Task 1: Turn on GPS/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi for Certain Apps AutomaticallyI don't keep GPS positioning on all the time, both for battery efficiency and a niggling sense of privacy. At the same time, I dislike when Maps, My Tracks, Navigation, or Foursquare ask me to turn on GPS, and I'm required to click "OK," then make the toggle in Settings, then head back. For just those apps, I want my GPS to automatically click on. When I'm done with those applications, the GPS should shut off, too. You can easily pull the same trick for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or most any system function, but we'll just show how GPS works.
After you pick your Context, now it's time to add one or more Tasks. Thinking ahead though, we're going to apply this kind of action--turn GPS on when the app launches, then turn it off when it's moved away from--to a few different apps after this. So hit the "New" button in the upper-right corner, then type in a name for your Task that you'll easily grasp later, like "Auto-Launch GPS."
In the bar under the GPS "Set" option, you've got three options: On, Off, and Toggle, the last of which just flips the setting the other way, whichever way it is. There's also a checkbox for an "If," which, if clicked, drops down a box where you can enter in a variable and make it a condition. You could, for example, only have GPS turn on if airplane mode is set to off ("%AIR - Isn't Set"). Our needs, for now, are simple--just have GPS set "On," no matter what.
Well, that was pretty easy. Now you'll see that "GPS Auto-Launch" has just one task: "GPS - Set On." Let's say you were a little more protective of your GPS chip, though, and you wanted Tasker to ask you about GPS, Wi-Fi, or whatnot. The gear-and-screwdriver logo in the lower-right corner gives you that option. Set your "Task Type" to "Menu," and you'll get options to set how long the menu stays up, if there's a default option selected, and even set a background image, if you're feeling extra-custom. But we're just having Tasker take care of the GPS switch for us, so get back to the Tasks screen.
After hitting "Add Exit Task," you'll run through the same process you used to create the GPS turn-on: create a new name template, add the task GPS from the Misc menu, then set it to Off and hit "Done." Now, back at the main screen, you can see that there's a Context (Maps launches), an Enter task (GPS Auto-Launch), and an Exit task (GPS Shutdown). Hit the "Apple" button at the very bottom, and now Tasker will be watching for Maps to launch, then do its auto-GPS thing.
Task 2: Create an Ultimate Morning AlarmHit "New" and choose Time as the Context. I'll have this alarm go off at 6 a.m. and, if I don't respond, play for 3 minutes. You could just set 6-6 as your time to run until you take action, but I'll be nice to my morning self. We're going to add another context, the days of the week, later, but for now, you'll be moved into the Tasks section.
For my own Ultimate Alarm, I'm having a song play from my collection, make my Remember the Milk tasks load up on the screen, and have my phone say, in text-to-speech, "Good morning, Kevin. It's going to be a great day." Why? Because, why not? For these pieces, I added three Tasks: When you're all done and hit "Done," tap on the left-hand side of your Ultimate Alarm entry, where the clock is. From the menu, roll down Context and hit "Add," then choose "Date." From the pop-up chooser, you can get very specific about the months, days of the month, days of the week, and other selectors for when your alarm goes off. Mine's a basic Monday-through-Friday deal.
Task 3: Make Your Phone Quiet Down When Face-DownFor this Context, you would choose State, then pick Orientation. You'll get the options you see at left. I like to stay away from "Face up," "Standing Up," and "Upside Down," because they're pretty common occurrences. For this example, "Face Down" is a pretty deliberate action you take with your phone.
We've only scratched the surface of what Tasker can do, but we know it can do many, many more cool things. If you grab Tasker and give it a try, or just daydream a great if-then combination, by all means--tell us in the comments. We'll check back in on this post and include the great Tasker tasks in a follow-up. Special thanks goes out to "Bloggerific Himself," who turned us onto Tasker via email.