Easy Tasker home profile

With an array of sensors available on your mobile, creating a Tasker home profile is easy. Having one that is easy on your battery and computing power is little harder. I see this question appearing very often on forums, so it is a good time to review this topic again. Here is list of most popular conditions, you could use to set up your own home profile.

WI-FI

This is the easiest approach. When connected to home SSID, we can trigger our entry profile, and when we are no longer connected, it would run an exit task. This presents us with few problems. To do this, we need to enable WiFi background scanning, and if we’re not connected to any network, our mobile is  a subject to about 10% increase in battery drain. Be aware that turning off your WI-FI on the mobile, won’t change the battery usage. Both, use  similar amount of power. If you are ok with this, there is another problem to deal with. The moment, you are no longer connected to the home network, your mobile will exit the home profile. Each router reboot, or turning your WIFI off to have a peaceful nap, will disable your home profile instantly.

Bluetooth

It comes with a massive advantage to power usage, unconnected BT accounts for about 2-3% of battery use. Scanning your environment for a nearby devices can help us to set the home profile. This is possible if we have a BT device that is constantly enabled at home. BT beacons, laptops or home PC could be a good source of your BT signal if you don’t mind running it 24/7.  Other advantages include ability to keep the WIFI and data off, and good effective range. The trade-off here, is being a price. You can get a BT beacon from about $10-$15 that will last you about 1-3 years depending on a type, and beacon setting. So if you don’t mind a small investment, this could be a solution for you. Range, and frequency of the beacons can be adjusted to get the coverage you need. Be mindful of walls as signals would fade going through multiple walls indoors.

Cell triangulation

This could be tricky if used alone. Method may depend on your location (urban/country) and available cells around you. Personal circumstances will affect the profile as well. If you are lucky enough to work 2 min from home, this can seriously mess up your profiles. The method has almost no impact on battery life, uses no data, and the main trade of being an accuracy. If you are living in the countryside, network mast can have a greater radius than in the urban areas. Bear in mind this to trigger the exit profile, you would have to travel very far.

GPS

Just don’t! Indoors fix is weak, and battery drain is just not worth the hassle!

Time & Calendar

Another set of options without power consumption. Great addition to a very organised person. If your life is planned very well, and your day just don’t exist without the calendar, this is something you could have a look into. Personally I use the calendar to determine the work location, simple and easy way to apply much-needed settings.

What is the ultimate Tasker home profile?

Video contains all steps and links to the ready-made project, I do encourage you to follow it rather than download the  files. This way you will learn more, and quickly gain experience in Tasker. Below you will  find the profile descriptions.

The more sensors and processing power we have to use, the easier it is to determine our location. Our goal is to discover when we are home using as little CPU, and power as possible. We want to keep the profile separate from our WIFI connection, and make it reasonably responsive. There is no a golden rule here. You have to sit down for a moment and think of your situation. Some testing will be required to find the method that works best.

I’m going to show you how to create Tasker home profile using WIFI, and cell triangulation to create a fairly simple condition. This should allow most of you to trigger the home profile without headache, and keep it on even if your router decides to get fussy with you.

Tasker home profile

Our profile will start with a state CELL NEAR condition. Walk around your home and scan  for new cell IDs. You will have to repeat scanning few times to make sure all network masts are indexed. When CELL NEAR condition is met, we want Tasker to enable our WIFI (we don’t need background scanning –  disable it). When you get near your home cells, Tasker will enable WIFI and try to connect to your home SSID. This also means when you are no longer in the area, WIFI will be disabled. Let’s leave it with that. Open profile settings and disable Restore settings option. Create another task, with 2 actions: Variable set: %Home = 0, and WIFI off.

Second profile  – use state WIFI connected, scan for your WIFI, select the name of your access point and add it.  Create a task. It will contain one action Variable set: %Home = 1

If you enter home area, your WIFI will be set to on, and once connected, your %Home variable will take the value 1, keeping  this value until you leave the area saved by CELL NEAR condition. The %Home variable will be 1 even if you loose the WIFI connection, or your network coverage is spotty.

Last profile will use state –  variable value condition: %Home = 1,  and will link to your entry and exit tasks that will drive the changes on your mobile. All your home actions should be placed in the entry task linked to this condition. Same goes for the exit task. We could add these actions in previous tasks, but there is no advantage by doing so. This way we can easily see and modify what happens when we get home.

Profile: Cell Near Home (5)

Restore: no

State: Cell Near [ Cell Tower / Last Signal: YOUR CELLS NEAR Ignore Cells:* ]

Enter: Enable Wifi (3)

A1: WiFi [ Set:On ] 

Exit: Disable WIFI Leave Home (7)

A1: Variable Set [ Name:%Home To:0 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 

A2: WiFi [ Set:Off ] 




Profile: Wifi Home (2)

Restore: no

State: Wifi Connected [ SSID:YOURSSID MAC:* IP:* ]

Enter: Set Home (6)

A1: Variable Set [ Name:%Home To:1 Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 




Profile: Home Value (8)

Restore: no

State: Variable Value [ %Home ~ 1 ]

Enter: Home Tasks+ (9)

A1: Flash [ Text:Im home Long:On ] 

Exit: Home Tasks- (10)

A1: Flash [ Text:Im not home Long:On ] 

Potential problems

This set up works best if  the cells near your are reasonably close, and your work is further from home. Cell near can be replaced with BT near if your cells are not reliable. Let me know how you like to run your  home profiles, or what are the most common issues  present on your phones and tablets. Ready profile files and additional information can be found here.