A variable is a named value which changes over time e.g. the level of the battery, the time of day.
When Tasker encounters a variable name in a text, it replaces the name with the current value of the relevant variable before carrying out the action.
The main purposes of variables are:
- dynamic binding: doing something with an action with data which is unknown when the task is created e.g. respond to an SMS; the sender is not known until the SMS is received.
- allow flow control within and between tasks
- record data for some future use e.g. passing data between tasks
The values of Built-In variables are updated by Tasker. Their names always use all-capital letters.
- Airplane Mode Status
Whether Airplane Mode is on or off
- Airplane Radios
A comma-separated list of the radios which will be disabled when entering Airplane Mode.
Common radio names are: bluetooth, cell, nfc, wifi, wimax.
- Battery Level
Current device battery level from 0-100.
- Bluetooth Status
Whether Bluetooth is on or in some other state (off).
- Calendar List
Newline-separated list of calendars available on the device.
Each entry is in the format calendarprovider:calendarname.
Variable Set, %newline, \n Variable Split, %CALS, %newline Flash, %CALS(#) calendars, first one is %CALS(1)
For the sign \n, press carriage-return on the keyboard.
- Calendar Event Title / Descr / Location %CALTITLE / %CALDESCR / %CALLOC
The title, description and location of the current calendar event, if there is one. If there are multiple current calendar events the variables refer to the shortest.
Tip: find other details about the current event(s) using the
Misc / Testaction, specifying %TIMES for the data.
- Call Name / Number/ Date / Time (In)
%CNAME / %CNUM / %CDATE / %CTIME
The caller name, number, date and time of the current (if a call is in progress) or last call received.
Caller number is 0 if it’s unknown.
Caller name is ? if it’s unknown (probably because the caller number was blocked) and set to the caller number if the contact couldn’t be looked up. It’s unavailable on Android versions prior to 2.0.
- Call Name / Number/ Date / Time / Duration (Out)
%CONAME / %CONUM / %CODATE / %COTIME / %CODUR
The called name, number, date and time of the last (not the current) outgoing call made.
Called Name is set to the called number if the contact couldn’t be looked up. It’s unavailable on Android versions prior to 2.0.
- Cell ID
The current cell tower ID if known.
If you are using a Cell Near state, note that sometimes the Cell Near state will stay active even though %CELLID reports that the tower ID is unknown or invalid; that is because Cell Near only responds to valid IDs to prevent the state becoming inactive e.g. due to a service interruption.
- Cell Signal Strength
The current phone signal level from 0-8 inclusive on a rougly linear scale. On some CDMA phones, the level will rise in steps of 2 (0,2,4,6,8). The value is -1 if the value is unknown or there is e.g. no service.
There is a bug with some Android versions that the reported signal strength is not updated until the device is turned off and on.
- Cell Service State
The current phone service state. One of unknown, service, noservice, emergency, nopower.
- Clipboard Contents
The current contents of the system clipboard.
- CPU Frequency
The current frequency CPU 0 is running at. See also: CPU Control.
- CPU Governor
The current governor controlling the frequency of CPU 0. See also: CPU Control.
Current human-readable date.
- Day of the Month
Current Day of the Month, starting at 1.
- Day of the Week
Current Day of the Week starting with Sunday.
- Device ID / Manufacturer / Model / Product
%DEVID / %DEVMAN / %DEVMOD / %DEVPROD
The ID, manufacturer, model and product name of the device.
Note: ID is not a unique identifier for the device, but rather for the hardware of the device. See also: %DEVTID.
- Device Telephony ID
Returns the unique telephony-based ID for the device (e.g. for GSM the IMEI, for CDMA the MEID or ESN).
Not available on all devices.
- Display Brightness %BRIGHT
Current screen brightness, 0-255. On some devices, if the Android setting Auto Brightness is enabled, the value will always be 255.
- Display Timeout %DTOUT
Current system screen timeout (seconds).
- Email From / Cc / Subject / Date / Time
%EFROM / %ECC / %ESUBJ / %EDATE / %ETIME
The From, Cc, Subject, Received Date and Received Time of the last email received by the K9 email agent.
- Free Memory
System free memory remaining in MB.
- GPS Status
(monitored,dynamic Gingerbread+) %GPS
Whether the system GPS receiver is on or off.
- HTTP Response Code / Data / Content Length
(dynamic)) %HTTPR / %HTTPD / %HTTPL
Values from the last HTTP POST/GET action.
If the server doesn’t return a content length, %HTTPL will be calculated from the returned data where possible.
- Input Method
The current active input method. Consists of 4 parts separated by commas: Method Name, SubType Name, Mode, Locale.
To access particular parts, use the Variable Split action.
- Keyguard Status
Whether the Keyguard is on or off
- Last Application
The name of the application that was in the foreground before the current one e.g. Maps.
- Last Photo
The filesystem path to the last photo taken by Tasker or the standard system camera application.
- Light Level
The last recorded light level in lux.
Note that Android does not return a value until the light level changes, so to test the sensor is working you should put it near a bright light initially.
May not change when the device display is off, see
Menu / Prefs / More / Display Off Monitoring / Light Sensor.
The latitude and longitude of the last GPS fix.
- Location Accuracy
The accuracy in metres of the last GPS fix.
- Location Altitude
The altitude in metres of the last GPS fix, or 0 if unavailable.
- Location Speed
The speed in metres/second at the last GPS position fix or 0 if unavailable.
- Location Fix Time Seconds
The time in seconds of the last GPS fix. To get age of fix, take this away from %TIMES.
This value is not set until an offset of the GPS time from the fixed time has been calculated (should be after the first GPS fix) because the value is meaningless until that point.
- Location (Net)
The latitude and longitude of the last network location fix.
- Location Accuracy (Net)
The accuracy in metres of the last network location fix.
- Location Fix Time (Net)
The time in seconds of the last net location fix. To get age of fix, take this away from %TIMES.
- Magnetic Field Strength
The total magnitudes in micro-Teslas of the magnetic fields acting on all three axis of the devices sensor.
Updated once per second.
See Also: state
- Music Track
The current playing music track, supported for:
- Tasker actions Music Play and Music Play Dir
- Built-in Android music-player, probably not on all devices however
- Power AMP
- BeyondPod (Tasker v1.2.1+)
- Phantom Music Control Pro
- Media Utilities
Priority: if both Tasker and one of the other supported apps are playing simultaneously, the non-Tasker track will be shown. If more than one of the other supported apps is playing simultaneuosly, behaviour is unspecified.
- if you don’t have a supported player, you could try Phantom Music Control Pro or Media Utilities, which support a lot of players and should pass the info on to Tasker
- pausing a track clears the variable, unpausing sets it again
- your music player may need an option enabled in order to broadcast the track information, or the broadcast may only be available in a ‘pro’ version
Whether the microphone is currently muted (on) or not (off).
- Night Mode
The current Android Night Mode.
One of on, off or auto.
If auto, Android will decide whether it should be in Night Mode itself.
- Notification Title
The title of the last notification shown in the status bar. Requires Tasker’s accessibility server to be running (see Android Accessibility Settings). Notifications generated by Tasker are not shown. Notifications for some apps will not register i.e. the variable will be blank.
Not available on Cupcake.
- Phone Number
The current phone number of the device, if it’s in service.
On some phones it doesn’t work (Android limitation), seems related to the type of SIM.
The current air pressure on the device in millibars.
May not change when the device display is off, see
Menu / Prefs / Monitor / Display Off Monitoring / Pressure Sensor.
- Profiles Active
A comma-separated list of the currently active, named profiles in activation order. Duplicate names will appear on the list only once. The list always starts and ends with a comma to make matching easier, if it’s not empty.
- Profiles Enabled
A comma-separated list of the currently enabled, named profiles in creation order. Duplicate names will appear on the list only once. The list always starts and ends with a comma to make matching easier, if it’s not empty.
on if device is roaming on the current telephone network, otherwise off.
- Root Available
yes if root functions are available on this device, otherwise no.
Whether the screen is on (value on) or off (value off).
- SDK Version
The numeric Android SDK version of the device.
- Silent Mode
The current state of silent mode: off, vibrate or on.
- SIM Serial Number
The serial number of the SIM card, if one is present and accessible.
If the SIM has not been unlocked it will not be available.
- SIM State
The current state of the SIM card.
One of unknown, absent, pinrequired, pukrequired, netlocked or ready.
Whether the speakerphone is on or off
The current utterance as a result of a Say or Say File action, if applicable.
- Tasks Running
A comma-separated list of any named tasks which are currently running. The list always starts and ends with a comma to make matching easier, if it’s not empty.
- Telephone Network
The current telephony network operator the device is using.
May be unreliable on CDMA networks
The current ambient temperature in degrees Celsius.
May not change when the device display is off, see
Menu / Prefs / Monitor / Display Off Monitoring / Temp. Sensor.
See also: state Temperature.
- Text From/Date/Subject/Time
%SMSRF / %SMSRN / %SMSRB / %MMSRS / %SMSRD / %SMSRT
The sender address, name, body, subject, date and time of the last text (SMS or MMS) received.
These variables will be empty until the first time a text is received after they have been referenced because Tasker does not monitor texts unless it’s needed.
Name is set to sender address of no contact could be looked up. It’s unavailable on Android versions prior to 2.0.
Body (%SMSRB) is only set for SMSs.
Subject (%MMSRS) is only set for MMSs.
Current human-readable time separated by a period e.g. 10.59
- Time MilliSeconds
The current time in milliseconds.
(milliseconds since some time in January, 1970, if you must know).
- Time Seconds
The current time in seconds.
(seconds since some time in January, 1970, if you must know).
- UI Mode
The current Android UI mode.
One of car, desk, appliance, tv (television), undef (undefined) or normal.
- Uptime Seconds
The number of seconds since the device last booted.
- Volume – Alarm/Call/DTMF/Media/Notification/Ringer/System
%VOLA / %VOLC / %VOLD / %VOLM / %VOLN / %VOLR / %VOLS
Current audio channel volume level.
On some devices, volume changes are not picked up dynamically, on others not when using the phone app.
- WiFi Info
When connected to an Access Point (AP), shows human-readable data about the AP. When not connected, show details of the most recent Wifi scan results for nearby APs.
- WiFi Status
Whether WiFi is on or off. Note: if WiFi is enabling or disabled, in fact anything but enabled, it’s classed as off.
- Wimax Status
Whether Wimax is on or off. Note: if Wimax is enabling or disabled, in fact anything but enabled, it’s classed as off.
- Window Label
The label of the current window, which could be a full-screen activity or a dialog.
Not set if the label is unknown.
For some windows, the label might be that of the first item in the window e.g. a menu entry or even a button.
dynamic in the list above trigger changes in Variable Value states and Variable Set events whenever their value changes.
monitored will cause the relevant monitor to startup to track their state when they are used in contexts or tasks which are used by widgets or enabled profiles. For instance, %CELLS used in a Flash action will cause cell location to be tracked.
Limitation: monitored variables cannot be detected in anonymous shortcuts.
Note On Location Variables
When the relevant provider (Net or GPS) of a location context is active, these variables report the values from the provider, which may be more recent than Tasker has seen if other applications are asking for location.
When the relevant provider is not active, these variables report the last values seen by Tasker, which could be the result of a
Get Location action or of monitoring for a
That means the the reported fix times could go backwards, if you turn off the location provider between two uses of the variables.
Location variables can also be manually updated by running the
Get Location action.
- they must start with the % character
- they are case-sensitive
- then must at least a further 3 alphanumeric characters
- they can also contain the underscore character (_) but not start or end with it
Global vs Local Variables
User variables which have one or more capital letters in their name are also global (e.g. %Car)
However, user variables which have all-lower-case names (e.g. %fruit) are local, meaning they are only visible in the task or scene in which they are used.
In general, it’s best to use local variables wherever possible because:
- you know they won’t be interfered with by other tasks or scenes
- they are more efficient in several ways
Note: multiple copies of the same task running at the same time each have their own separate copy of their local variables.
Any task which starts as a result of a scene event (e.g. a tap on an element) shares the variables of the scene; both the scene and task see changes to the variables made by either.
Note as a consequence that a task started by a scene event (e.g. Tap on an element) which shows a new scene e.g. via the Show Scene action, will pass copies of all the variables of the first scene to the new scene.
Builtin Local Variables
- Task Queue Seconds
The number of seconds since the current task first started executing. Note that tasks can be interrupted by higher priority tasks, so this number is not necessarily the total run-time of the task.
Escaping Variable Names
Variable Set, %new, \%old
In order to precede a variable name with a \ you can escape the backslash e.g.
Variable Set, %new, \\%old
Local variables are lost at the end of the task they were created in, or when the parent scene is destroyed in the case of tasks called from scenes.
User-variables which have not had a value assigned do not have replacements carried out e.g. in the expression I love %fruit, if %fruit is uninitialized, the expression remains as it is, otherwise %fruit is replaced with the value.
Exception: uninitialized variables used in mathematical expressions are replaced with 0.
Variables In Plugins
which has the relevant details.
They are especially useful when used with the
For action, since you can perform a set of actions on each element in turn e.g. list a set of files then test each one.
If the four variables %arr1, %arr2, %arr3, %arr4 hold respectively a, b, c and d then we have an array with 4 elements. These variables can be used just like any other, however it is also possible to access them in special ways. Here are some examples:
The number of defined array elements (4 in this case)
The index of the first defined array element, or 0 if none are defined (1).
The index of the last defined array element, or 0 if none are defined (4)
A comma-separated list of the array indices (lowest to highest) with matching values, or 0 if none match (2,3 in the example)
The contents of the first defined array element (a)
The contents of the last defined array element (d)
- %arr() or %arr(:)
All of the array elements separated by commas (a,b,c,d)
- %arr(2) or just %arr2
The content of the element with index 2 (b)
Contents of defined elements with indices 2 to 4 (b,c,d)
All the defined elements with indices up to 3 (a,b,c)
All the defined elements with indices starting from 3 (c,d)
All the defined elements with indices from 1 to 2 (a,b)
- arrays will virtually always have all their elements defined so e.g. %arr(>) will be the same as %arr(1), %arr(#) will be the same as %arr(#<)
- index specifiers can themselves be variables (e.g. %arr(1:%MAX) or %arr(#?%FINDME))
Creating An Array
Variable Set %arr a,b,c,d
Variable Split %arr
If your data has commas in it, you can separate the values with e.g. @ and specify @ also in the
- by assigning individual elements with
Variable Set, %arr3, c.
Array Pushto add an initial element
- some other actions also create arrays for their results e.g.
The Fill Spaces parameter might need more explanation. It is only relevant if one or more of the array elements are undefined. As an example, if we have the array elements %arr1 and %arr3 containing apple and banana:
- Array Push %arr1, 1, pear
leaves %arr1, %arr2 and %arr4 containing pear, apple and banana.
- but Array Push %arr2, 1, pear, Fill Spaces
leaves %arr1, %arr2 and %arr3 containing pear, apple and banana.
Array Pop action. Note the difference between
Array Pop and
Pop reduces the number of elements in the array, while
Clear merely changes elements to undefined.
Example: if we have the array elements %arr1, %arr2, %arr3 containing apple,pear and banana:
- Variable Clear %arr2
leaves %arr1 and %arr3 containing apple and banana.
- but Array Pop %arr2
leaves %arr1 and %arr2 containing apple and banana.
Deleting An Array
In most cases you could also use Variable Clear %arr* with Pattern Matching checked, but that would also delete variables called e.g. %arrTOODEETOO so
Array Clear is safer.
Arrays are intended for convenience when processing high-level data, not for e.g. processing astronomical data. Doing thousands of array actions will likely take several seconds (although mostly due to the housekeeping work done by Tasker in-between each action rather than due to the array operations themselves).
In terms of storage efficiency, they are also fairly hopeless. You probably do not want to store tens of thousands of items in an array.