your choosing, or change the animation speed with a quick settings tile. OCR - optical image recognition - is also possible here, meaning you can take a picture and have AutoTools automatically add the text in said picture to Google Keep, or Evernote.
João Dias — better known to the world as joaomgcd — has just announced the beta version of a new Tasker plugin called the AutoArduino. The AutoArduino is just the latest in a series of over a dozen apps from the developer, and it lets owners of the programmable circuit board use Tasker to control any one of its countless digital and analog pins with nothing more than an Android phone or tablet.
The video published by joaomgcd shows a fairly basic demo of the plugin being used to light up an LED in various colors, but in principle there's no reason an Arduino-savvy user couldn't use the AutoArduino to carry out more complex tasks like pouring an espresso or controlling the window blinds in their house.
Joaomgcd hates touching his phone. At least that's what I think the drive behind all of these apps he keeps developing and improving is. He's truly the man who wants to make automation as attainable of a goal as possible, and to that extent, he has built apps like AutoNotification and AutoInput that allow you to create plenty of new actions that the famous Tasker app can make use of in its automation profiles.
Joao has been working on AutoNotification and AutoInput to add plenty of new features enabled by the additional APIs brought in Android N. AutoNotification is getting custom Quick Settings tiles (feature explanation) and Quick Reply in notifications and Notification Groups (feature explanation).
Around the Android corners, joaomgcd is known for his automation tools, most of which rely on heavy Tasker integration and require a level of tinkering that most of us lazy people can't bother with. So when Joao released his new app Join and the featureset seemed to closely mirror Pushbullet's upon close inspection, I was intrigued. Not just because of Pushbullet's latest switch to Pro plans, but because the main selling point of the service was its simplicity. That has not been Joao's strong suit — at least through a newbie's eyes, his apps always seemed a little too overwhelming.
So could Join break the mould and stand out as a capable and simple alternative to Pushbullet?
We often talk about the power of Android, from custom ROMs to modding and personalization, but it still baffles me when I come across an app that opens a world of possibilities like AutoInput and see that it doesn't even require root for most of its functionality. Built as a Tasker plugin, AutoInput comes to us courtesy of joaomgcd, the same guy who brought us AutoCast and AutoVoice. It allows you to create a series of input actions, including physical button presses and various taps and swipes, to emulate some sort of macro sequence that can be executed inside any app of your choosing.
Developer joaomgcd has produced no shortage of Tasker plugins. Okay, that's an understatement. He's produced over twenty of them that integrate seemingly anything and everything with Tasker, giving Android users the capability to automate or control just about whatever they want. Want to switch the lights on using a Pebble smartwatch? Want to trigger more of your phone's functions using your voice? You get the idea.
Well now joaomgcd has decided to try something new. He's introducing an optional monthly subscription that provides users with access to all of his plugins, and it's joined by a new AutoApps app that serves as a central hub for the whole shebang.
With enough money, a collection of Z-Wave devices, and a Vera smart home controller, it doesn't take much to turn your home into an intelligent fortress. There's even an Android app by Vera that puts control of everything into the palm of your hand. But if we've learned anything over the years, it's that you're not impressing anyone until there's a Tasker plugin that can automate everything for you. Now there is.
AutoVera comes to us from joaomgcd, the maker of the best Tasker plugins out there, and security is far from its only application. Not only is your phone able to respond to anything that happens in your home, the opposite is the case as well.