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Play sound and auto-reply when Google Hangouts text message received - Tasker Guide

  • android
  • tasker
  • google-hangouts
  • google-voice
  • sms

This guide will go over how to play a sound/alarm/ding and auto-reply when you receive a certain SMS/text message from the Google Hangouts app. The sound will also play regardless of your do not disturb, sleep hours, silence settings.

I needed this so my family could wake me up in case of emergency or if I ever overslept when we were supposed to get together. I have been using this setup since July 2016 it has been working great. I have used this on a Moto E (Android 5) and a Google Pixel (Android 7 and 8) with Google Voice.

The phone on the right has Tasker running and the left phone sends a standard text message.

Play video

Apps to install

To get started, purchase and download the following apps. The total cost is $5.50 presently.

Tasker Setup

Open up Tasker

Fresh screen when opening up Tasker

In the top-right, click the 3-dot menu icon and go to Preferences to turn off Begginer Mode

Tasker context menu to access preferences In Tasker preferences to uncheck 'Beginner Mode'

Open up AutoNotification and the unlock key app to make sure everything is activated and ready

Android notification showing 'Full version unlocked!' of AutoNotification

Go back to the main screen. Press and hold the home looking icon in the bottom-left corner and click the Add button to create a new project. Projects allow you to organize a set of profiles/tasks, etc into a single place (like a folder). Let's call it Ping Pong. Once created, you will see a Ping Pong tab at the bottom of the screen.

Adding a new project to Tasker An empty view of your newly created 'Ping Pong' project

Create the profile (listen for new hangouts message)

While you are on the Profiles tab, click the plus + button to start creating a new profile -> Event -> Plugin -> AutoNotification -> Intercept

Creating a new event profile Selecting plugin from the event category list Selecting AutoNotification from the list of event plugins Selecting 'Intercept' from the sub-list

Click the configuration edit pencil icon

Clicking the event configuration edit pencil icon

On the configuration screen, do the following

  1. Check Has Reply Action
  2. Under Apps, choose Hangouts
  3. Scroll down to the Notification Text setting and enter (?mi).*\bping\b.*
    • The regex here is PCRE(Java regex). Thanks to João(author or AutoNotification) for clarifying this in an email!
    • Basic regex breakdown
      • (?mi) adds the multiline and case-insensitive flags (so people can send PING, ping, PiNg, etc)
      • .* on either side will ensure any text with ping will be matched (perhaps you don't want this)
      • \b on either side will only match if the ping is separated by a word boundary like spaces
  4. Check the Case Insensitive checkbox (this doesn't interact with the Regex option but whatever)
  5. Check the Regex checkbox

Click the checkmark at the top to confirm and your profile config for the intercept event should looking something like the following. Press the back button to be done and Tasker will prompt you to create a new task.

Clicking the checkmark to confirm your changes From the event edit screen, go back

Create the task (play sounds and auto-reply)

The task is what will happen when you receive the "ping" SMS/text. In this example we will turn up the sound level, play some sounds to wake you up, and automatically reply back to the sender so they know it worked, etc.

Click new task and name it Ping me

Creating a new task whenever the notification intercept event happens Naming the task 'Ping Me'

On the task edit screen, press the plus + button to add a new action -> Plugin -> AutoNotification -> Reply

Clicking '+' on the task edit screen to add a new action Selecting 'Plugin' from the action category list Selecting AutoNotification, then 'Reply' from the action plugin list

Click the configuration edit pencil icon

Clicking the action configuration edit pencil icon

On the configuration screen, change the Reply Text to pong.
Click the checkmark at the top to confirm.

Editing the AutoNotification reply text Entering in 'pong' for the reply text

Back on the task edit screen, repeat the process to create more actions, press the plus + button

  1. Audio -> Notification Volume. Change the Level to 7
  2. Audio -> Media Volume. Change the Level to 15
  3. Alert -> Notify Sound. Change the Title to Ping
  4. Alert -> Beep. The defaults are fine (and annoying)
  5. Task -> Wait. Change the Seconds to 2
  6. Alert -> Morse. Change the text to SOS

That should be enough to wake you up (warning LOUD if you are testing). Now when someone texts you "ping", your phone will blare some sound and auto reply with "pong".

A full list of the actions we just added to the task including replying with 'pong' and playing a bunch of noises and vibrations


To test, you can try texting yourself from another device or from the Google Voice interface on your computer.

You may want to cover up your speaker with your finger or adjust the sound level of the actions while you are testing as it is very loud.