Miskatonic University Press

Tasker problem on Android: alarm on lock screen when no alarm is set


I got a new phone last week: a Moto G7 Play.

My previous phone was a Samsung Galaxy S3 I bought in September 2012 (I remember I got it the day after Andrew Sookrah’s incredible In Fear We Trust Nuit Blanche event at the Arts and Letters Club). In 2015 the operating system was out of date so I put CyanogenMod on it, and later LineageOS, both free and open Android variants. Last year LineageOS stopped supporting the phone. Then the battery started getting really bad, to the point where I could watch the percentage tick steadily down while I was catching up on the news. And then it started shutting off when I tried to use the camera. And then it started shutting off randomly for no reason.

Various reviews (including Peter Rukavina’s) said the Moto G7 Play was a very good low-price Android phone. Given what I was coming from, any decent new phone would be a huge improvement, and sure enough, it is. It can run two days without needing a charge, even if I watch video and listen to music! It doesn’t take thirty seconds for a web page to load! Turns out all those apps I thought were really slow are actually pretty fast. And with Peter’s instructions on mounting the phone over SSH yet another thing will get easier.

The one problem I had was with Tasker (one of the handful of non-free software packages I use on my phone). I have it set so that when I leave home the wifi and Bluetooth go off and it goes into vibrate mode, and when I come back the networking comes up, it rings, and it speaks text messages and email From: and Subject: lines. But it wasn’t registering when I was at home.

I turned off Moto’s Peek Display (where it briefly shows you a clock when you lift the phone) but that didn’t do it. I made the Display Off Monitoring > All Clocks Seconds settings longer, but that didn’t help. I always saw this on the lock screen (except the time and alarm were centred—I had to fake this):

Screenshot of alarm on lock screen
Screenshot of alarm on lock screen

Then I saw this Alarm icon showing without setting an alarm thread in a discussion forum, and found:

For me it was Tasker, I just found it. Use the 3 dots in the top right for Preferences>Monitor>Use Reliable Alarms under the “General” section (it’s the 4th one there) and then change it to “Never.” If you change it to “When Off” then it will show the alarm on your lockscreen for a split second while your display turns on.

Thank you, member F1558063743773!

I changed the setting.

Tasker preferences
Tasker preferences

Now it all works like it did before (helped also by using the new API for scanning local cell phone towers).