Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sane Flashlight Android App




Android app on Google Play
I made a flashlight app for Android that actually works well and does'nt have any junk. Install it from Google Play Store and read this article to know why I made this app and how it differs from other similar apps in the market.

What does it do?

This app turn ON the camera flash LED when you need. The app turns ON the flash LED as soon as you open the app and you can toggle it by clicking anywhere on the screen.



Why is this made and how does this differ from other apps?

There are many Android apps which are meant to do the same, but I personally did not like many of the apps which I tried. Most of them do more harm than good. So, I made one which works well and does not annoy.

No Extra Permissions Required

Most Android apps in this category do spy on you. I was wondering why so many apps need access to your contacts, calendar and lots of other information which is not required to run the app. The only reason they do that is to spy on you. They steal your contact information, caller ID, and other stuff which is a total fraud.
A top listed flashlight Android app has access to your photos, Wi-Fi, Caller ID and many more
Check this Android app in the screenshot above. It is one of the top listed flashlight app in Google Play Store. It needs permission to access your photos, files, Wi-Fi information, Location, Caller ID and many more which is insane! This is just an example, but there are many other apps that ask for extra permissions. The app which I made just asks for access to Camera which is required by the Android API to operate the Flashlight LED.

Less Fancy but More Useful and Clutter free Interface

Screenshot when OFF
Screenshot when ON



I made the toggle button to cover the entire screen so that you need not search for the button and instead just click anywhere on the screen to either turn ON or OFF. I hardly used any fancy animations or images in the UI. This makes it lightweight and probably faster too. A brighter screen consumes a lot more power than a darker one. So, I have purposefully kept most part of the screen dark to save battery power. The borders toggle between black and white indicating the LED status.

No Unwanted Features, No Ads of any kind and works Well

I see many flashlight apps coming with too many unwanted features which are sometimes not even relevant to the app. Some of them are very heavyweight with all the unwanted junk. I tried to keep the functionality focused on just operating the flashlight well when you need. I found many Flashlight apps turn OFF after screen timeout. I tried to prevent that. It has no ads or other stuff that may annoy you. It just works. I like the Linux philosophy of do one thing and do it well. It does not run any background services so it does not affect your phone when you are not using the app. It is safe to install.

Free and Open Source

Feel free to use the app and I encourage you to play with the code if you have any knowledge of it or if you want to learn. I will try to document the code well so that if you are a beginner, you can use the source code to learn making android apps. It is a very simple program so I think works as a good hello world project for Android. I will be really happy if you can make it better and share the code with me. Grab the Sane Flashlight source code on GitHub...

Conclusion

It just took a couple of hours to make the first version of this app so I made it instead of searching for a better one from the thousands of apps in the play store. I have published it hoping that it will help you too. Try it and I will be glad to receive suggestions and feedback from you. You may download it from the Google Play Store.

Android app on Google Play

2 comments:

  1. We need an alternative repository for apps like yours. Virtually everything on the Play store requires near ownership of my device for basic functionality. The open source community is failing privacy minded people in this area imo. Thanks for your contribution.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your appreciation. This encourages me to work more on such stuff. By the way, I recently found F-Droid (f-droid.org) an open source repository for Android apps. Its pretty good. I am planning to submit this app on F-Drioid soon.

      Delete