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Thread: Tasker app: how to turn any Android Tablet into a CarPC without rooting?!

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    Tasker app: how to turn any Android Tablet into a CarPC without rooting?!

    So I posted on the xda forums a post asking for help to find a way to control turn on and off the Android tablet whether the battery is charging or not (when the IGN is on/off). As you know, I've been using an iPad for CarPc, and I also have considered using a $99.00 tablet as a headrest monitor/computer/game center for the passengers (kids). Now I'm also thinking of using an Adam or Motorola Xoom/Samsung Tab to replace the iPad...

    Why? Well it turns out that one xda member directed me to this app: tasker. This thing looks like it's absolutely fantastic! Everything that I ever wanted is already implemented...or is it?

    Since I don't have any Android device, I am copying this from their website but I have now way to test if those claims are true. So any help is appreciated.

    http://tasker.dinglisch.net/

    According to the website:

    Tasker is an application for Android which performs Tasks (sets of Actions) based on Contexts (application, time, date, location, event, gesture) in user-defined Profiles, or in clickable or timer home screen widgets.
    This simple concept profoundly extends your control of your Android device and it's capabilities, without the need for 'root' or a special home screen.

    Tasker came 3rd in the Productivity category in the Android Developer Challenge 2.

    Take the tour to find out more! Questions ? Try the forum.
    Among the actions it can perform:



    There are currently more than 190 built-in actions available in 14 categories.

    Alert: Flash, Notify LED/Sound/Vibrate, Cancel Notification, Popup
    Timed/WithTaskIcons/WithTaskNames, Torch, Vibrate, Vibrate Pattern

    App: Calendar Insert, Go Home, Kill App, Load App, Open Map (/StreetView/Navigate)

    Audio: Alarm/Call/DTMF/Media/Notification/Ringer/System Volume, Haptic Feedback Toggle, Microphone Mute, Notification Pulse, Notification/Ringer Vibrate, Silent Mode, Speakerphone, Sound Effects toggle

    Dialog: 28 System Settings dialogs

    Display: Auto-Brightness, Close System Dialogs, Keyguard, Keyguard Pattern, Display Brightness,

    Display Off Timeout, Display Rotation, Set Wallpaper, Stay On, Status Bar (expand/collapse)

    Encrypt (not in market version): File/Directory Encrypt/Decrypt,Enter/Clear Passphrase

    File: Browse Files, Directory Create/Delete/Move, File Copy/Delete/Move/Open, Write To File, Read Line, Read Paragraph, Zip/Unzip File

    Input: Button, Dpad, Type (Cyanogen only), Input Method Select, Soft Keyboard (show)

    Media: Android Media Player Control, Music File/Dir, Play/Forward/Back/Stop, Photo/Series/TimeSeries, Record Audio, Record Audio Stop, Ringtone, Scan Card

    Misc: (Broadcast) Action Intent, Component Intent, Get Location, GPS Set, Run (ASE) Script, Say, Say To File, Shut Up, Search For, Set Clipboard, Set Timezone

    Network: Airplane Mode, Autosync, Bluetooth, Bluetooth ID, Compose Email, Browse URL, HTTP GET, HTTP POST, Mobile Data (on/off), Mobile Data 2G/3G (Cyanogen only), USB Tether, WiFi (set/toggle), Wifi Disconnect/Reassociate/Reconnect, Wifi Sleep, Wifi Tether, Wimax (set/toggle)

    Phone: Call, Call Log, Call Block/Divert/Revert, Compose MMS/SMS (Templated), Contacts, End Call, Radio, Send SMS, Send Data SMS, Silence Ringer, Take Call

    Tasker: Change Icon Set, If, End If, Goto Action, Perform Task, Profile Toggle, Query Action, Set Widget Icon, Set Widget Label, Stop, Wait, Wait Until

    Variables: Set/Clear/Inc/Dec/Query/Randomize/Split/Join/List

    Zoom: Element Position, Size, State, Visibility, Text Size, Text, Image, Text Colour, Image Alpha

    3rd Party: Android Notifier, Astrid, BeyondPod, JuiceDefender Data/Toggle, NewsRob, OfficeTalk, SleepBot, SMS Backup+, TeslaLED, WidgetLocker

    And what can trigger those actions?

    Not only gestures:

    Unlike some implementations, you don't need to do anything to initiate capture of a gesture, Tasker will automatically enable monitoring for gestures in the contexts in which you define it.
    But also:


    Tasks can be carried out based on any combination of:

    The application which is currently running

    The time () e.g. at 2:30, after 10pm, every 20 minutes until 3am

    The date () e.g. Sundays and Mondays, 30th of every month, the 10th of June or December

    The geographical location () e.g. at home, in the office

    The state () of something e.g. whether the device is docked

    When an event occurs ()
    e.g. an SMS arrived, battery is full, headphones connected
    the device is moved in a gesture e.g. it's tilted 90 degrees and back
    a notification is clicked.

    When a Widget or Shortcut is clicked, or a Timer Widget expires on the Android home screen
    Here are the application, time, day location and event (code select/event edit) context configuration screens:
    (more here on the tour page.)

    So when the device is docked we can: turn on brightness to the max (if it's day time), launch an app, start playing music, unless it's night time and we're close to home and the garage is under the kids bedroom it which case the volume should be XX%...




    OMG. Would that work on a tablet? Can anybody test this (you Archos and Galaxy tab owners?).

    If so...whoa...this thing s I'm going to get an Android for me soon.

    ---------- Post added at 11:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:52 AM ----------

    Lifehacker:

    Make Tasker Read New SMS Out Loud While You're Driving

    More setup examples here (also lifehacker):
    • Set preferences for each application: Give the Kindle app a longer screen time-out. Make Maps or Foursquare automatically turn on GPS, and have a file browser launch when you trade out SD cards. Have your music and other audio apps lower the volume to 50 percent when you plug in headphones, so you never get a way-too-loud moment.

    • Time of day automation: Make your phone go into airplane mode overnight, but re-connect for a few minutes every 30 minutes to grab messages. Set up your phone to play specific or random songs from your collection as an alarm, back up files from your SD card every day, load up an application at a certain time.
    There's also [WIKI]http://tasker.wikidot.com/profile-index[/WIKI] at the tasker webpage, but it seems nobody is using this specifically for tablets carputers yet. It also seems that (a) Android users are cheap, whinning about a $6.00 coo app? (b) that they are overly concerned about battery usage (most of the profiles are about turning of 3G and wifi antenna, WTF?). Thankfully that's not a problem in the car!


    There are exceptions however, this Australian dude has a profile specific for listening music in the car:

    I like to listen to Shoutcast radio while driving, and I drive for very short distances within the city (Buffalo!). This requires me to quickly put my Moto Droid in and out of the Car Docking system. Also I have a 1999 car, so I have to always plug in the the 3.5mm jack from the cassette to route audio to the car stereo system. It can get annoying and I want to save time in getting my Shoutcast app started, which I don’t normally use when at home (I got my MacBook for that anyway) or anywhere else. Also I don’t really need my GPS and Navigation when at home. So keeping all these in mind I created a profile called “Driving-Music”:

    Contexts:
    a) Car Docked
    b) Headset Plugged

    Actions:
    a) App – Kill App – Car Home (since I never really use it)
    b) Misc – GPS – On
    c) Net – Wifi – Off
    d) Audio – In-Call Volume – Level 6 (since I like to talk on the phone without
    holding it to my ear while driving)
    e) App – Load App – Navigation
    f) Audio – Media Volume – Level 10 (I need to crank it up)
    g) App – Load App – XiiaLive Lite (Ad-supported official Shoutcast app for Android)
    h) Audio – Speakerphone – On

    Exit Action:
    a) App – Kill App – XiiaLive Lite (this app can suck some memory, so better
    to kill it when not in use)

    Also I didn’t put any other Exit Action, because I thought of long drive scenarios where my girlfriend on the passenger seat might take the phone out of the docking system, as well as unplug the stereo jack to check something on the phone. So it would be violating the contexts but that doesn’t mean the scenario overall has changed. Might add variables to look for time gaps between a context exit and a context re-entry, if you know what I mean.
    (Lifehacker.au)

    Very cool, just miss the display brightness options. But can't wait to know if this lot would work on newer tablets, specially 2.2 and beyond, but also on cheap $99.00 tablets...

    It seems to me that, if it works, we could create a forum here to share profiles like the above, more to our liking...

    ---------- Post added at 11:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:09 AM ----------

    (hummm, I wish I could separate the above posts...probably this one is going to go there too, I should stop posting now...LOL)

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    Ok, that seals it, I'm getting an Android tablet for the car now. I was going to try and write an app that does this kind of stuff, but someones already done an awesome job of it.

    Got a few extra rules in mind
    - send e-mail with location every time car is parked
    - send sms if tablet not unlocked within 2 minutes of car starting
    - start gps tracking tablet if receives sms with specific text
    - e-mail photo taken with front facing camera if receives sms with specific text or tablet not unlocked
    - start MyTracks every time car starts (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/02/gu...eeding-ticket/)

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    I'm currently working on a Samsung Tab setup, hence my sig *lol*. As I've been researching getting a tablet, I would try and get one w/out the service plan. Depending on your cell phone (I have a rooted Evo 4G), you can wirelessly tether your Android device to your phone, thereby not having to purchase another service plan.

    If you're getting one and plan to mount it where it has a view of the road, you might want to check this out, as well. I've been playing w/it on the Evo and it's pretty awesome.

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    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmonkey23 View Post
    Ok, that seals it, I'm getting an Android tablet for the car now:
    I'm on the same road...I'm this close to buying a galaxy tab and ditch the fx computer.

    Got a few extra rules in mind
    - send e-mail with location every time car is parked
    - send sms if tablet not unlocked within 2 minutes of car starting
    - start gps tracking tablet if receives sms with specific text
    - e-mail photo taken with front facing camera if receives sms with specific text or tablet not unlocked
    - start MyTracks every time car starts (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/02/gu...eeding-ticket/)
    Great ideas. Let us know about your results, maybe you coould post your profiles so we could share?

    Quote Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
    I'm currently working on a Samsung Tab setup, hence my sig *lol*. As I've been researching getting a tablet, I would try and get one w/out the service plan. Depending on your cell phone (I have a rooted Evo 4G), you can wirelessly tether your Android device to your phone, thereby not having to purchase another service plan.
    I went to best buy yesterday to check the Motorola Xoom out, it was sold out and I was there playing with the Galaxy tab instead. Very, very cool. I wonder if the tab will be upgradable to honeycomb? It does not have a dual core, that's why I wonder...

    If you're getting one and plan to mount it where it has a view of the road, you might want to check this out, as well. I've been playing w/it on the Evo and it's pretty awesome.
    on the truck I would definitely want a bigger screen, but on the small FX it would fit perfectly mounted upside down o. The overhead console. I have the Xenarc mounted there, and the tab is actually smaller and thinner than that brick. It's a great spot and I bet I would have the camera with a clear view of the road.

    The app sounds amazing, I think it deserves it's own thread!

    Thanks,

    Rh

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    Been using Tasker on my Droid X since i first got it. REALLY powerful app which helps me automate alot. Its main car pc uses are to start wifi tethering upon bluetooth connection, output lat/lon to a log file, and control volume based on who is calling me.
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    I decided to setup my truck and my car w/the same setup: Tab, 3.5mm to RCA to a Pioneer DEQ-9200, then the appropriate amps for each vehicle. I'm modding a Tab case to fit over the rear view mirror (which is worthless in the truck and not necessary in the car b/c of the small stick on mirrors I'm using) so that way I can transport it from one to the other with no fuss, plus I can use it outside of the vehicles. I wanted something smaller than the iPad, so it would be easily transportable inside movie theaters, restaurants, etc, or when I have to leave the vehicle for an extended period of time.

    I really wouldn't worry about single core vs. dual core in this scenario, as the 1Ghz processor in the EVO is supposedly slower than the 1Ghz processor in the tab, and I can run a plethora of apps w/out tasking the processor of the Evo.

    Finally, killing two birds with one stone, I don't think the core is the determining factor regarding getting 2.4 b/c the upcoming HTC Flyer will have a 1.5 single core. Oh, you haven't seen the Flyer? Feast your eyes on the goodness :

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/15/h...-7-inch-flyer/

    http://www.htc.com/www/product/flyer/overview.html

    Shoots in 720p, too

    Bad part is that is is being listed in Amazon UK for $670 Euros....~$900 USD, so I'll be sticking to the Galaxy Tab for while
    Last edited by whats77inaname; 02-25-2011 at 11:20 AM.

  7. #7
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonicxtacy02 View Post
    Been using Tasker on my Droid X since i first got it. REALLY powerful app which helps me automate alot. Its main car pc uses are to start wifi tethering upon bluetooth connection, output lat/lon to a log file, and control volume based on who is calling me.
    Oh well, I think this is the killer app for the platform. I asked around some Apple forums, and that is a common complaint. There is no J/B app for the iOS that can do anything like the tasker, and people are jumping ship and getting Androids because of it.

    ---------- Post added at 10:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:45 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
    I decided to setup my truck and my car w/the same setup: Tab, 3.5mm to RCA to a Pioneer DEQ-9200, then the appropriate amps for each vehicle. I'm modding a Tab case to fit over the rear view mirror (which is worthless in the truck and not necessary in the car b/c of the small stick on mirrors I'm using) so that way I can transport it from one to the other with no fuss, plus I can use it outside of the vehicles. I wanted something smaller than the iPad, so it would be easily transportable inside movie theaters, restaurants, etc, or when I have to leave the vehicle for an extended period of time.

    I really wouldn't worry about single core vs. dual core in this scenario, as the 1Ghz processor in the EVO is supposedly slower than the 1Ghz processor in the tab, and I can run a plethora of apps w/out tasking the processor of the Evo.

    Finally, killing two birds with one stone, I don't think the core is the determining factor regarding getting 2.4 b/c the upcoming HTC Flyer will have a 1.5 single core. Oh, you haven't seen the Flyer? Feast your eyes on the goodness :

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/15/h...-7-inch-flyer/

    http://www.htc.com/www/product/flyer/overview.html

    Shoots in 720p, too

    Bad part is that is is being listed in Amazon UK for $670 Euros....~$900 USD, so I'll be sticking to the Galaxy Tab for while
    I heard that the B&N's Nook is getting Honeycomb soon too, so yeah, it does not need to have dual core. It's just that I feel that:


    1. Honeycomb is more demanding than the ones that came before it;
    2. Samsung has a lousy history of allowing upgrades;
    2. Rooting with some xda tricks sometimes renders functions, like cameras, BT, inoperable;

    What I like most about the Samsung is the screen. Seems to be close enough to the iPad specs, which are great (AnandTech) with 666:1 constrast ratio. Samsung builds great tvs, so that's not a surprise.

    Will the HTC screen be that good? Motorola's Xoom apparently is a disaster as far as the screen is concerned. Lot's of color shifting at an angle, not so great viewing angles as the iPad, not as contrasty or deep looking (see this). Very disappointing, specially for the price.

    HTC has a great reputation though, and I doubt it will come with things like SD card not working (Xoom). So it can be an option, but by then I'm hoping the current tab will get much cheaper and totally worthy it for the screen alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RipplingHurst View Post
    I heard that the B&N's Nook is getting Honeycomb soon too, so yeah, it does not need to have dual core. It's just that I feel that:


    1. Honeycomb is more demanding than the ones that came before it;
    2. Samsung has a lousy history of allowing upgrades;
    3. Rooting with some xda tricks sometimes renders functions, like cameras, BT, inoperable;
    Well, as far as basic functionality, for what we'll be needing it for, I'm not overly concerned about Honeycomb. It'll get done eventually. If not, I'm really only planning running:

    -PowerAmp, paid version
    -The driving app listed above
    -Google maps
    -Vlingo

    Given that, rooting won't really be necessary, so your number 3 will be negated

    I downloaded and am playing w/the Android App developer kit, so when I finally get a Tab, I'll probably create an app/front end to incorporate the various apps I'm interested in using. It's very user friendly and doesn't seem like it'll take too much to put something together for personal use, and tweak it as I get more comfortable.

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    True that. I don't see the need of using to many apps anyway, but multitasking is good to have, if well implemented. I want to automate as much as I can, and having pop ups/notification/widgets displaying what I need to know without having to click on things or loading apps (like obd, etc.).

    I don't even need nav, just traffic info and music (streaming via Orb?) control, playlist selection. I plan to leave the tablet in the car at all times (making it 'removable' for maintenance or eventual having to park in bad neighborhood issues but not portable in an everyday sense), I think I can get away with that if I mount it on the center console (truck) or in the overhead console (car). I'm sure wife would want it that way :-)

    Keep us posted on your progress, please! I'll take a look at this kit too.

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    winamp app for android has two way music playback, its what i use. I can control my main pc and playback on main audio or allow my android device to play the music stored on my main pc.

    To be funny once i programmed tasker to start the winamp app when i connected to my home wifi, then sent a command to the main house PC to turn the volume up and play AC/DC "Back in Black" as i pulled into the garage. I was really that day!
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