Do you know what sucks most? Having a favourite feature taken from you by arbitrary design choices. Android 9 removed Tasker’s NavBar icons, cancelling out one of my most beloved Tasker projects: Smarter NavBars. Yesterday, Joao, messaged me about the latest release and I couldn’t be more excited as NavBars are back on the table and the new scene feature brings exciting Tasker automation.
In Tasker 5.14.0-beta
NavBars are not enabled, but Tasker 5.14.0-beta brings interactive scenes that you can place anywhere, including, you guessed it: NavBar, StatusBar and Lockscreen! While scenes were in Tasker from the dawn of time, the new implementation puts a bit of fresh air into this neglected function.
As interactive scenes can contain text elements and pictures, they are perfect for displaying information, adding extra buttons or icons and what’s very interesting – showcasing that information in an unaltered state on lock screens – including assigned interactivity. If you wonder what all this means, you can add tailored buttons and info to your lock screen and make things happen without unlocking the phone.
Give Tasker accessibility
To fully take the advantage of new scene features you need to enable the accessibility option for Tasker. Once sorted, your scenes get interactivity and can be placed anywhere on your screen.
Text, icons and more freedom
As these are scenes, they are not limited to the same NavBar actions were. You can assign any icon, colour overlay and text to it. Interactivity can update the scene look and information displayed and run an associated automated task in Tasker.
To put the scene outside the usual display boundary, select the checkbox in the action responsible for showing displaying (Show Scene Action) the scene.
New NavBars and more
I couldn’t be more excited about this. With a little bit of work, I will be able to bring life back to my Smart NavBar and introduce the features that were removed thanks to annoying Android updates that break things on purpose. Unfortunately, while new features are brilliant, they won’t solve the issue of disappearing NavBar in some apps. It’s something I’d have to test to see if I can hide the scene when the NavBar is hidden (without triggering immersive mode).
My Smart NavBars would display context-sensitive icons on your NavBar helping you to use your phone more efficiently. A computer icon would show up when the active app has a PC version and can be open on a computer that you were using recently. It’s perfect for taking WhatsApp conversations on the big screen or continuing to read a webpage on your laptop.
A clipboard manager icon would display each time the clipboard changes and enable quick access to the latest clips and smart home controls would show which lights you can toggle in each room.
With my current task list, it will take me a while to look over the original NavBar project (there are 7 NavBar actions) before I can get them all updated to the new scene system. They will be uploaded to TaskerNET 2.0 once done. I will have to see if the changes made mandate new videos or whether I can get away with updating the article only. Let me know your thoughts on the subject in this Reddit thread.