Spot Gen3 or Tasker


In 6 months I set off on my epic adventure, I finally get to continue my Adventure at Fifty project I started 2 years ago. A lot of people around me think I am crazy and tell me that the world is a dangerous place, especially my mother so I have opted for a little device called a Spot Gen3 to give her and of course me a little piece of mind. I have research the Spot Gen3 and it is the only device that allows pre defined communication and the ability to call for rescue services without the need for a cell tower signal. This is an ideal backup for when I’m in the real wilderness.

I have however looked at cell tower alternatives and from my research I have discovered it is very easy to make an android smart phone perform the same way as the Spot Gen3 although there must be cell tower coverage.

Tasker is an Android App that turns your smart phone into a super phone, the app isn’t free but the cost of a device to send messages,tracking data or call for backup is in the hundreds, doing the same with an Android smart phone is less the £8. I installed Tasker and the AutoApps hub, Autoapps is a small app repository for downloading and storing tasker plugins. As I’m always enthusiastic I purchased a lot more tasker plugins than I really needed to. I also discovered that an app called security settings is not just for rooted phones, it has plenty of functionality to perform some amazing tasks.

So here’s how I did it.
Downloaded and installed Tasker £3.99
Downloaded Autoapps (free) which isn’t necessary for this task
Email Me Pro £1.85

In Tasker create a new Task called “Current Location”
Press the + at the bottom of the screen to add a task
Select the Action Category called “Location”
Followed by the Location Action of “Get Location”
Selecting “Get Location” Opens an Action Edit Screen
Set Source to “Any”
Pressing what looks like a back button at the top left of the screen next to the tasker icon and the words Action Edit will save the settings.

This isn’t an Actual back button it is taskers way of saving your settings.

Now I wanted to send a predefined message to a family member so I added another task by selecting the + at the bottom of the screen
Select Action Category “Phone”
Select Phone Action “Send SMS”
Action Edit “Insert the Number,s (comma separate each phone number) you want a message to go to” and add your “Message”
In the Message type” I’m here at”
of course you can put any message you wish but “” is the link to google to show your position on Google Maps. “LOC” must be all capital letters.
Select the tasker back button to save
Add another task “+”
Select Action Category “Plugin”
Action Plugin “Email Me”
Select the pencil icon to go to the configuration
Configure “Email Me”
In the Message type” I’m here at”
of course you can put any message you wish but “” is the link to google to show your position on Google Maps. “LOC” must be all capital letters.

I then added 1 more task which is just a flash message on my phone screen so I know itˋs complete. I did this because it sometime takes a few minutes to detect my position.

Select “+”
Select Action Category “Alert”
Select Action Alert “Flash”
Action Edit Text “All Sent”

Select the tasker back button to save

You can test this task by selecting the play button in the lower left corner of the screen. It is best outdoors as a GPS signal is usually weak or non existent indoors. As we selected “Any” as our source if you are connected to the internet then it will find you location via the internet. So if you’re in a bakery on wi-fi you can enjoy you coffee and cake and stay indoors.

It is also a good idea to agree with a friend or relative as to what action to take in an emergency. Just duplicate the above tasks and give it a different name “SOS”. Set the message and phone number to whoever is going to take action in an emergency. There are lots of variations and applications you can use this for. You can even set it up to send location information at pre determined intervals or if you send a key word as a text therefore you are able to track any Android phone (not sure where your Car is?) Place a cheap Android phone hardwired into your car and set this tasker app up. Then if your car is stolen or you forgot where you left it you can easily locate it by sending your car a text message.
You can now create a profile for the tasks and even have an icon or two on your home screen, so it’s click and forget.

Do a search on YouTube for “Tasker” and you will find lots of tutorials.

You could send the location to a file rather than send a message too.
Here are a few variations for the above tasker tasks
(cell phone coverage is essential though)

Hiking or similar Activity
Any activity were you agree a time to be home but are running late.
Scuba Diving, predefined to send an sos unless cancelled by the diver
Following a tour guide, so you can see the route you took afterwards.

Google tracks your location anyway, so you can log into your google account and type “” to see where you have been.

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About John Holt

John Holt has worked in the travel industry for over 14 years and comes highly recommended by Trip Advisor for his practical and candid talks on travel destinations. Spending 18 months as a "Local Interest Specialist" for a leading tour operator John has become known as having more practical information than Google.

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