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Tasker - worth the money despite steep learning curve?

Discussion in 'Android Apps & Games' started by AJP123, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. AJP123

    AJP123 Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm a fairly new person to Android phones, and I've seen everyone rave about the app "Tasker", saying how it can automate everything they need on their phones.

    Could anyone elaborate for me as to what it can automate, and how long it takes to learn how to use it? For someone who hasn't done any coding for computers, It looks rather scary.

    Thanks

    God bless
    =)
     

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  2. barqers

    barqers Android Expert
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    Just reading through the profiles on the Tasker wiki can give you a brief idea of what Tasker can do for you:
    Profiles - Tasker Wiki

    Personally, I have it to block calls while I sleep, turn off sounds when I'm in class/at work, remind me if I have any unread emails, calls, texts, open media player when I plug in headphone, text back my phones location and play loud music for 30 seconds when it gets a text message with a secret code in it, etc.

    To be honest though, I've had lots of programming experience, and still found taskers learning curve steep. Now it's a breeze. Just depends if you REALLY need automation, and if you're ready to spend a good 30 minutes trying it out before you start getting the hang of it!
     
  3. amlothi

    amlothi Android Expert
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    In addition, read through any of the Tasker threads already on this forum. That will give you an idea of 1) what others are doing, 2) how difficult it is to learn, 3) the level of support available to you on this forum

    Furthermore, Tasker has a free trial. Why not use it and see?

    Short answer: YES, Tasker is well worth the money (IMO)
     
  4. Pinmac1

    Pinmac1 Android Enthusiast
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    I have no programming experience and downloaded Tasker the week after I got my first Android phone. It is fairly intimidating but I now have it set up to change the brightness on my phone depending on the application being used, turning off Wifi, mobile data and bluetooth off when face down, going into airplane mode/turning on the clock/dimming when put on the charger at night, turn the ringer off when in church and at work (based on time) and the latest one is using Tasker to turn off the lock on the screen when connected to my home network (you wouldn't believe how that used to irritate me!). These are only about half of the tasks I have set up and I feel like I have only scratched the surface.
    Barqers gave excellent advice on looking at the Wiki Profiles. If you find a useful one you can either download it directly or enter it yourself which gives you good practice. As you can see I feel that it is well worth the money. Coming from a Palm/Windows background I can't believe how cheap Android apps are and this one is well worth the price of a sandwich.
    As amlothi says there is a week's free trial available at Tasker for Android so you really can't lose. HTH.
     
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  5. CriticalCritic

    CriticalCritic Android Expert
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    Read some of this:

    http://androidforums.com/android-applications/145517-tasker-locale.html

    Summary: Tasker blows Locale out of the water in BOTH power (Tasker can do much more) and price (Locale charges for plugins, it would cost a total of about $25 to get Locale relatively close to doing what Tasker can do for $7). However Locale easily wins in user friendliness.

    The thread goes on to exemplify the many uses and a few shortcomings of both apps.
     
  6. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
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    Worth is always a highly subjective matter, regardless of the topic. Since you haven't posted anything about yourself it's impossible to even attempt to answer such a question.

    I find it very worthwhile. YMMV as not everyone does.

    I'd also suggest looking at the Tasker site and forums. Expecting everyone to tell you every single thing that Tasker can do is a bit unreasonable IMO.

    As for how long it takes to pick up, that's, again, a highly subjective matter. There's no single answer for every person out there. Coding experience helps but I've seen people with plenty of coding experience claim that Tasker's learning curve was very steep. I have a little coding experience (it has been at least 10 years though) and had no problems picking Tasker at all. It really just depends on how you learn and how well you pick up this kind of stuff.

    I suspect that if you're the type that tends to learn by memorizing steps to accomplish something that you'll have a lot of difficulty picking up Tasker. If you can pick up on the concept of how Tasker works (i.e. learn what profiles, contexts and tasks are and how they work with each other) you'll probably have an easier time. Also, if you're unwilling to look at sample profiles and tinker with them you'll probably have a harder time learning. You definitely need first hand experience and initiative to really make use of it.

    For what it's worth I currently use Tasker to:

    • Disable screen lock and screen dimming while USB power is connected.
    • Silence the device while in the multimedia dock, except for calls.
    • Enable Google Voice forwarding to my office landline while I'm actually in the office and disable it while I'm out. This is because my office voicemail intercepts calls before GV's voicemail and I don't want that. This requires a GV plugin for Locale.
    • Announce the caller's name, when available. If the name isn't available, announce the incoming phone number. I use the SVOX TTS engine as I wouldn't be able to stand hearing Pico announcing calls.

    If you really want more examples, you should read through the existing Tasker threads. They're also handy for learning more about Tasker.
     
  7. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    I definitely think Tasker is worth the money, but I agree that using the free trial period is the best approach. The main thing that bothers me about using Tasker is that Google is progressively limiting what apps like Tasker can do. Some functions became unavailable in Froyo, and more were affected by Gingerbread. Of course, this is not a reflection on Tasker, but it can make it less useful over time.

    I've got time-based profiles that change my ringer and notification volumes, silence these things when it's in the desk dock at night, restart Copilot after I've answered an incoming call, remind me of uncleared notifications for missed calls, sms, email, appointments, etc, turn on Wifi when I'm near known Wifi networks... the list goes on and on.

    While Tasker has its limits, the main limit is your own imagination. I know that sounds corny, but it's true!
     
  8. CodeMonkey

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    Much like everyone else, I'd say yes it is worth the money - but try the free trial and see if it is for you.

    Some things I use it for:
    - silence calls and notifications at night, except for whitelisted numbers
    - when I am in the office, automatically switch to vibrate mode during calendared meetings
    - automatically text my girlfriend when I've left work and am heading home
    - when I make a call using my car kit, return to the car home screen / google nav on ending the call.
    - (optionally) read text messages whilst connected to my car kit
    - delay my pin lock (through a paid plugin)
    - switch the pin lock off when charging (through the plugin)
    - lock my phone remotely based on a trigger sms
    - sound an alert remotely based on a trigger sms
    - return location information based on a trigger sms
    - retrieve location information (Town) using Google's geolocation API
    - retrieve weather information using Google's weather API
    - display location, weather and current profile information (through the Minimalistic Text widget)
    - put bluetooth and wifi toggles in my notification bar enabling easy access.

    (Despite all these, my battery usage shows on average only 2% daily attributed to Tasker)
     
  9. Yeahha

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    Tasker is worth the money. I did not find it to have too much of a learning curve and I have little programing experience. Given I am not able to figure out some of the real advanced stuff they detail on the website on my own but there is a lot of support available if you are trying to do something.
     
  10. NZtechfreak

    NZtechfreak Android Expert
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    IMO Tasker is the best app in Android if you're at all technically minded/able. Well worth the money, but your mileage may vary.
     
  11. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Android Expert
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    Every time I read one of these posts I get another great idea on what to do with Tasker.
     
  12. UncleMike

    UncleMike Android Expert
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    That's the problem I have. Last time I counted I had 83 profiles. I have since disabled some, and probably created others. Sometimes I think I'm asking too much of Tasker.
     
  13. barqers

    barqers Android Expert
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    Lol that happened to me too. Mind you I only have 20 profiles atm. It'd be one heck of a deal to have 83 though!
     
  14. Pinmac1

    Pinmac1 Android Enthusiast
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    I get all the ideas but then find I can't work them out...........
     
  15. atraum

    atraum Well-Known Member
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    Depending on what you need Tasker for you might also try the app called AutomateIt. I believe it's fairly new and it is free. I'm sure it doesn't do the plethora of things Tasker does but like I said it all depends on what you are going to use it to automate. Also, I haven't done any battery tests with AutomateIt so not sure what kind of performance hit you're going to take.
     
  16. Pinmac1

    Pinmac1 Android Enthusiast
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    Don't know if the OP ended up trying Tasker but this may help others who are new to it. Embarrassingly, more than 2 months after downloading it I have found that Menu>Info>Userguide takes you to...... a User Guide which explains settings. Now this is probably really obvious but oh how I wish I had realised it was there 2 months ago!
     

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