Tasker: Why my smartphone is smarter than your smartphone

I don’t blog about smartphone apps often, but Tasker is immensely cool. Does your phone do this? Mine does:

  • When I get home, turn ringers off and block everyone not in my address book from calling.  Then automatically send them an SMS requesting them to identify themselves.  So telemarketers can go to hell.  More importantly, automatically put on a family-friendly wallpaper. When I leave home, go back into rock and roll mode.
  • When I am reaching office, prompt whether to send an SMS to my assistant to get coffee ready.  If I plug in power at office, assume I am using the smartphone as a desk clock, and launch the clock automatically.
  • Automatically silence the phone and inform any callers that I’m in a meeting, by observing the time slots marked busy in my calendar.
  • When I run GPS-intensive apps like Waze, dim the screen to save some battery.
  • When I am driving with Waze running, automatically forward all calls to voicemail, followed by an automated SMS informing the caller that I’m driving.  If an SMS comes in, read it out loud.
  • When I am at my favorite foot reflexology place, automatically enter airplane mode for an hour.   Do the same when I am at gym.
  • I can set a location-based reminder.  For example, remind me to buy a cake when I am near the cake house.
  • If I make a call with the phone lying flat, automatically turn on speakerphone.
  • When running reading apps like web browsers, delay screen timeout.
  • This is cool for online banking: When I receive the TAC SMS from Maybank2U or UOB, the number is parsed, copied onto clipboard and broadcast to the desktop.  Then I can simply paste it into the TAC field in the browser.
  • I made a NAP button.  One press, it prompts for a duration or assumes 30 minutes by default.  Then the phone goes into airplane mode, and the alarm will ring after the specified time.  And airplane mode will be turned off again.
With Tasker, you can make your Android phone aware of its location and states, and perform many automated tasks accordingly.    The possibilities are unlimited.  It’s not free, but it’s inexpensive and worth every cent.

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