Tasker tips

Learn to use geofencing

Yes, that is a 2001 Geo Metro in a fencing bout, but that’s not the kind of Geo fencing I’m talking about. A smart home geofence is an imaginary circle around your home location. The GPS on your phone can be used to trigger different actions when you cross this “fence”. If you’re like me, you take your phone with you nearly everywhere you go, so it’s a pretty good indicator of whether you’re home or not. A good smart home setup takes advantage of this. I use it all the time with my smart thermostat setup.

Smart switches are usually better than smart bulbs

Smart switches let you continue to use the wall switch as an on/off switch. Conversely, a smart bulb loses its smartness if someone turns off the wall switch. More info: Smart bulb vs Smart Switch In the perfectly automated home of the future, there will be no need for manual switches. But until it exists, there will inevitably be times when it’s most convenient to flip a switch. If you have to choose between the two, it’s ususally better to have the usability of a smart switch. However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra you can use both smart switches and smart bulbs simultaneously.

Family acceptance

“You’re most likely the techie in the house, but think about the non-techies in your family or friends that visit often.  Any hardware or automations that you build out should be easy to use in ways that people are used to.  Your family should never get frustrated or confused trying to turn on the family room lights.” Matt Ferrell,  Undecided with Matt Ferrell 

For more tips from Matt keep reading, or have a look at his Youtube channel.

Use both Google Assistant and Alexa

You don’t have to choose between the two voice assistant giants. You can connect all your smart home devices to both Google and Alexa at the same time. Then, use whichever is most convenient to control your devices.

Watch out for missing neutral wires in old home wiring

If you have an old home with old wiring, your light switches may not have a neutral wire. This is a problem for most smart switches (detailed explanation of the problem and solution). A circuit with a neutral wire can switch a light off while still delivering power to the light switch. With no neutral wire, the smart switch loses all power when the switch is turned off. Without power, a smart switch can’t communicate with your smart home, which is obviously a problem. One smart switch that works without a neutral wire is the Lutron Caseta dimmer switch.

Get used to voice control

Several years ago when I got my first Alexa device, I felt a little weird talking to it. Now, it’s a regular part of my life. In fact, it’s part of the family. It’s also the most common way I interact with my connected devices.

Find dead spots

Many of your smart devices will connect using WiFi. WiFi networks become more congested as more devices connect to them. Before you go crazy buying new networking equipment, use your mobile phone and a WiFi analysis app to find the dead spots.

Use LAN when you can

Wireless technology has come a long way in recent years, but it’s still common to run into problems with signal interference or range. If you can, wire your home with CAT6 for wired LAN access in as many rooms as possible. This becomes especially important if you have multiple high bandwidth devices like streaming video or security cams.

Tasker Profile to Turn on the Flashlight with a Shake

There are times when you need to turn on the flashlight in a hurry. Though Android phones running on latest OS versions like Marshmallow and Nougat etc. have got the flashlight in the notification drawer tray. But what if you are using an Android phone running on older versions? Since Tasker app has many of the best Tasker profiles you can create for almost every kind of automation, you can Tasker profile to turn on flashlight with a shake as well. To quickly turn on flashlight with a shake, create the following Tasker profile:

  • Install The Tesla LED flashlight app
  • Go to Profile and choose Event
  • Press sensor and select Shake
  • Select the duration, sensitivity, and axis
  • Click on Display and choose System Lock Also Read: 6 Best Cycling and Biking Apps for Android to Track Your Bike Ride

How to Enable Auto-Rotate for Some Apps using Tasker

If you are looking for a Tasker profile that will help you enable auto-rotate for some apps, this is the Tasker profile you need:

  • Create a new profile and choose an app
  • Select an app that should have auto-rotate enabled
  • Create a new task and choose +
  • Choose Display
  • Enable Display Auto-rotate