As most of you know, I live in the Apple ecosystem so I was a bit jealous when I read this post by Ben Simon. Simon has an Android phone and therefore has access to the excellent Tasker app. One of its nice features is the ability to script tasks, something that I haven't seen in the Apple App Store1.

Simon has a great story illustrating how useful an app like Tasker can be. Simon was out for a run when he realized that he was going to be late to meet his wife so he stopped to text her that he was running late. As he finished his run he thought that this was a task that really should be automated. He built a script that would text his wife every 5 minutes with his location (obtained from the phone's GPS) so she would know where he was and could see on a map how long it would Take Him To Get to wherever she was. Of course, no one wants to get a text every 5 minutes so he added a couple of controls to turn it on and off. Now when he's running late he turns it on and the application automatically keeps his wife up to date on his whereabouts.

It's a simple, scratch-my-itch type of application and reminded me of what many of us do with Emacs: add a small bit of code to make our life a little easier. It made me wish that Tasker ran on my phone but not enough to make me give up my iPhone.


1 That's probably because of Apple's (almost) universal prohibition of interpretive systems.

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  • Thanks for the the mention!

  • Re Apple and intepretive systems--it'll never happen, but I agree that it sure would be nice if there was AppleScript on iOS!

  • I know this isn't really the point but Find Friends, of course, has the ability to let Ben's wife track him where ever he is. And would send her alerts as he approaches whatever areas she defines. Android has something similar through one of Google's many services, I believe.

    Its not that I don't think scripting would be useful - it would be. And we'll never see Emacs on iOS because of these prohibitions which is a shame. But its not like those of us who chose to go in this direction don't have options, either.

  • Anonymous

    You could use Glympse which available on both platforms.