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Beginner’s guide to Tasker, part 6: AutoRemote

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The previous 5 parts have showed how much there is to know about Tasker itself, but that’s only half the story. The extensive selection of third party plug-ins for Tasker extends its functionality in all sorts of ways, from triggering from NFC tags to controlling home automation systems. One of the latest additions to the Tasker plug-in market is also one of the most powerful, and it’s called AutoRemote. Put simply, it allows Android devices to communicate with one another, and with computers. The era where your phone didn’t know what your tablet was doing ends here.

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What is AutoRemote?

Mobile devices can communicate with one another, but in ways designed with the user in mind. SMS, email, video chat, IM, and so on are all services designed for the user, not the back end. AutoRemote on the other hand is a communication system designed for the devices to communicate, without the user having to be part of it. It allows messages to be sent between devices that have been registered as a group, instantaneous, and without bothering the user. Ever wish your phone could notify you of your tablet battery running low after days of being idle? AutoRemote gives the two the channel needed to communicate that kind of information.

It does, however, not do so entirely on its own. While AutoRemote has grown beyond its original dependency on Tasker in some areas, it’s still very much a Tasker plug-in. After all, something has to manage the messages, act on them, and send them. Tasker already has the ability to collect practically any data, so with AutoRemote there to allow it to communicate that data to other devices, you have what you need to create setups that make iOS devices look like they’re from the last century.

Getting started with AutoRemote

autoremote - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereAutoRemote can be had from Google Play for $1. Once installed and opened, it will fetch your personal URL, which will be in the format http://goo.gl/RandomCharacters. This URL is both used for registering your device with other devices, and for accessing AutoRemote’s web access. Opening the URL in a browser will present you with a page where you can send messages to your device, as well as instructions for accessing AutoRemote’s second personal code, the key, which is used for some parts of the AutoRemote eco system.

Back in the app, you can access the menu to get into the list of registered devices. Here you can register a new device by using the personal URL of that device, and this way connect devices together. You’ll have to do this on both devices in order for both of them to be able to send messages to the other. Any devices registered in this list will be available as an option when you go to send a message.

Once this is done, AutoRemote’s Tasker-independent features will be ready to go. Try going into Google Play, go into an app page, select Share, and then remote open URL. This will open the same page on the other device, showing you that it’s set up correctly.

Tasker context

AutoRemote adds both contexts and actions to Tasker, so let’s start with the context. It’s available in Tasker’s State context category, under Plugins. There’s quite a few settings available in the configuration screen, so let’s go through them all.

Plugin Options

Event Behaviour: The AutoRemote context is a state by default, but as you can imagine, you’ll want it to behave as an event in many situations. Checking off this box does that. Note that Tasker still thinks the context is a state, just one that turns on and off quickly, so if you use this to change settings that Tasker normally revert automatically – like screen brightness – you need to uncheck “restore settings” in the profile options.

Target: One of the methods for filtering messages. Specifying a target in the context and the message allows you to control which messages trigger the context without matching the message itself.

Matching Options

Message Filter: The main method for filtering messages. This one allows you to specify text that should be part of the message for it to trigger the context. It’s a partial match system, so “message” will match “this is a message.”

Clear Message Filter: Clears the message filter, which isn’t the same as simply making the message filter blank, as that actually creates a blank message filter that will make it react to all messages.

Case Insensitive: If checked, the message filter will be case insensitive

Exact Message: Makes the message filter require an exact match, whereas the default is a partial match system as mentioned above.

Use Regex: Allows you to ruse regular expressions in the message filter

Tasker Vars

Message: The name of the variable you want the message to be transferred into. Default is %armessage

Comm Params Prefix: Part of a system to allow you to send more advanced commands using AutoRemote. The basic syntax for this is parameters=:=command. To use an example from AutoRemote’s Google Play description (also example 6 below), this can be used like this:

You can use AutoRemote with other Tasker conditions, such as the Date and Time conditions. Create a “shop=:=” command and combine it with a 5PM condition. Then, share your personal AutoRemote URL with your wife and have her send stuff she needs you to buy like “shop=:=carrots and ice cream”. Then, at 5PM your phone could say that list out loud: “You need to go shopping! You need to buy carrots and ice cream”

There can also be multiple parameters in a single message, separated by a space before the command separator =:=. This settings controls the name of the parameter variable(s), and the default is arpar. This system will be easier to understand with the examples further down.

Command: Controls the name of the command variable created from using the =:= system.

Main settings: For accessing AutoRemote’s general settings.

Tasker action 1: AutoRemote Message

The AutoRemote context helps you trigger profiles based on incoming messages, and the message action allows you to send messages. Like the context, it has a few options as well.

Device: Select which device to send the message to, or, alternatively, a channel (see below) or the last sender.

Device Type: Selected automatically based on the setting above

Message: The message you want to send

Channel: Channels are connection groups that multiple devices can join to be part of the same network. If this option is used, a channel connection will be made with the receiving device. This allows that device to simply reply to a channel instead of having to specify a device. Don’t confuse this with the Channel option under Device – this one allows you to send a message to a specific device and at the same time enable a channel, whereas sending a message to a channel sends a message to that channel. The description below from the AutoRemote developer might help understand channels better:

To better understand what a channel is, imagine channels as chatrooms. When you enter a chatroom, you start receiving all messages in that chatroom. The same happens with channels. Also, when you exit a chatroom, you stop receiving messages from it.

Advanced settings

Time To Live: The amount of time the system will try to deliver the message before it gives up

Message Group: Allows you to make the message part of a message group, basically categorizing the message. You can then specify how to handle multiple messages from the same message group. An example would be if your tablet lets your phone know what it’s doing, but your phone has been off, so there are several such messages queued up, and you only want the last.

Target: Corresponds to the Target option in the context

Password: If AutoRemote has been password protected in the main app on the receiving device, you need to specify the password here for the message to get through.

Send Message: Allows you to test send the message

Tasker action 2: AutoRemote Channels

The second available action is for managing channels. The available options are:

Name: Name of the channel to manage

Device: All devices by default. If specified, the changes apply only to a specific device.

Clear chosen device: Clears the above setting

Enter of Exit: Makes the specified device enter or exit the specified channel

Exit all: Makes the specified device exit all channels

Apply now: Let’s you apply the settings right away instead of running the action.

AutoRemote for Windows

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There’s a program available for Windows computers that expands the AutoRemote network there. On its own, the program is very similar to AutoRemote on Android. You can add devices, send messages, and receive messages. URLs can be opened in a browser when received, and on top of that, you can create rules for incoming messages, similar to profiles in Tasker. This enables you to run commands upon receipt of certain messages, for instance by tying it to programs like nircmd.exe to use it to turn off your PC at night (which is what I do).

AutoRemote EventGhost plugin

The Windows program also has a tab which allows you to install and manage an EventGhost plugin. EventGhost can best be described as Tasker for Windows, a program that automates you computer in much the same way Tasker does your Android device. The way it works is similar, but still different enough that you basically have to learn an entirely new Tasker-like program to be able to use it properly. There’s an example further down which shows a very basic setup with EventGhost, but I can’t start going into EventGhost in detail here – especially since I haven’t used the program much myself.

With the EventGhost plugin installed, there will be a couple of new actions available in EvenGhost. One is for registering EventGhost, which basically means that the action lets your AutoRemote network know that it’s there. It should be run on EventGhost startup, and will then make EventGhost an available device on your Android device.

The other action is for sending a message. The options available here are identical to the other places you can send AutoRemote messages, so I won’t go into detail. Note that EventGhost has to be registered to the device you want to send messages to.

To actually trigger an EventGhost macro (similar to Tasker profile), you need the event that a message creates. The simplest way to get this is to set up the message you want to send from your device, set it to send to EventGhost, and then send it. This will make the event appear in EventGhost’s log, allowing you to drag it into a macro. Like I said, EventGhost is different enough from Tasker to be alien to new users, and I won’t turn this into a EventGhost guide.

AutoRemote Chrome extension

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AutoRemote also has a Google Chrome extension available. It’s relatively new, but the beta made a cameo in the video to example 2 in part 4 of this guide, where I open a URL on my phone by right clicking in my PC browser. The extension adds an option to send text to one of your devices when right clicking in Chrome, which you can use to send URLs or entire parts of a web page.

Example 1: One device letting another know what it’s doing

When I talked about how Android has ruined iOS for me, I mentioned that I’m expecting my phone to know that I’m on my iPad, and in turn let it notify me of emails instead of my phone. That was a reference to a very real possibility on Android, which uses Tasker and AutoRemote. Here’s how that would work.

Option 1: When the tablet is in use at all

Create a new profile in Tasker on the tablet. As the context, use the Display State option under State -> Display. Configure it for the screen being on. This makes the profile active when the tablet’s screen is on.

As the enter task, add a AutoRemote Message action. Configure it to send the message “tabletstatus active=:=” to the phone. Then, add an exit task, and configure a similar message with “tabletstatus inactive=:=.”

On the other device, create a new profile. Select AutoRemote, enable event behavior, and set message filter to “tabletstatus.” For the task, add a Set Variable %Tabletstatus to %arpar2. You will now have a global variable which will be either “active” or “inactive” based on the status of the tablet.

You can now do what you want with that. If you have a email notification profile, you can for instance add a Variable Value %Tabletstatus matches inactive to it to make it stop triggering if you’re using your tablet. You could also add a Say action to the AutoRemote-triggered profile and make it say for instance “Tablet is now %arpar2,” which would give you a vocal message for when the tablet is in use. This latter example is shown in the video below (it might not be obvious that it’s the phone that speaks, but it is).

So what exactly is going on with all the =:= and %arpar2 and whatnot? Well, we want to send a message from the tablet that is unique to the screen on/off scenario, and we want it to contain information about the state of the tablet. By using messages in the format “tabletstatus (in)active=:=,” we’re activating AutoRemotes command system, which puts parameters before the =:= and commands after. We don’t need commands here, but we do need two parameters. The first (tabletstatus) is static, and simply lets us filter this particular message for use in the context on the phone. The second parameter is “active/inactive,” based on the state of the tablet. By enabling the command system with =:=, AutoRemote splits the message into (by default) %arpar and %arcomm variables. %arpar2 is the second parameter, which is here “active/inactive.”

We can then transfer this “setting” to a global variable on the phone and use it elsewhere in Tasker, or we can simply use the local variable %arpar2 in the same profile (which is the case with the Say example). When the tablet turns on, the Display State On context becomes active, runs the enter tasks, which then sends a message to the phone that the tablet is active. When the screen turns off, the profile deactivates, and the exit tasks sends a message saying it’s inactive. In reality it’s such a very simply profile, but in practice, it gives one device the ability to act on the state of the other.

Note that such a profile can become a nuisance if it’s constantly going off when you’re for instance just trying to check the time on your tablet. Part 5 of this guide covered how to set up profile delays properly, a system that should probably be implemented in a setup like this.

Option 2: When a specific app or feature is being used

Making the phone aware of when the tablet is in use is great, but what if you only want it to be aware of when specific apps or features are in use? The concept is practically the same as above, depending on what exactly you want it to be aware of. If you want your phone to know when your tablet is connected to a specific WiFi network, has headphones plugged in, or anything like that, then all you really need to do is switch out the Display State context on the tablet with whatever context fits. If you want it to be aware of when a specific app is being used, however, it’s a bit more complicated – but not much.

Tasker has a built in variable for the so-called window label, which is the name of the window (i.e. app) that is currently being displayed. This variable is %WIN, and is updated as the window name changes. If you make a profile  with the event profile Variable Set %WIN and tie it to an task with Flash %WIN as the action, you can move around your device and see the window name displayed as a flash message as you move between apps, giving you an idea of how this works and what names are used for apps. It’s normally pretty straight forward, like Netflix’ window name being Netflix or Gmail’s window name being Gmail.

Point is, there’s a variable that basically tells you what’s being displayed on the screen. By using the Variable Set %WIN context in place of the Display State context in the setup above, switching out “active” with %WIN” in the enter task, and deleting the exit task (since it becomes an event profile), you can make the tablet send the name of the active window to the phone. The %arpar2 variable will then be the active window, which you can use as a trigger for various things. An example would be to set the phone on silent if you’re using an ebook app on the tablet.

Note that this particular method would send every single %WIN change to the phone. It’s a good idea to filter this somewhat before sending the message, to avoid it spamming the system. If you need your phone to know when your tablet is using Netflix, you can set it to only send the message if %WIN matches Netflix, rather than filtering it on the phone end.

Example 2: Gmail notification that opens up Gmail on the PC

Example 4 in part 3 of this guide showed how my Gmail notification system works. If certain contexts are met (such as being at home), it displays a Gmail logo on the screen when an email comes in. This can then be clicked to open the Gmail app on the phone. Since I posted that part though I added a long tap feature to the logo, an AutoRemote message to my PC for gmail.com.

The task is almost identical to the tap task for opening the phone’s Gmail app (so see the original example for that), it just sends an AutoRemote message instead. That message automatically opens in the browser on the PC, which means that simply holding down on the Gmail logo when it pops up opens Gmail on the PC.

This is a very simple system, but one I use a lot. When emails come in while I’m at home, I can either view them on my phone or my PC, all thorough the notification itself.

Example 3: Forward notifications to a PC when it’s on

This example is based on a setup that the AutoRemote developer himself uses. It uses AutoRemote and EventGhost to create a system where notifications are forwarded to the computer when it’s on.

First you need to go into EventGhost. Select Configuration, Add Plugin, and find AutoRemote under Other. Configure it with a name, and add a device to the list of devices. Not right click the Autostart tree in the list and select Add Action. Find the Register EventGhost action under AutoRemote. Select the device you added, and enter “notification” as the channel. Click OK, and make sure it’s nested under Autostart.

Next, add a macro. Give it any name. Right click the macro, select Add Event, and enter “AutoRemote.Message.osd” in the field. Finally, right click it again, select Add Action, and then Show OSD under EventGhost. Enter “Message from phone:  {eg.event.payload.arcomm}” into the “text to display” box. Save the EventGhost configuration, then restart EventGhost.

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ar to eg config - for some reason we don't have an alt tag hereNow go to Tasker on your device. Create a new profile, and select the Notification context under Event -> UI. Don’t add any filters to the configuration. As the connected task, create a new one, and add AutoRemote Message as the action. Select to send to channel as the device, then enter “notification” in the channel field further down. In the message field, enter “osd=:=%NTITLE.” Save out of Tasker, go into AutoRemote, and check that it’s set to drop PCs that can’t be reach from channels automatically (that should be the default setting anyways).

That’s it. When the computer is on, the title of notifications on the phone will appear as a message on the PC. So, what’s going on here?

The Register EventGhost action in EventGhost lets the device know it’s active, and by running it on startup, that happens when the computer turns on (assuming EventGhost is set to autostart). Macros as the profiles of EventGhost, and dropping events and actions into macros tie them together like contexts and tasks in Tasker. In this case, we have a event for an incoming message containing “osd” and an action to display an OSD (On Screen Display) that contains EventGhost’s version of the %arcomm variable from Tasker. This means that when a message starting with “osd” is received, it displays the command variable (the notification title in this case) on the screen.

It’s easy to get confused here, because we’re not just in Tasker anymore. EventGhost uses different methods for events and actions, with variables in a completely different format. To really get the most out of making these two work together, you should probably read an EventGhost tutorial – which I won’t be writing, because I don’t know EventGhost very well myself.

Example 4: PC letting an Android device know what it’s doing

This example is similar to example 1, but with a PC as the device we’re checking in on. Assuming you’ve not messed too much with the default setup of EventGhost, the log on the side should show what happens on the computer from EventGhost’s point of view. This is a great feature, because it’s a list you can drag and drop events from! If you for instance switch to Skype, the log will show the event “Task.Activated.Skype.”

Assuming you did the steps in example 3 to activate the plugin and register EventGhost on startup, it’s now very simple to use these events. Add a new macro, give it a name, and then drag and drop the event you want from the log and into the macro. If you want to send your device a message when you’re using Skype, the “Task.Activated.Skype” and “Task.Deactivated.Skype” events are the ones you want, as an example.

Next, right click the macro, and select to add an action, then find Send Message under AutoRemote. Send whatever message you want to send, you know the drill by now. For my Skype example, I simply made the message “skypeon.”

Now, in Tasker, create your profile. Use AutoRemote as the context, and filter the message by whatever you made the message “skypeon” in my case. Make the task whatever you want to do – the point of this example is the EventGhost/AUtoRemote end, not what you do with it in Tasker.

A possible use for this can for instance be if you play online games and want the phone to for instance be quiet or use louder notifications when you’re doing that. You’d then make AutoRemote set a variable based on a message from EventGhost, trigger a silent profile based on that variable, and reset the variable using a message for when the computer program closes. Again you might get a use for the delay system from the previous guide in order to avoid having quick window switching trigger profile changes.

Example 4.1: Turn you phone into an automatic control pad for specific computer programs

This is more of a tip than an example, but I thought I would include it. Both EventGhost and NirCmd allows you to send keypresses to the system, and both of those can be used via AutoRemote (NirCmd directly from the AutoRemote Windows program). By using scenes, you can create custom interfaces with buttons that send AutoRemote messages to your computer, which then trigger keyboard input there. Imagine having a Photoshop scene that has buttons for copy, paste, levels, select, and whatever other tools you need as buttons in the scene. By tying this to a system where the computer notifies the device when Photoshop is running, you can create a scenario where starting up Photoshop on your computer automatically makes a control panel for it appear on your phone.

Example 5: Copy text from Chrome to a device’s clipboard

I mentioned the Chrome extension above, which I have had installed for quite a while now. As per the AutoRemote dev’s suggestion, I set it up so that I can copy text from Chrome on my computer directly into the clipboard on my phone.

When you have the Chrome extension installed, register your device, make a new rule, and then set command name to “Copy,” and the command to “copy.”

Next, go into Tasker, and create a new profile. Add the AutoRemote context, and set “copy=:=” as the message filter. Select Event Behaviour. Tie the context to a new task, and find the Set Clipboard action under Misc. Put %arcomm in the text field for this action.

With all this configured, you should have a new option for AutoRemote where you can copy the selection or open URLs on registered devices.

Example 6: Remote access todo list

EventGhost and Chrome extensions are all good, but it’s important to not forget what started AutoRemote: Web access. That personal URL you get can be entered into a browser to give you a page that allows you to send messages to the device from any web browser, which is much easier than needing special software.

One of the examples on the Google Play page for AutoRemote is a scenario where a wife sends grocery list items to her husband, which will then be spoken out loud when he leaves work. Such a scenario is actually quite easy to set up. Make a new profile in Tasker, add the AutoRemote context, and set the message filter to “shop.” Add a task with a Say action with “You need to go shopping! You need to buy %arcomm” as the text, and then add a second context for the time the person leaves work (the time you want the message to play) in the same profile. The message should now play at that time, and the message (grocery list) can be added to by using the web interface to send “shop=:=shopping items here” to the device.

Note that this is a “dumb” version of such a system, where only the latest message will be read, it’s time based, and so on. By using methods from previous articles you can store any new list items in an actual list, add to that list with new messages, and have the message play based on for instance leaving a WiFi network rather than a specific time.

In conclusion

The guide continues on in part 7. More parts will come eventually, though at a much slower pace.

You can follow any Tasker coverage by using this link or this RSS feed.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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42 thoughts on “Beginner’s guide to Tasker, part 6: AutoRemote

  • Hola!

    Thank you for all your work with the guides.

    Just an idea for part seven somewhere in the future:

    Tasker and RFID. Using the inexpensive App NFC ReTag you can use any regular RFID Tag (even old metro tickets) to start Tasker Profiles.

    Basically what happens is:
    – scan an RFID Tag
    – NFC ReTag reads its ID and start a predefined Tasker Profile
    – in my case: I just set a variable
    – that variable starts the tasker magic.

    Simple Use Case:
    1. Sit down in car -> scan RFID-Tag -> start “car mode”

    Alternatively you could also write RFID-Tags with tasker, though i haven’t done that yet and communicate by tags. much like post its, only digital.

    There are some things I have done around the house I couldn’t live without anymore. And the field is still new, I’m sure there will be hundreds of ideas out there

    I’ll just throw this at you, you will probably experiment first…

    Anyway. Pocketables’ rss-feed made it to my news reader because of your guide. So I won’t miss part seven, whenever that will happen.

    (Uh: Another idea for part 7: Links and ressources. I basically only use the tasker manual and the google group. but there are probably others.)

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      NFC is something I wish I could write about – and use – but none of my Android devices have NFC :( Next device switch, though, definitely, but I tend to hold onto devices for a long time.

      Great to see you subscribed! There won’t be any guide parts for a while, but that doesn’t mean no Tasker articles :D

      Reply
  • Another question:

    Does AutoRemote have an API too?

    You write: “That personal URL you get can be entered into a browser to give you a page that allows you to send messages to the device from any web browser”

    So I am wondering: Can I use this to send messages through AutoRemote by scripts running on web servers?

    Reply
  • Do you know if there’s a way to tell who sent a message through Auto Remote? I have it set up on 3 phones; mine, wife’s, friend’s; & I’d like to know which of them sent a message. The task just speaks a message, & I want it to say “Your wife/friend says: …” but I don’t know how to tell where it came from.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      You could use the parameter/command system. Instead of sending “hello”, your wife sends “wife=:=hello”. The message is then in %arcomm and the sender in %arpar1. Assuming that youre using some sort of tasker setup for sending messages (as the ar ui is slow), you could prepopulate everything but the message

      Reply
  • Some app started with a popup.
    How Tasker can close this popup?

    Reply
  • Avatar of Mikesan

    Am I the only one that gets more confused after reading these beginner guides?

    You are doing a terrific job at explaining what the parts are and what they do. But i am lost and confused when it comes to using/building them. You reference SO MANY things that I can not keep up.

    For instance I want to use autoremote to see the battery level of my devices from my PC or another device. I know this can be done (you mention it in part 2) but I have no clue how to actually make it happen.

    Your guides read as if they are written for developers or users that are already familiar with tasker and not Idiots like my self. :)

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      Tasker is an app that can do 1000 things. The point of this guide isn’t to explain 1000 different things, but to try to teach the methods used to be able to create whatever you want without a step by step guide. I present examples that show some uses, with the idea that the fundamental methods can be used in other ways as well.

      Moreover, the guide is built sequentially, with each part building on what the other parts have covered. Once you move past part 1, I expect to not have to clarify “action” or “context” again. Once you move past part 2, I expect to not have to explain the difference between %hello and %Hello. This is a 31,000 word guide even with those assumptions, so it’s really the only practical way to write it.

      Your example asks for a way for devices to communicate the battery level. The AutoRemote part of that is explained in detail in this part of the guide, and the only real difference is that you incorporate the built-in variable %BATT in the system. %BATT was one of the examples mentioned for built-in variables in part 2. In fact, the example in part 2 covers this scenario exactly.

      I’m happy to help with whatever problem someone has, elaborate where things are unclear, and so on. I do however think your expectations of this guide are a bit off. There’s simply no way to teach math by listing the solution to every possible math problem there is. You have to teach the methods used to find the answer, not all the answers.

      Reply
      • Avatar of Mikesan

        My point is that the example/s don’t actually explain how to setup the example, rather you explain what tasker is doing in the example. Not to mention that the examples are to complex to a “beginner”. A guide should be just that, a step by step guide to a user not an explanation of what tasker is and does.

        In your autoremote example in part 2 you don’t explain how to make tasker actually send the battery information to the autoremote url or how to setup tasker to “lisen” to autoremote. only an explanation of a variable.

        I spent the last three hours trying to figure out the battery thing, the more i read the more confused I become. Your guides are a monumental amount of information and I thank you for writing them, I just don’t know what to actually do with the information. I hope this helps you understand what I mean.

        Reply
        • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

          I know what you mean. Unfortunately, I don’t have the resources to write a guide at the detail level you’re requesting.

          AutoRemote listens for messages all the time. Tasker can react to these by using the AutoRemote context. Similarly, there’s an action to send messages.

          The relationship between these was established in part 1, and the example in part 2 does say that incoming messages can be used as triggers. Trigger means context Because of the number of actions/contexts/etc in tasker, I can’t explain the individual configuration of each of them, as I explain in part 1. Because the battery message system is a single context/single action system, I decided not to go into more detail than what’s there. The problem is that if you can’t configure a setup like that without more details, you also won’t be able to configure any of the hundreds of others that I don’t have the resources to explain in detail, and then the entire guide will basically be set too high.

          Reply
          • Avatar of Mikesan

            I finally got it to work and then some!!!

            step 1: I made a widget on my 3d that went tapped it sends a message through autoremote to my work phone that says “pingbattery”, and flashes “work phone battery pinged” on the screen.

            step 2: I then made a profile on the work phone that when autoremote receives “pingbattery” as an event it sends back a message through autoremote “pingedbattery %BATT=:=”, and a popup says “You have been pinged, you sent battery is at %BATT percent”.

            step 3: I then made a profile on my 3D that when autoremote receives “pingedbattery” it (1) sets a variable %Pingedbattery to %arpar2 then (2) popup says: “Work Phone’s battery is at %arpar2 percent”.

            I’m sure there is a more elegant way to accomplish this task, but since it is my first experience with tasker or autoremote i am very pleased with myself. :)

            Still very confused on most things here but thank you for writing it all down.

          • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

            That’s great! That’s essentially the way to do all types of communication between devices.

          • Avatar of richard

            Actually I think a real beginners guide would take less time not more. Spend more time showing rather than telling. Do a step-by-step walkthrough of a simple example rather than explain every option.

  • Hey, just wanted to say thanks. Sounds like you’re a little down on the response a few times, but I only found pocketables because it kept coming up on specific tasker searches I was making. I’m coming here a lot more now.

    Scene building were not intuitive for me, so your work definitely made getting started easier. I don’t have any suggestions for further entries, but I’m embarking on my biggest tasker recipe yet, so maybe once I’m done I will.

    In any case, killer guide. You should crank up the illustrations, roll it into an ebook and actually charge for the “Illustrated” version. I’ve paid more than you’ll charge for less informative guides.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      Thank you!

      Ebook/pdf has been suggested by many. This is a commercial site though, and we don’t deal with ebooks, so it’s not likely to happen :)

      Make sure to report back when you’re done with your “biggest tasker recipe yet”. Sounds intriguing!

      Reply
  • Avatar of Mikesan

    Autormote was just updated with Zapier integration. I dont suppose you would be willing to do an update showing how this can be used?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      I’m sorry, no. Zapier is blacklisted from my articles because of their idiotic pricing scheme

      Reply
  • Avatar of Mikesan

    ok, I didnt know that zapier charged for extra crap.

    thanks again for all the info and help.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      Their free service is severely limited, only checking for data every 5 (!!!!) hours and such. What’s worse is that the pricing scheme is ridiculous. $15/month doesn’t even get you the fastest check. For what this does, I would hesitate to pay that a YEAR, even if I got the fastest check. It’s one of those companies, like arqball, that have priced themselves so far out of the realm of reality that I just hope they go bankrupt to teach them a lesson.

      Reply
  • Like Mikesan, I found Autoremote and Tasker to be very daunting at first, and I too found myself overwhelmed with new knowledge/information
    tion when I read your articles. However, digging into Tasker et al and trying stuff out (with constant reference to your articles) really got me into the swing of things.
    Despite having programed some time ago in Basic (ZX80, Nascom, Cromenco etc.) and having done quite a bit of java-scripting in the past, I still found the learning curve quite steep but to do the things I do with Tasker and auto-remote in any other “programming” language would be immensely more difficult.
    Powerful apps like Tasker ARE difficult to learn, but that’s a result of the power and control they give you. Every piece of powerful software has a learning curve and if people aren’t prepared to put in the effort then they would be better off using a more user-friendly (and therefore less powerful) app.

    After taking up Tasker a month or so ago,I am now creating scripts and auto-remoting away like mad whilst having a blast – although I do still need help and advice now and again, and for that I highly recommend the various Tasker forums (and of course, this site!)

    Many thanks for all your work and help Andreas.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      It’s definitely a lot to take in. Like I warn about in the first part of the guide, Tasker takes time to learn, and you can’t expect there to be a step by step guide for every thing you’re ever going to do.

      I don’t have any programming background, but learning tasker has gotten me a lot of the way there. My precious todo list system is my best Tasker creation, and it essentially works just like an app. Creating something like that requires that you think in programming terms, even if Tasker gets you out of learning the programming languages. I find bugs, I fix them. I create new features, test them, implement them. I made my todo list “app” because the actual app I used to use simply doesn’t have anywhere near the features my own creation has. I’ve simply started telling people that “i made an app for it” when they see what my phone does, as it’s simpler than saying “I don’t know how to make apps but I made something that works exactly like an app using software that requires you to think like a programmer without knowing how to program”.

      Are you an author if you write novels using voice recognition software? Have you read a book if you’ve listened to the audio book? Are you a programmer if you create something that’s indistinguishable from a “real” app in tasker, but don’t know a programming language?

      Reply
  • Avatar of Shaun

    Hiya Mate. I’ve had a couple weeks off Tasker, I’ve been playing with themes and customizing after looking at mycolorscreen.com, so I got a bit sidetracked. I have AutoRemote working along with NirCmd, and I’ve three rules setup in AutoRemote for turning the monitor off, shutting the laptop down (which is now in my sleep mode) and putting it in standby.

    I wanted to add a rule called media player, which opens Windows Media Center from the phone. What ever way I do it, I can’t make Media Center start. When I work with nircmd, the command in AutoRemote is “C:\Windows\nircmd.exe” and the parameter is “exitwin poweroff” and it shuts off.

    For the Media Center rule, I have the command set as “C:\Program Files\EventGhost\EventGhost.exe” and it doesn’t matter if the parameter is “C:\Windows\ehome\ehshell.exe” or the name of the macro, which is “Start Program: ehshell.exe”

    If I use the parameter “C:\Windows\ehome\ehshell.exe” the EventGhost system message is

    AutoRemote.Message.watchtv

    Media player doesn’t start.

    If I use the parameter “Start Program: ehshell.exe” Media player doesn’t start, and I get a system message like the last one, this is when I send the message to EventGhost

    If I send the message to the Laptop and use the parameter “Start Program: ehshell.exe” (which is the name of the macro) or “C:\Windows\ehome\ehshell.exe” I see the incoming message pop up “watchtv=:=” but the media player doesn’t start.

    The macro in EventGhost is right because if I test it, the player starts.

    Can you point me in the right direction please mate.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      You have me at a bit of a loss for what you’re actually doing. You keep saying that the paramter and the command are paths to exe files, do you man you put that into the autoremote message?

      Reply
  • Hiya :) I’m talking about AutoRemote on the laptop. I have a rule called media player, inside the rule is the name (Media Player) and the filter (watchtv=:=) on the right hand side of the AR desktop app, is the actions window, edit action command and paramters

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      Using Eventghost with Autoremote is configured fully from within Eventghost, not the desktop app. I mention this briefly in example 4. I don’t really want to spend too much time explaining how it’s done as that would make this an EventGhost tutorial, not a Tasker tutorial.

      Reply
  • That’s ok, i was just wondering if you knew what the command and paramters are from within Autoremote to launch the program as it is a question about this Autoremote tutorial.

    I’m sure Eventghost is configured right because, i can launch the player from within Eventghost, but when i send the message from Tasker, i just see the filter watchtv=:= flash up in the Autoremote desktop program, but the Media Player doesn’t launch…

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      Like I said, the Autoremote desktop program plays absolutely no role in using EG in such a way. I have a macro in EG myself that does exactly this with a different program. With the AR plugin for EG enabled, you create a macro, drag the trigger in from the event log in the sidebar, then add an action to launch the program

      Reply
  • Thank you mate, i’ll take a look at it in the morning, then it’s another whole day reading your blogs :) All the best, and thanks for the help.

    Reply
  • Hi, thanks a lot for this extensive guide.
    I’ve at last switched from Firefox to Chrome on my PC to benefit from the Autoremote plugin. It works fine except I don’t have access to the Autoremote context menu when I select something in the url bar (it works only elsewhere on the page), which would be a great improvement (eg. type anything in there to send it to my phone’s clipboard). I’m new to Chrome so I may be missing something obvious, I’ve tried googling my problem but to no avail… Can you help me out ?

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      I have the same problem. I think I mentioned it to the dev. I guess it has to do with how those text fields work, they’re part of Chrome not the website. I tend to just go to google.com and use the search field there as an intermediary

      Reply
  • Hi,
    thank you so much for your ideas and great guides.

    So far i’ve installed Tasker and AutoRemote trying to make your “automatic control pad” idea come to life.

    The problem i have is that the notification from phone to PC isnt fast enough to make it actually usable. While a message from PC to Phone only takes a second the other way around takes 30s+, which makes it unusable for a control pad.

    Do you have any idea how to solve this problem.

    Thank you very much

    J.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      Hmm, that’s odd. I have noticed some instances of it being slow lately, but generally speaking we’re talking 5 seconds from I hit a button to anything happens. I’ll poke the dev and see if he can share some light on this

      Reply
    • I would guess messages are being delivered through dropbox.

      Phone to PC messages should be nearly instant (faster than PC to phone, even).

      This probably has something to do with your PC not being reachable from your phone. You can enable system logs in the AutoRemote settings and see if that’s the case.

      If you can, try to reach your PC from another PC (or your phone’s browser) by navigating to http://YOUR_LOCAL_IP:1818/?message=hi

      If you receive a “hi” message on your PC, it is working correctly.

      Reply
  • Thx for your help,

    i think your right and that its a problem of my not-reachable PC.

    So far i tried to message my PC with
    http://YOUR_LOCAL_IP:1818/?message=hi
    with internal and external IP and never received any message.

    Do you have any idea whats the reason for this? I’ve tested it with enabled and disabled firewall.

    Thx for your help

    J.

    Reply
    • For some reason, after waiting a day it now seems to work.

      Didn’t change much, hopefully it stays working now.

      Thx very much for your help i really appreciate it and the work you guys put into the community.

      J.

      Reply
  • Hello again Andreas,

    Thank you for the invite to the Tasker Think Tank. AIready signed up the day before your invite, thank you! :) I was commenting to you from the Kingpad article.

    Sorry to bother you again. I have been plugging away at the beginner guides & now I am on this one (part 6) I have a Nexus 7 tablet & an Asus Transformer tablet. I am trying to setup Option 1 When the tablet is in use at all & I am sure I have it set up correctly. I can see in the autoremote logs that my tablets are communicating but when I try to add the say action the tablet is just reading %arpar2 rather then reading the contents of the variable. if I said that correctly. In the say action I just have

    Tablet is now %arpar2 however it does not say active or inactive it just reads the entire line and says the percent arpar2.

    Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

    Thanks again and have a good evening

    Tom

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      This article really needs an update, some of the things in there are a bit backwards. Try using tabletstatus=:=active/inactive and then use %arcomm to refer to what’s after =:=

      Reply
  • As usual, really appreciate the response. I had some issues but think I need to read over the guides some more.

    I finally got it & will be spending some time playing with the AutoRemote until I get more comfortable. :)

    Have a great day… thanks again!

    Tom

    Reply
  • Avatar of Christopher

    Your tutorials and videos have helped tremendously! Thank you very much. I have one question though in regards to the autoremote windows app. Is it possible to send messages to that on mobile data. My messages are not being sent to my laptop from my phone when I am on mobile data but they do send when I am on the same wifi network. I am wondering this because say for instance (using the example on the autoremote app page) I need to find my phone. It doesn’t seem to make much sense for this as a “useful” it will only connect when you are on the same wifi. Also I can send and receive messages from the chrome extension so is the window app the only one that requires same wifi? Thank you!

    Reply
  • Avatar of mario

    Hey, Greetings from Spain, congratulations for this great application, I download the free version and yesterday buy it.

    i don´t find in the tutorial the part about the new autoremote plugins
    as:

    devices, query, wifi & bluetooth, groups, settings

    I would appreciate if you could do a tutorial to implement them

    Thank you very much for creating this great application

    Sorry for my bad english

    PS: the link to the beta version of autovera not work, i would like seeing how it works

    Reply

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