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Tasker or Locale?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by CriticalCritic, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I have been using Locale for about 9 months now, and I can't imagine being without it. I can do virtually ANYTHING with it, and the support/plugins are fantastic.

    Now recently I am seeing more and more mention of this Tasker app. And from what I have read, it seems to have the same purpose as Locale.

    What's the difference here (aside from the price)? Are there things that Tasker can do that Locale can't? What about visa-versa? What's the support like for Tasker? Does it use plugins well, or do they glitch? For those of you that have it, is there anything that you wish it could do?

    I'm curious because I don't know if there's just a sweeping 'fad' in favor of Tasker, or if it is somehow a superior application. So what are your thoughts? Tasker or Locale?

  2. audleon

    audleon Newbie

    I think Tasker is more advanced. It is more difficult to program, but it can do way more than Locale. I've used both and stuck with Tasker. There is a wiki about Tasker and it explains a lot of the programming.

    I have setup a profile that automatically sends a return SMS message during specific hours letting people know I didn't read their txt because of the time. I've also setup one that dims my phone, puts it on silent, and returns txts stating that I'm in a movie. It automatically activates within 50 meters of being at the theaters.

    Some people know how to program a lot more, but I've just now started learning. It pretty much gives you almost full control of the phones features.

    Locale works and is much easier to learn, but I found that Tasker takes place of many of my apps.

    JMO and hope it helps a bit,

    CriticalCritic likes this.
  3. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    It has a setting that automatically responds to the person that sms'd you? That's awesome! I have to use a separate app for that. Locale manages that app for me, but it would be cool if it were native to locale.

    @the theaters feature. Do you have to pre-program the specific theaters into the app, or does it automatically know where all theaters are located?
  4. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert

    I haven't used Locale since it went paid. Initially this was because of reports that the paid version was actually not as good as the (free) beta. Later, when the beta expired without warning, I was completely turned off, and found Tasker (in beta).

    At that time I think Tasker was ahead of Locale in terms of built-in features, but Locale had plug-ins that extended its capabilities. Since then Tasker has grown in leaps and bounds, including adding support for Locale setting/action plug-ins. I would be surprised if Locale hasn't also grown, but I haven't followed it, so I can't speak from experience.

    Based on my outdated knowledge of Locale and my current knowledge of Tasker, I would say that Tasker is much more capable, but probably equally more complicated for a novice user. In fact, I think a lot of the traffic we're seeing regarding Tasker is Q&A sessions with users who recognize its power, but need help getting it to do what they want.

    Regarding support - I never needed support for Locale, so I don't know what it was like, or what it is like now. But for Tasker, I know that the Tasker discussions on Google Groups (the developer) have been a very busy place since the recent Lifehacker posts, and I think Pent and some of the beta testers have been keeping up pretty well with helping people.
    CriticalCritic likes this.
  5. audleon

    audleon Newbie

    There is a write up on the Tasker Wiki page that explains how to program the auto reply SMS, etc.

    As far as the theater programming, I live in a small town and there are only 4 theaters. You can either type in the address and select a radius, use the actual gps location when you are there, or just select the area from google maps. Pretty easy once you figure everything out.

    Take care,

    CriticalCritic likes this.
  6. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    Basically, you can associate tasks with conditions on the phone. For example, I've got an app that I use to track my mileage for work. It uses GPS. I typically leave my GPS turned off because it's such a big battery hog. Without tasker, I have to turn my GPS on, launch the app, get it to grab my location, close the app, turn off GPS. I can configure tasker so that it automatically turns on GPS whenever I launch the app and turns it off when I close the app though. So now I just have to launch the app, GPS quietly turns on in the background, I log my location, close the app and GPS quietly turns off.

    There are all kinds of tasks you can set up. You can set it up so that whenever you get to the office, it sends an SMS to someone. Or whenever you launch a particular app, it sends an SMS. You can do things like "When bluetooth is connected, launch this app," or When I'm at XYZ GPS location, turn the ringer off." Basically, there's a long list of tasks (Turn on/off GPS, send SMS, or e-mail, launch app, adjust volume, etc.....) and a long list of conditions (At 10 am, Only M-F, When battery hits XYZ level, When this app starts, when this app doesn't start, etc.......)

    It's not the most intuitive interface and it does have a pretty big learning curve I think. Once you spend the time really digging into it, you find all kinds of creative things you can do with it. For a $5 app, it's really, really robust IMO.
  7. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    So far as I can tell, Locale is just as versatile (if not more so), and it is without a doubt incredibly more intuitive. It's $5 more, but it's worth it IMO.
  8. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    I disagree. A poster on AppBrain said that he was playing with tasker and he set it up so that if his phone is on AC power (not USB and not battery) and he turns his phone face down, it reboots his computer. (He did this purely for snicks is what I gather.) I really don't think you can do that with Locale. With Tasker, you can do that. I can set Tasker up to turn certain applications on or off or adjust volume settings and ring tones just like with Locale. I can also set it up to do things based on time of day. Let's say you want mobile broadband turned on during the day because you get e-mail for work on your phone, but you don't want it on the rest of the day because it's a battery hog. You can easily set it so that it's on from 8-5 and turns off after that. It doesn't matter where you are, it'll turn off at 5. Maybe you want to let your wife know if you're going to be working late. You can configure Tasker so that it generates a canned SMS and sends it to her if you happen to be at a certain GPS location (work) at 5:30 for example. You can even set it so that if GPS is off, it'll turn on GPS long enough to check your location and then turn it off again. These are all things you can do with Tasker that I don't think you can do with Locale. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though.
  9. Mistiq

    Mistiq Well-Known Member

    I don't have it yet, but Tasker is incredibly versatile. I was going to write a long ass explanation. Fortunately, Lifehacker beat me to it.

    Read up on it and you'll see that there are things that Locale can't even hope to do. Plus Tasker can utilise some of Locale's plugins
    CriticalCritic likes this.
  10. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

  11. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

  12. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    You should! I have mine setup so that when I get in the car, my screen changes to a different desktop, with screen rotation, which has all the icons and info that I could use when driving (Layar, Pandora, Car Finder, Navigation, direct dialers, etc). It also kills wifi and activates my bluetooth, GPS, and launches my text-to-speech app automatically. Then when I get to class, it kills everything and reverts to more appropriate settings.

    Why is it worth the extra $5? I dunno, from what I hear it seems to be much more intuitive than Tasker. But the Locale devs have been in the 'condition based app' game much longer than Tasker, so I'm not surprised.

    I think the huge sway to Tasker happened back when Locale eliminated its beta and forced everyone using it to either pay the new $10 cost or switch to Tasker (in its infancy at the time).

    I would have gone to Tasker also, but as I said it wasn't too far along, and didn't have a good reputation at the time. So I coughed up the cash because it's such an incredible and convenient app! And I am loving it now that Tasker is around to add some serious competition into the market. I hope it jump starts to Locale devs to bend more to the will of the users that are actively suggesting and promoting ideas on their website. Tasker may not be as easy to use, but from what I hear it works! I just wonder if it will cause the Locale devs to drop their prices?
  13. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    Yeah, the phone thing is a Tasker thing. Basically, you can set any event on your phone to trigger another event. If you wanted to know every time your daughter's boyfriend called her, you could set it up so that it sends an SMS to you every time your daughter calls. If you wanted to, you could set it up so that it only sends the SMS if he calls after mid-night. Think of any event that could happen on your phone (phone changes location, phone goes into roaming mode, battery hits a certain level, a certain app starts or stops, an e-mail or SMS is sent/received from someone, a call comes in, a call stops, a certain time comes around, phone is plugged into USB power, etc.....) and then you can associate that with any other task or event on your phone (send an sms/e-mail, kill or start an app, make a call, etc......).

    I'm still playing around with Tasker, but I want to see if I can make it start up a media player when I plug my headphones in, but only during the day. You can easily configure Tasker to do what you've done with locale and have it display a different desktop and adjust volume settings based on your GPS location. It has the bonus of being able to adjust things based on any event on your phone. I think I could configure it to automatically turn off Bluetooth on the phone when I turn my BT headset off, but I'd have to poke around to see.

    I've not used Locale and it has no demo version so I can't compare the two. For $5 I think Tasker is an extremely robust tool.
  14. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    It really sounds fantastic, and I have no doubt that I can figure out the less intuitive UI. So I have a couple questions.

    1- Can you set a different event to trigger by simply leaving a current situation (without needing to create a separate event/trigger to occur)? This is one of the biggest drawbacks with Locale. It cannot do this and the devs have been dragging their feet for months (nearly a year) on resolving this problem. I find the Locale devs are responsive, but less than helpful when it comes to actually resolving many issues.

    2- Can Tasker kill specified apps without a plugin? Can it kill apps on phones with Froyo? The app killer plugin for Locale stopped working when I upgraded to Froyo, and this dev has apparently abandoned it (it has been well over a month since Froyo hit the Nexus One and the dev learned that it didn't work). I need this ability so that I can kill the text-to-speech app when I arrive at locations (I do not want to be sitting in class when my pants suddenly start speaking a dirty text from my wife).

    Due to the #2 drawback alone, I would be willing to dump Locale and switch to Tasker. I have contacted the Locale devs to build an app killer in, I have contacted the app killer plugin dev to fix the issue... nothing is happening and I NEED this ability.
  15. flu13

    flu13 Android Enthusiast

    Here's a question for you Tasker/Locale experts:

    I keep hearing people say, "When I get in my car, it does xxxxx." I tried the Locale beta back in the day and all I could figure out were things based on time of day and GPS location and such. How do you get it to do certain things when you're in the car? I don't want to make it GPS based and have it think I'm in my car while I'm inside or vice-versa. I also don't want to have a day where I leave work at a different time and my phone goes crazy on me.
  16. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    Not sure what you're wanting to do here. Can you give me an example? You can set up Tasker so that when a certain app is killed it triggers a particular action. I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for though.

    Yes it can kill specified apps without a plugin. I've not seen any plugins for Tasker, but haven't looked for them. Natively it can kill a specified app based on a specified edition. I don't have Froyo on my phone so I can't vouch for how it works under Froyo. It appears to kill apps just fine under Eclair.

    Someone with Froyo will need to comment on this.
  17. Maris

    Maris Well-Known Member

    I am fairly new to using Tasker, so am no expert, however I was able to figure out how to use it within a reasonable amount of time. There is a lot of documentation on its Website, many "out of the box" examples and profiles ready for use on the wiki, and the forum is very active. My first question was responded to within 15 minutes.

    I looked at both Locale and Tasker and decided on Tasker because it seemed to me that in order to really personalize it, with Locale you had to use many plug-ins, many of which are an extra charge. With Tasker, these features are built-in with no need to keep downloading extra apps to make it fully work. Additionally, Tasker can use 3rd party apps and many Locale plug-ins if you come up with an idea that hasn't been included in the main app yet. I say "yet" because it is still adding features. The developer is actively involved in the forum and open to new ideas and feature requests.

    If you download the app from Tasker's Website, there is a 7 day trail period so you can work through the learning curve and check it out fully before committing to a purchase.

    For the question about killing apps, as I understand it Froyo has made changes that has disabled that functionality for the most part. The way Tasker handles it is if Tasker starts the app, then the kill app task will work, otherwise not so much. From discussions on other boards, it seems Google is taking steps to eliminate task killer type apps because of the problems they can create by interfering with the way Android was designed to work.
    johnh123 and CriticalCritic like this.
  18. hakoreh

    hakoreh Member

    how about the battery? does it suffer?
  19. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    It depends on what tasks you create. If you have tasks that are dependent on GPS, then battery will suffer. It'll either leave GPS on all the time or turn it on periodically to check your location. Either way will drain the battery. If you have tasks that just run at certain times of the day or when you receive certain phone calls or whatever, you won't notice IMO.
  20. LaCeS OuT

    LaCeS OuT Member

    How do I set Tasker to turn off my phone at a certain time?
  21. flu13

    flu13 Android Enthusiast

    Just in case this question got missed when the thread got split/moved/merged. I'd love to know the answer to this.
  22. LaCeS OuT

    LaCeS OuT Member

    You can have it set to do certain things when you connect to your car's Bluetooth. Or if you have a Car Dock (that the phone identifies as a car dock) or just have a profile for when the charger is plugged in.
    flu13 likes this.
  23. flu13

    flu13 Android Enthusiast

    Oooohhhhh, I see. Unfortunately, one of the things I had hoped to automate was only turning on bluetooth while in my car, but that's still cool.
  24. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    You could easily automate it to turn off bluetooth when your turned your headset off.
  25. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    I don't know if you can make your phone turn completely off as I think that would require root access. You might be able to write a script that would shut down your phone (using root) and then call that script at a specified time.

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