iOS’ Shortcuts, born from the former third-party Workflow app, has seen a lot of positive coverage because of how it empowers iPhone and iPad users to somewhat go beyond the limitations of the platform. Just because Android is more open, however, doesn’t mean it’s trivial to do things that you want that the OS doesn’t provide. That’s where Tasker, THE Android automation framework, comes in and its most recent stable release, version 5.9, almost gives you superpowers to control your phone at a tap of an icon.
The biggest new feature in this release is support for reading Logcat events. These events are generated and logged when almost any action or reaction happens on the system. Unlocking the phone with a fingerprint, for example, also includes information on which registered finger was used. This, in turn, can be used by Tasker to perform a specific action, which basically means you launch any app or trigger any action depending on which finger you used to unlock the phone.
Although the highlight of Tasker 5.9, Logcat support is hardly the only notable change. New AutoApps features give users access to an app’s launcher actions (the menu that pops up when you long-press an icon) and perform actions before an alarm goes off. You can also choose a different action to perform when you summon an AI assistant depending on what app you’re currently using.
Tasker gives Android users a lot of control over their phones, including locking it down when they want to. This is particularly important when it comes to privacy and the new Tasker now lets you disable the camera on a system-wide basis so that no app, hidden or visible, will be able to spy on you.
Despite all the power it offers, Tasker has a reputation of having a steep learning curve when just getting started. Fortunately, Tasker’s new owner joaomgcd has no shortage of tutorials and even example projects to get started.