Task / Shortcut Widgets
The standard way of running a Tasker task is by attaching it to a profile which performs it when the profile becomes active. However, tasks can be directly assigned to icons on the home screen called Widgets or Shortcuts.
Standard Widgets / Shortcuts
These consist of an icon (the Task icon) with a label (the Task name) underneath, and look identical to the normal application icons in the home screen.
Clicking on the icon runs the associated Task.
Task Timer Widgets
This type consists of an icon and label, like the standard widgets, but also has a countdown timer display which counts down Days, Hours, Minutes and Seconds.
When the timer expires (reaches 0) the associated Task is run.
Tapping on the icon of the widget shows a configuration screen where the timer can be configured.
Tapping on the timer section of the widget will pause, restart or reset the timer, depending on its current state.
Note that the timer updates more rarely when it is still a long way from expiry in order to minimize power usage.
Creating a Widget / Shortcut
- Click and hold in an empty space on the Android home screen, until a dialog appears.
- Select Widgets or Shortcuts
- Select Task or Task Timer (Widgets only)
- Pick an existing task or create a new one. When creating a new one, if you do not expect to change the function of the widget/shortcut select One-Time to avoid it cluttering your list of tasks.
- Use the Configuration Screen to configure what should happen when the icon is clicked (or the timer expires, in the case of a Task Timer widget). Take care to select an appropriate name and icon for the task, as these will appear on the home screen.
Changing a Widget / Shortcut
The function of widgets or shortcuts created from one-time tasks cannot be changed, it must be deleted and recreated.
On the other hand, if you associate a normal named task with a widget or shortcut then when the task is changed (via the Task Edit screen) the function of the widget or shortcut also changes.
There are also some actions which will change the appearance of any widget:
- Tasker/Change Icon Set: changes the icon of a set of widgets to a different style.
- Tasker/Set Widget Icon: changes the icon of a particular widget
- Tasker/Set Widget Label: changes the label of a particular widget
The latter two you could use to visually show the status of something e.g. WiFi.
Deleting a Widget / Shortcut
Click and hold on the icon in the Android home screen until the dustbin icon appears. Drag the widget or shortcut icon to the dustbin icon and release.
Differences Between Widgets and Shortcuts
Advantages of Shortcuts
- they can be created in some places that widgets can't e.g. in home screen folders
- their layout probably better matches the default launcher layout
- long shortcut labels will scroll when selected in the default launcher
- they use slightly fewer system resources, though it's probably not noticeable
Advantages of Widgets
- they can use image files from SD for their icon
- their icon and label can be dynamically changed after creation via the Set Widget Icon and Set Widget Label actions.
- timer widgets are possible
- they can be created without a label
So a shortcut should be used unless the extra configuration possibilities of a widget are necessary.
- you can create as many Tasker widgets and shortcuts as you like. You can even have several Timer widgets running at the same time.
- Timer Task widgets continue to update even when the screen is off.