iOS users are now rejoicing over the power that the new Shortcuts, formerly Workflow, is bringing to their iPhones and iPads but Android has long had an automation framework that enabled a lot more. Granted, Tasker might not have the most colorful UI but what it lacks in looks it makes up in power. Android’s premier automator is about to get more powerful thanks to the addition of support for listening to Logcat Events.
Let’s divert to some technical stuff for just a short while. On Android, logcat is a tool where developers and other tools are able to see all the events that happen on the Android system, or at least those that log their events. Being able to listen to logcat events basically allows Tasker to react to any and most events that happen on the phone or tablet.
Tasker developer Joao Dias gives a few examples on what’s possible with this new capability. That includes “augmenting” the Pixel 4’s locked down Motion Sense gestures, perform a different action when unlocking the phone using a different finger, do something when snoozing the alarm, or everyone’s favorite Bixby remapping behavior.
That said, there might be one caveat to this newfound power. Many of Tasker’s abilities rely on facilities and system tools that may not always be officially available or sanctioned by Google. Even if it is allowed currently, Google may someday flip a switch and make it a bad thing to read Logcat events.
For now, however, Tasker offers this augmented experience for users of the current 5.9 beta 8 version of the app. Other beta features include a new Shortcut action and the ability to preview variables even before you use them.