How To Automate and Tweak Your Android Phone with Tasker
Tasker, as the name implies, is an Android app that can automate routines and extend certain functions in your mobile device. It can be a very helpful utility program that reduces the amount of manual navigation you would otherwise do to launch and use apps or establish settings. Presented here is a brief outline of Tasker’s general operation. You can also get some help in turning your phone’s camera LED into a flashlight.
The three important terms you have to understand are profiles, contexts, and tasks. A profile is simply a named set of configurations that affect how your phone works. Under each profile, you can establish contexts which are events or conditions much like when a particular button has been pressed or a certain active app. Then for each context, there are equivalent tasks which are the actions that get triggered once the context or condition is met. So you can, for example, create a profile where Google Maps automatically launches (task) whenever your phone’s GPS shows you’re at a particular location (context).
Now to turn your phone camera LED into a flashlight.
1. Launch the app and create a profile.
Tap the app’s icon to launch it. Since this is the first time you’ll use it, there won’t be any profiles listed. Press the “New” button at the bottom of the screen to create a profile then give it a name.
2. Set the first context.
The next pop-up to appear is called First Context. This means you can actually set several conditions and for the purposes of this example you need two. This pop-up lists several types of contexts like Time, Day, or Location. What you want to choose is Event > Hardware. Finally, select “Button: Camera” under the Hardware category. This turns your phone’s camera button to an on/off switch.
3. Set the task.
Press the Done button to get the Task Selection pop-up. Choose New Task > type in a name for it > tap OK. This will bring up Task Edit. Press the plus sign at the bottom left corner of this box to bring up a list of action categories.
At the bottom of this list is an item called “3rd Party”. This is where you can link Tasker with other Android apps like TeslaLED, which is perfect for what you’re trying to achieve here. If you have TeslaLED on your phone, it should appear on the “Select 3rd Party Action” list. Choose that app and give it the Toggle behavior. Then tap on Done in the succeeding pop-ups until you return to the Profiles screen.
4. Set the second context.
Tap and hold on the context option of the new profile you just created to bring up Context Options. Choose Add to set the second context and this time, select Applications as the type. This may take some time as it loads all your phone’s apps. Afterwards, pick out all the possible programs that would use the camera button and then select the “Not” option on the bottom right corner of the screen. This is to make sure the task you just set does not trigger for the regular camera-related uses of the button.
Tasker has a pretty wide range of configurations. You can even make programming-like conditions that use variables and if/then statements to refine a task’s behavior. Beginners will probably take some time to get used on the app because how extensive it is. But once proficient, you’ll have a lot of tweaking possibilities on your fingertips– literally!