SmartTiles + Tasker +... Do you have this process published; by chance?


(scott sams) #1

@Dlee - i was interested in your tablet process with Smarttiles and wondered if you had it published.

Continuing the discussion from SmartTiles v5.8: Pre-Release Announcement (follow this Topic for updates…):

(DLee) #2

Yes. Busy and away. I can’t remember all the details because it just works and no need to touch it for about a year. I did have to root the tablet to get everything just right. Will share details with screenshots soon.

(scott sams) #3


(DLee) #4

Initially I approached this by creating a stupid simple Android app in Android Studio in. Just an app you install from the Play store, enter URL for dashboard and done. But I encountered a couple bugs with videos I think and found the Tasker solution to be more reliable. I still think the simple Android app dashboard render is the best method but haven’t had time to really dig into Android Studio which is supposed to be much better this year.

Seems like adding a login step for the new SmartTiles version would be doable in either the Android app as or Tasker. Once my dashboard breaks with the new SmartTiles update, I’ll figure out how to add an IDE login step to the Tasker dashboard process explained below.

Once you get past normal not-very-intuitive learning pains of Tasker Profiles, Tasks, and Scenes, setting up the dashboard is fairly simple though the steps might look complicated. I set this up over a year ago and haven’t touched since other than to change dashboard URLs. So it’s possible I forgot a small detail or proper order of things.

Tablet in kitchen plugged into Z-wave outlet that turns on with motion sensor when someone in kitchen. It’s been very reliable for us. Dashboard always on when we are around it.

Root one way or another for Stay Alive and maybe Tasker. For this SM-900 tablet I installed SuperUser Free app.

Stay Alive keeps the dashboard always on. Donator/paid version keeps on when power/USB cord is powered. What you want to do here is have your tablet display turn on when power is on, off after power turns off (off set by your normal Android display timeout settings)

Tasker: Create a scene that loads the dashboard URL (If this isn’t using Android Web View, it’s pretty much the same). Creating scenes in tasker is quirky but you’ll get it. To get into the UI properties to paste or change your dashboard URL, double press around the bottom of scene view. (Once you enter the URL the first time, you will see a full empty screen with all the SmartTiles icons clustered on top of each other in the edit scene screen. Don’t worry, this is normal, the scene will load normally when you call the scene from a profile/task).

Here are the properties and settings I used in the scene. After this step you’ll need profiles or tasks to create and destroy the scene when the tablet display turns on/off. All that is below these Scene properties images.

Create a Scene in Tasker
Tasker Scene settings, where you paste the dashboard URL

Create Tasker Task (to load your scene/dashboard)
Looking back, I only used one Task to load the scene, but used the Profile to destroy the scene when tablet display turns off. So a Task appears not needed. I could probably both create and destroy the scene from the Tasker Profiles outlined below the next image. It was a long time ago… Try skipping this and calling the scene directly from the Profile when display turns on. If that doesn’t work, come back here and use a Task like I did. Sorry, not time to test!

Create Tasker Profiles for display on, off, and boot which create or destroy the scene/dashboard

Save/backout of all your Profile, Task, Scene settings and close Tasker (it should be running in the background). Setup your power source. Unplug the power to your tablet. Power down, plugin/power up and wait for Tasker to load scene. Your dashboard should cover the entire screen area. Check for scene settings or other tablet device options if not (it seems every device and Android version differs, my Tablet is still on Android 4.4.2 since we rarely use for anything else).

I use an outlet that turns on with motion sensor to turn power on/off in the kitchen.

A couple infrequent bugs. Once or twice per month I notice the tablet starts to load the scene then restarts. It still loads after reboot. The other is when I have six mjpeg cameras in my dashboard, occasionally the first camera fails to load live video/stays black. I’ve had this problem in Chrome browser on Mac and Windows too so not specific to the Tasker scene. Not repeatable with only four cameras.

Other than that we’ve had this running all the time without issues. It’s right next to where my wife spends a lot of time and she really likes the cameras to keep track of deliveries, kids, pets, and potential zombies.

Hope that was helpful.

(Kevin) #5

Looks great! Sorry if I missed this, but why do you use tasker scene rather than just android web browser?

Just for reference there are some other ways/apps to turn on the tablet without need for motion sensor and outlet /switch…

The motion sensor and outlet/switch works in the dark though where the camera apps probably don’t.

(scott sams) #6

Thanks Dlee. That is great. I am going to work on this. And let me know when you publish that app! :wink:

(DLee) #7

I used the browser for a while at first and the “save to desktop” link you get on the browser when saving bookmarks. It may have been due to the custom 16x9 video tiles I used to use with a highly customized version of SmartTiles smartapp, but I seemed to run into frequent blank video tiles when using the browser over long active durations. The Tasker based destroy and recreate scene when display powers on seems to keep everything fresh and more reliable, compared to using a browser. And the tasker view uses the entire tablet display with no sliders or status bars. Better than any browser options on this device.

The other thing is the central location of the tablet just across from a center island countertop. We often check the video from all angles 12 to 15 feet away to see if an expected guest or UPS truck is in the driveway etc. We already use motion based lighting in the kitchen and other spaces in that area. So having it always on when motion in this area has been convenient for glancing at the dashboard from a distance.