The popular automation app Tasker just picked up a big new feature: The ability to call tasks from Tasker directly from the Google Assistant. It's English-only for now, but you'll be able to trigger your tasks just by name when telling the Assistant to "start" or "do" a specific command in Tasker. Even more powerfully and flexibly, you can also use Tasker's Pattern Matching to perform actions with variables on the fly. But unlike AutoVoice, this only works on the device that has Tasker installed on it — probably your phone.
Tasker is one of the best ways to get advanced functionality out of your devices, and now it's getting even better in the latest update. Version 5.11.13 adds a number of improvements to the de facto app for tinkerers, including Call Screening, easier imports, new variables, and more — but it's not all positive.
Last week, Google remotely disabled a pretty popular Chrome extension, which was found to contain malware. The lead up to that point was complicated, but the ultimate cause can be tied back to a change in ownership in June 2020. It's a common refrain at this point: Developers cash out (as they're allowed to do), but the new unscrupulous owners are only interested in a quick buck. Sometimes these acquisitions come with a tweet or a blog post; in the best cases, the app or extension will even tell you outright that it's under new ownership. But you can't always rely on that.
Google has taken down the Assistant-integrated AutoVoice Action again, for the second time in a year. This time, the company claims the action "promotes content that advocates hate or violence or promotes discrimination," apparently because someone in Germany stringed together a clearly custom command that made the Assistant spout off some hate speech.
Join is the Pushbullet clone created by João Dias (also known as 'joaomgcd'), the same developer behind Tasker and many of its popular add-ons. It allows notifications from your Android device to appear on your computer, complete with the ability to respond to text messages, take screenshots, and more. Join is now testing a new desktop application, with multi-platform support and the ability to sync clipboard data.
Joaomgcd (Joao Dias) is responsible for some of Android's most interesting apps, and one of those is Join. It gives you convenient remote access to the notifications, files, and clipboard on your Android device while you're using another system (and vice versa), and there are a lot of even deeper integrations besides. A major new update to version 2.0 has just been announced, making Join more useful than ever.
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.