Friday, July 11, 2014

Use Tasker to control your Android display timeout and display rotation

I spoke of display timeout in the past, I still believe that display timeout is a crucial balancing act for mobile device user - if your display turns off too soon, there is anger, if it stays on too long, good bye battery life.

Display rotation is one of those things that we each prefer differently. And that preference differs based on the device in hand as well. For myself, my Nexus 7 tablet is the perfect size for typing in portrait mode, but I cannot comfortably reach the entire keyboard in landscape mode. Pretty simple, the tablet stays in portrait mode except for a few apps.

This is what I designed today's tutorial around. My phone is the opposite when it comes to typing, either way, the process is all the same to set this all up in Tasker.

Head on over to my post on Android Authority to see how the whole thing works.

I really tried to get you to think outside the box on this one, there is so much you can do to really fine-tune these settings on your device. I briefly described a scenario around a reading app, where you may want the app to freely rotate during the day, with the default screen timeout at that. But in the evening, maybe at a certain time, or when you are on your home WiFi, or plugged in, or all of the above, anyway, maybe you want it to lock rotation.

With rotation locked, you would be able to lay down on your side and lay the device beside you to continue reading, in this position you would want the app to not rotate. You may or may not want the display to time out. Perhaps you frequently fall asleep while reading, perhaps you just read something more intense that takes more time to read a page, either way, the settings are there, tweak them to suit your needs.

Finally, in the Android Authority post, I answered a reader's question and provided a very brief explanation of how he might use Tasker to control the display brightness of the device, triggered by the light sensor. I did not have the time to walk through everything he would need to handle his needs. In the end, he would need several Tasker Tasks and Profiles to establish which apps would allow the brightness to be set by the sensor, and handle either using a default brightness, or maintaining the currently set value.

When it comes to more complicated setups like this, it is important to draw out what you are doing, and carefully look for situations where you would have duplicate actions. Please avoid duplicate actions, especially if they conflict with each other. Also, remember that it is always best practice to keep your Profiles inactive by default, in an effort to save that little bit of power. It's not much, but it all adds up.

This is my last Tasker post in my Android customization series on Android Authority for a bit. We need to take a break and think about something else for a few weeks. Keep tabs here, I plan to update my Tasker inventory list with a quick overview of everything we've covered so far. With new notes on the things I've learned during this process.

As always, feel free to make requests, I know what I want and need out of Tasker,if you've got something else you need, I'll see if I can help you through it.