[Android] Mini Tasker is a free alternative to Tasker, one of the most popular and robust automation appsOctober 8, 2013 1 Email article | Print article
Task automation apps are great, especially for mobile devices. While you’re always on the go you can link certain tasks to location, time and more and set them to occur on a schedule. This is especially useful when you’re in a situation where you need to keep your hands free to do something else entirely. In many situations, it always helps eliminate redundancies when launching repetitive tasks. Tasker for Android is a great application that allows you to do just that. It’s remarkably robust and offers a seemingly unlimited amount of support, allowing users to automate pretty much anything. Unfortunately, there’s no free or trial variant of the app offered. Mini Tasker is a similar automation app that is completely free. Not only is it free, it’s just as powerful as Tasker.
What is it and what does it do
Mini Tasker is an automation tool for Android that allows you to setup some of your most used actions and link them to a schedule or related trigger. For example, you can set your device to automatically connect to a Wi-Fi network when you reach a particular location. Some of the things you can accomplish include launching apps, controlling music playback, sending out alerts or notifications, sending messages, toggling various settings, and more. Pretty much any action you can manually perform on your device, you can set to happen on an automated schedule.
- Powerful automation tool that’s totally free, serves as an alternative to the paid Tasker app
- Allows you to create profiles that launch task after various conditions have been met
- Tasks are separated into three categories: apps/music, calls/SMS/notifications, and battery/screen
- Very easy to use and the profiles are easy to customize and setup
- You can download user-created profiles from a community network and personalize them as necessary
- Requires a device running Android 4.0 or higher
- Uses about 30MB of RAM while running, it needs to remain running in the background and taskkiller apps can interfere
There is one real limitation for automation tools like this, and it pertains to the scope of what you want each task to do. To clarify, if you want to send a text message on a schedule then that message needs to be the same every time, unless you program the app to just open a blank text message. This is because the app itself is not programmed with any kind of virtual AI that can just put together a new text for you. For the most part, I would say this limitation is quite obvious, but I wanted to point it out before we delve further into the review.
Mini Tasker is designed to work just like Tasker, with exception to the fact that it’s free for everyone to use. It’s quite simple, and the UI is exceedingly minimal. You’ll be spending most of your time navigating and interacting with text based menus. That’s not an issue at all, it’s just apparent this app wasn’t designed to be attractive in terms of visual aesthetics.
Every new task needs a corresponding profile. The profile uses a pair of conditions and actions which tailor what happens when the trigger is met. When you create a new profile, the corresponding actions are separated into three different categories: apps/music, calls/SMS/notifications, and battery/screen. Each category has a list of related actions you can perform. For instance, the calls/SMS/notifications category has a “silence incoming calls” action.
Once the task has been assigned, you must customize any parameters for it. For example, if you wanted to send a text message, you would have to select who the message gets sent to and what it says.
Then you move on to choosing a condition which must be met in order for the task or action to launch. You have several to choose from including time-based, calendar and date, activity, phone docking, battery levels and more.
I’ll give you the perfect example of an automated task tailored for me. Every night my fiancée and I take a walk on a nearby track. We use the Google app My Tracks to monitor how far we walked that way we can accurately calculate how many calories we’ve burned. I have a profile setup that automatically launches the My Tracks app when I reach the exercise track.
Of course, none of these actions are really knew and they don’t actually offer anything different from what other automation tools do. With Mini Tasker you can import user-created profiles from the community Task Market. In other words, you can download or share profiles that other users have created and customize them to better suit your needs. The beauty of this function is that you can just search for profiles and tasks instead of setting them up yourself. It also helps because sometimes you come across a user created profile that you never would have thought to generate yourself.
Mini Tasker uses about 30MB of RAM while running. That’s important because the service must remain running in the background for automated tasks to launch properly. Taskkiller apps can interfere if you don’t have Mini Tasker added to a whitelist.
Conclusion and download link
Mini Tasker is an automation tool for Android that offers some pretty robust customization options. It serves as a great alternative to Tasker, which comes in a paid version only. The automated tasks are generated by creating profiles, which include their own actions and conditions. The task will be launched as soon as the set conditions are met. They are very easy to setup and even easier to customize. If you don’t feel like creating your own profiles, you can download existing ones from a native community network. That’s what sets this tool apart from others, the fact that you can import existing profiles and tailor them to your personal tastes. Mini Tasker does use 30MB of RAM while running, and taskkiller apps can interfere since the service needs to remain running in the background at all times. Unfortunately, if the service is force closed, the active profiles will not execute properly.
Version reviewed: 0.2.11
Requires: 4.0 and up
Download size: 911KB