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.
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.
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.
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.
If there's a new product out there whose full potential has yet been realized, developer joaomgcd is ready to step in, showing how just about anything can be done with a Tasker plugin. AutoPebble turns the Pebble smartwatch into a wrist-bound remote control to just about anything you want (as long as it interacts with Android), and this video shows just what cool things AutoVoice and AutoRemote can do when working together. Now we have AutoCast, which expands this degree of control over to the Chromecast.
AutoCast doesn't just cast images, video, and audio the way prior Chromecasting apps have.