RemoteStick is one of my most crucial apps on Android. You never see me actually using it, but the plugin component for Tasker to allow it to control my TellStick-based home automation system comes via this app. The app is now back on the frequently updated list, and the latest update brings something I’ve wished for: Sensor information as variables.

The TellStick system supports a range of sensors, including some dirt cheap temperature sensors that I’ve placed both inside and outside my apartment. While changes in these sensors have been able to trigger profiles in Tasker, the actual information from the sensors hasn’t been available in Tasker until now. That left me having to bug a brilliant programmer friend of mine to figure out how the system works, and make a server-run app that collects the sensor information separately. That system has worked, but it’s hardly idea. Now, however, the sensor information is available directly, thanks to RemoteStick.

To enable this feature, you first need to go into main RemoteStick settings. Under Monitoring, head into Sensors, and make sure the sensors you want are monitored and set to “Export to Tasker.” That will also let you see the name of the variable for that specific sensor, which will depend on the ID of the sensor (e.g. %RS_123456_TEMP). Once enabled, the variables will be usable anywhere in Tasker without you having to do anything else. You can also change the polling frequency back in the main settings of RemoteStick, also under Monitoring.

For me, this update means throwing out the old system and using the new variables. I currently have information from both sensors displayed in a scene I created to control the ceiling light, as well as having it read to me in the morning as part of my morning message (which again is tied to my sleep mode system). Now that it’s so easy to implement this, I also added the feature to Nelly, my Tasker-based voice assistant, making it even more superior to Siri than it already is. The result can be seen in this video:

I’ll have to think about what else to do with this, since it’s now so much easier to use the data. Some sort of system that changes the spoken message based on temperature would be nice, and I’m also thinking that I should make it automatically put the outside temperature on my lock screen when I walk outside. I already have widgets set up to receive information from Tasker that way, so it’s a very simple thing to do. Adding inside temperature to the welcome home message I get when I come back inside range of my WiFi network would also be nice. There’s a lot you can do with this, and I intend to take advantage of it.

Do be warned that if you’re already using RemoteStick with Tasker, this update changed something to make Tasker see it as a new app. That means you have to delete the existing RemoteStick actions and add them again from the menu. I use RemoteStick a lot, and it still only took me a few minutes to do (using copy/paste for the action – which saves you a lot of time), so this shouldn’t be a problem.

Obviously this isn’t the only update in this version of RemoteStick. You also get a new graph system for sensor values, a feature that is very useful in itself. The internal scheduling system has also gotten a couple of updates, the design of the app has been tweaked, and there are a few bug fixes.

All the major platforms has a TellStick app now, but RemoteStick’s Tasker support puts it in a league of itself. I have lighting control integrated into all sorts of profiles, from sleep modes to simply coming home, and that means I rarely ever control lights manually anymore.

Download: Google Play