Android and Linux

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tasker scenes

If you haven't been playing with Tasker's new Scene feature, you really need to. I had read about them in the Tasker changelog but didn't have time to test them out and didn't really know what they were until I sat down a couple of days ago and made one. I guess a good way to explain them is that they are like a cross between popup dialogues and Zoom widgets. They are, of course, completely customizable.

Here is my first one. It may not be pretty but it's useful:

They can be triggered through a Tasker widget or shortcut or with a Zoom widget. My entire screen is actually an invisible 4x5 Zoom widget. The top row is blank at the moment except for the asterisk, which actually toggles wifi on and off and changes the color of the asterisk from orange to a nearly invisible gray to indicate it's on/off state. The next two rows, when tapped, execute a Tasker task which displays the scene.

The scene has several short text blocks that trigger various Tasker tasks, some text, a play/pause button that controls playback of the podcast app BeyondPod and a close button to make the scene go away. I'm sure I'll do a lot of reconfiguring, but it puts a lot of my often used controls in a pop-up.

Scenes can be changed with Tasker much like Zoom widgets. For example, the green arrow controls audio play/pause for the podcast app BeyondPod and changes icons depending on it's state, the blocks of text on the right and left are updated by a certain task that runs every 30 minutes, and tapping some of the short texts trigger tasks which begin with a color change to green and return to gray at the end of the task to give visual feedback that they are running. Some of the tasks which I don't need visual feedback for just close the scene. And when I'm not using it, I can look at a nice clean wallpaper.

In case you're curious, the bottom two rows of my home screen, when tapped, lock the screen and can also display images or text. For example, I have a task to grab a weather image, display it for 10 seconds on the bottom part of the Zoom widget, then go back to showing nothing.

All in all, scenes are a powerful new feature. They may be confusing at first, but if you've used Zoom you will find them very familiar and easy to learn.