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How To Manage Tasker Profiles and Automate Functions on Android

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Previously mentioned Tasker is an Android automation powerhouse. We’ll show you how to export and import profiles so you don’t have to create them from scratch. We also have some for you to download and tweak to your heart’s extent.

We’ve already gone through some of the basics of how Tasker works in How To Start Tweaking Your Android Phone With Tasker, so we’ll get right down to some of the more advanced stuff.

Backing Up Profiles

You can easily back up all of your profiles to your micro SD card. Open Tasker and press the Menu button.

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Tap “Profile Data” and you’ll get more options.

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Tap Backup, and you’ll see a message telling you where the backup was placed.

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Exporting Individual Profiles

If you share profiles, you can export each one individually. Tap the profile’s name to see a larger view.

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Tap the little wrench and screwdriver icon.

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In the pop-up menu, tap “Export.”

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Tap on where you’d like to copy or save the file to. If you choose to export to your SD card, the profile will be exported to:

/sdcard/Tasker/profiles/profile_name.prf.xml

The other options will just copy the info to your buffer, in case you want to paste it into an email or something.

Importing Profiles

Aside from the profiles we’ll be sharing with you today, there are plenty of places to go to find other people’s creations. Tasker has a few links built-in.

Open Tasker, and hit the Menu button.

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Tap “Browse Profiles.”

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You can choose from a few links here and they’ll open up right in your mobile browser. There are plenty of places on the web, so just search around.

Once you’ve downloaded some profiles, just place them in this folder:

/sdcard/Tasker/profiles

They usually have .prf.xml appended to the end, but they can also be plain .xml files. Either way, hit the Menu in Tasker’s profile view again, and tap Profile Data.

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Tap “Import One Profile” and you’ll see a menu pop up.

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You’ll see the files in the aforementioned folder. Just tap one and you’re done!

Silencing Your Phone Except in a Specific Orientation

If you hate fiddling with volume controls and sound profiles, then this is for you. This Tasker profile will automatically silence your phone unless it’s face-down between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. This is great because you can intentionally place your phone face-down if you’re expecting a call you don’t want to miss, but otherwise it will not disturb you during work hours.

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You can, of course, change the time period this profile is active during. If you keep your phone in your jacket or shirt pocket, you may want to consider changing this profile so that it’s silent unless upside-down or vibrate instead of being silent. Remember that your phone won’t detect orientation changes unless the screen’s on (but you don’t have to unlock your phone).

Turn Radios On/Off at a Specific Time

Say you get out of work at 5:00 PM. You can power on the bluetooth, Wifi, and GPS automatically, so you can make calls with your headset, use public Wifi spots, and check in to your dinner spot. The next morning at 9:00 AM, they’ll turn off automatically while you’re working!

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Conversely, you can change the time and settings so that these all turn off automatically at your bedtime, but then turn again when you wake up. For bonus points, you can change the context to your alarm, so that they turn on whenever you decide to wake up.

Turn on GPS with FourSquare, Google Maps, etc.

I love FourSquare because it helps me coordinate with my friends easily. Using this Tasker profile, whenever you launch FourSquare, Latitude, and Google Maps, the GPS will automatically turn on. It will automatically turn itself off when you close the app as well.

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This can be done with Wifi or Bluetooth if you use Android Notifier to receive your phone’s notifications on your desktop computer, for example, or whenever you put your phone in its dock.

Flash Your Camera LED for Notifications

I love this. I often work late at night and don’t want to wake anyone up, but I also don’t want to miss text messages. With this profile, your phone’s camera LED will blink for 3 seconds when you receive a text message between 11:00 PM and 6:00 AM.

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You can change how fast the light will blink by editing the “Set On” command and how long it’ll blink for by editing the “Wait” command. You can even make it so that this only happens for a specific person’s text messages. The visual cue won’t wake anyone, but will easily get your attention when you sleep. Just remember to pair this with a silent-mode profile, or manually turn off the ringer at night!

Be sure to make sure the green checkmark is showing for whatever profiles you want active, and then hit Apply. You can download the profiles at the link below:

Tasker Profiles (Zipped)


Tasker lets you run a lot of different tasks in one profile, or break things down into multiple profiles so you can micro-manage things better. Tasker gives you both power and choice. Play around with different settings and see what you can come up with!

 

Yatri Trivedi is a monk-like geek. When he's not overdosing on meditation and geek news of all kinds, he's hacking and tweaking something, often while mumbling in 4 or 5 other languages.

  • Published 06/3/11

Comments (6)

  1. _Ron

    Thanks for the great suggestions. On the GPS side having the GPS marked as “on” doesn’t mean that it’s actually using power, it just means if the GPS is requested and the GPS is on a off state Android won’t turn on the radio. At least that is the way it’s supposed to work on most current Android phones. There are some apps that won’t work unless the GPS is “on” even though you may not be able to receive a GPS lock. The FiveGuys app is one of them.

    With the current version of Tasker you can also control the CPU frequency as a power saving mesure. If you have a rooted ROM the set CPU function is located in the “Misc” category. I do this for when my phones screen is off and I set the CPU to only clock to 75% of its max clock.

  2. Biu

    Suggestion:
    I have one profile for auto adjust the display brightness according to light level of the room. For example, if the room is to lighted then I set the display brightness to 100%; if the room is to dark then I set the display brightness to 10%; and so on.
    This way I can get an extra juice from battery.

  3. westie

    Tasker is the best app I have.. add Zoom, by the same developer, and you have a UI Dev tool also.
    I have profiles that;
    Load music app when headphones are plugged in and stops music when unplugged
    Sunlight task to brighten the screen in strong sunlight
    Location profiles for work (quiet) and home (loud)
    An hourly task to chime the hour.
    And many more…
    Finally a task that logs each action to a rolling daily log file to track what it actions!!
    You want to automate it, Tasker can do it.. worth every penny!

  4. John Davies

    I love Tasker, Ive been using it for a while. The one thing I want to figure out how to do is add a delay to GPS off after exiting (or simply switching away from) those apps. If I am using Google Maps Navigation and need to send a quick text or any other task the GPS gets turned off and then when I switch back to nav it tells me I need to turn GPS on (presumably it checks GPS status prior to Tasker turning it on after switching back). And that creates this big ordeal of Maps sending me to my location settings, tasker turns off GPS again when it sends me to settings and its just ugly. I would like to be able to add a 60 second delay or a 120 second delay to toggling GPS back off after exiting the apps to avoid this problem. Anyone have any ideas as to how to do that?

  5. David

    I wish I understood the programming language better so I could do more with it than I do, but I use Tasker for quite a few things. My most recent task I haven’t actually gotten to test yet, but I think it should work. I live in tornado alley and like to be aware of severe weather. When I’m awake, I’m engaged in what’s going on around me and that’s not a problem. But it sure would be nice to know if severe weather threatens when I’m sleeping.

    So far, none of the weather programs I’ve found that alert you to severe weather with alarms and such give you the option to select the time of day you want to receive the alerts. These programs just run in the background all the time, and when there’s an alert, you get it. I found that quite annoying during the last storm when I was talking on the phone while sitting in the rain on my porch, fully aware it was raining. The alert from the weather app kept interrupting my phone call for about 15 seconds every time a new alert was issued.

    So that got me to thinking: Using Tasker’s time contexts, I set up a profile for Tasker to load this weather alert program at 1 a.m. every day, then kill it as an exit task every morning at 8 a.m. Since I set up the profile, we haven’t had any severe weather, so I’m not completely sure it works. I do know that it does load the program every morning at 1 a.m., because there’s a page on the display that comes up every time the program is started. Whether or not the “kill app” actually disables it at 8 a.m….not sure yet. We’ll know the next time we have severe weather sometime between 8:01 a.m. and 1:00 a.m.

  6. Marko

    I just bought Tasker and am reading everything I can. I was wondering if there is a program for a newbie that will somehow tell me what apps are using the most energy. I guess I’m just looking for a way to make my battery stay charged longer. It just seems like it always has to be plugged in to get recharged.

    Maybe a Top 5 list for a newbie to check . Or something like that. Anyone got any ideas or tips.

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