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Aethelflaed's avatar

Android people: Can you help me with Tasker?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13697 points ) November 1st, 2011

I’m trying to get into Tasker, because it seems potentially awesome, but I have no clue how to do anything on it. For starters, my initial UI looks different than most visual tutorials. Most seem to have these text icons at the bottom that go Cancel, Apply, New, Tasks, On. But mine has this icon only thing at the bottom (that also has an extra icon in there to confuse you). And I don’t know how to change this. It’s like I got a slightly different version of Tasker than everyone else… :(

Also, I’m trying to follow these instructions for getting home. But, having never created a successful profile (or task? Thingy. That thing where you make it in anyway do something successful.) before, I’m very confused. I tried two different ways of doing it, one where I pressed the plus sign first (and then had to tell it Application context twice…?), and then the second time I pushed the Tasker icon instead, and that seemed to make more sense following the directions on that link, except that then it doesn’t show up.

I’ve tried looking for various beginners tutorials, but I can’t really find any that aren’t a) a bit more intermediate than beginners and b) totally without icons or graphics, so I still am not sure I’m pressing the right button. So, if you have any, that’d be awesome.

ETA: What is a “profile”? How is it different from a task, and how is it anything other than the opening screen?

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7 Answers

rebbel's avatar

I (think I) can only answer your last question: a profile is a bunch of things like when at home the ringtone is ‘Looney Tunes’ with volume at 5, WiFi is on, work related phone numbers are blacklisted, GPS is off, 3G/4G is off, message tone is on volume 7, etc.
A task is just one of those things?

jerv's avatar

A profile is kind of like a desktop theme on a PC. Gingerbread (Android v2.3) allows you to have one profile for, say, work and another for “not work”, each with it’s own set of icons. The net effect is kind of like having 21 home screens instead of 7, at least on my Droid X.

I’ll have to do some more looking when I get home; lunch is too short :p

Aethelflaed's avatar

@jerv Damn, I’m still on Froyo (but that sounds awesome).

GrayTax's avatar

The version of Tasker you have here is the same as what I have, but there seems to be a newer version available through the Marketplace (Automatic updates for Tasker were turned off for me; maybe it was the same for you?). The new one does seem a tad more user friendly, so the getting home instructions may be easier to follow with it.

A Profile is pretty much as rebbel and jerv say; it’s a collection of Contexts (an event) and Tasks (what Actions you want your phone to take when the event is triggered)

To use rebbel’s example, the Context is the ‘When at home’ part, the Task would be something like ‘Change my settings!’, and each of the other parts would be the Actions.

I haven’t been able to find any decent beginner tutorials either so I share your pain… What little I’ve earned about Tasker I did from just messing around with it (haven’t made it do anything brilliant yet).

Aethelflaed's avatar

@GrayTax Hmmm. I had version 1.1.1u2m, which I uninstalled and installed 1.1.1u2, which gives me the same problem. And when I go to Menu>Info>Help:This Screen it does say that the buttons are Cancel, Apply, New, Tasks, On. So… wtf?

stephen272's avatar

1) The reason the buttons are different are that you have the updated version of Tasker and the tutorial pictures haven’t been updated to match the new UI. But don’t fear, the new icons make sense. From left to right: The check mark means close Tasker and apply changes. The X means close Tasker but cancel the changes. The + adds a new profile. The lightning bolt brings up a menu with the different tasks (you can also add a new task from that menu). The price tag is for global variable (ignore that button for now, it is for more advanced automation tasks that require you to temporarily save data in a variable AKA who last texted you). The final button is to turn Tasker on or off.
2)For your link, when it says press the tasks button, press the lightning bolt. When it says press the icon select button, its talking about the colorful palette things to the right of the A.
3)A profile is the type of instructions that Tasker works with. A profile is made up of two parts, a context and a task. The context is a state or event that signals to Tasker to wake up and do something. The task is the thing you want it to do. So for example, my “Mute in Class” profile has a context of “Calendar Entry – Class Schedule” and a task of “Silence Ringer” (it then has an exit task of “Turn on Ringer” so that my phone will ring when the class is over). The context “Calendar Entry” means that whenever I have an entry in my class schedule calendar, tasker will run the task “Silence Ringer”. The “Silence Ringer” task does exactly what its title says it does. It sets the phone to silent mode.
Bonus) The dev of the app has some great tutorials and pre-made profiles here.
Double-Bonus) When it is no longer 3:30am and I’m not exhausted, I’ll do a video and post a link here. Hopefully that will clarify everything. Until then I hope this helps.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@stephen272 Awesome, thanks, that clears up a lot! I’ll look through those profiles on the link and try my hand at a couple.

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