Why are most cell phone flashlight apps pointless?

So, I was wondering if there were some apps that could make the default flashlight as bright as the camera burst flashlight or something. Because the quick burst of light is brighter than the normal flashlight. I was wanting an all that would make it the brightest light all the time. But I guess either the company locked this up as a trademarked product which is their thing OR it is impossible as maybe it runs off a capacitor or something perhaps? Because the fleshlight apps are useless, they have thousands of ads and crap all junked up everywhere and the worst thing is that they die when you turn the screen of and lick the phone. Cracked has a decent article on it.


Might be NSFW so replace DOT with dots.

Mine is plenty bright, and of course there are technical reasons why you can’t run a light continuously as bright as you can a flash.

And what in the world do trademarks have to do with anything?

If there is enough power supply stuffing for a continuous 24/7 supply for maximum brightness and not just a quick burst of light, then I see no reason why not? I guess maybe there might be heating considerations, but if it was good quality to begin with it would not be a problem. It should be of good quality anyway. There are larger, brighter lights on cheaper and worse phones.

I thought that maybe a company might “invent” a deliberately worse flashlight and make it bright only sometimes as part of a lower end model. Then they would make it their thing, their “UltraLiHgHPRO-LITE” and make it impossible/illegal for apps and things to modify it.

Mine’s plenty bright, too. In fact, it’s too bright to look at directly. And you don’t have to put up with ads. I can turn mine on from the lock screen or activate it with “OK, Google.” And there are apps that turn the light on or off by clicking the power button or shaking the phone.

Why would there be?

There’s no problem because part of the good quality is making sure that it doesn’t overheat by running it too bright for extended times.

Is the “company” you’re thinking of the government? If not, how would they make it illegal? And the only company that could make it impossible would be the maker of the phone, and they include their flashlight app for free.

That’s a pain in the ass. People here link to Cracked all of the time. There’s nothing objectionable in that article.

The 6 Most Useless Features Found in Flashlight Apps

Uh… Yeah…

I find it interesting that your software corrected a misspelling of flashlight to “fleshlight.” Don’t these autocorrect algorithms adapt themselves for individual users based on the frequency of use of individual words?

I’ve never had a problem with the default flashlight app on my current phone. All I have to do is shake the phone twice to turn it on or off, and it’s easily bright enough for anything for which I’d need to use a flashlight indoors.

For as little as I use mine, it would be pointless to add an app other than the built-in function. As it is I fail to see how it’s “too dim”. If I want a lamp that lights up the whole back yard I need to buy a lamp made for that purpose.

But then it runs too dim and people will trip over and break their necks and die, because they couldn’t see. I think a better idea would to be to increase the size of the entire construct to allow for more cooling and therefore more room for more power and ultimately more light.

Imagine if a fire started in your house and the power went out, leaving the house pitch black. You must get out of the house quickly, but the phone flashlight is too dim, so you accidentally fall over and break both your legs and arms, then the fire falls directly on you giving you a terribly agonizing death. Of course this scenario is very unlikely.

OKAY, my main point is how the flashlights apps themselves are hopeless. They do nothing extra that the normal default flashlight button doesn’t do, and deactivate when you lock your phone/put it to sleep. They are also riddled with ads, useless buttons and random static images of stock photos. I downloaded one a few hours ago which promised “amazing graphics and artwork” which I knew was BS, but was curious, and the “amazing graphics” was just a metal grooze/grate texture from google images. That was it. The worded buttons were static and did not animate at all.

Therefore it would be brighter while still not overheating and people will be able to safely walk in the dark and not fall over and die. The galaxy S5 Active has a very bright flashlight that can run indefinitely, so good phone flashlights are not implausible. There should be a national standard, I think. Companies should be encouraged to use/build/purchase only good flashlights for their phones.

No, I think the makers of the flashlight or even the makers of the LED that the flashlight makers used might have made it against their contract to modify anything in the actual mechanisms. I’m pretty sure there are many phone companies that don’t actually manufacture every single part for their phones themselves from the ground up, all the way to actually mining the resources out of the ground. For example Apple MAC computers use plenty of non-Apple owned parts. I’m sure there are plenty of laws saying what they can and cannot modify, for that would surely breach their copyright laws since modifying it and selling it is basically the same as stealing it and selling it as your own product unless of course you are allowed to modify it, I guess.

Well okay fine, I was just being considerate since plenty of more conservative workplaces might not really like satirical/humor-sensationalist websites like cracked. I remember when I was in a religious school, someone mentioned cracked there and everyone else thought it was terribly evil and everyone that read it regularly were controlled by demons or something.

LEDs are very easily damaged by overheating. And heating is a function of operating time. The flash may have a heatsink big enough to operate the LED at 1W power for 1/10 second pulses every second. (Because it’s a flash, not a flashlight.) Run it continuously at 1W, and now you have 10 times as much heat being generated by the LED. In this case, it would be sensible to allow flashlight apps to run the LED only up to 0.1W maximum. Allowing full power continuously will require a bigger heatsink which would make the phone larger and thicker.

Yes I’m not seeing a design issue here. Hitting it for a moment is not the same as continuous running, and it’s OK to design around both parameters with individual power levels for both.

And as others have pointed out, I find my flashlight brightness to be very good, I’ve even used it hiking. Perhaps time for a new phone?

Have you considered that your phone might just have a lousy LED? I have an LED flashlight bought back in the days when bright white LEDs were first becoming available and multi-LED flashlights were still relatively rare and expensive. So much so that the web site I bought it from (dedicated to LED lights) had a “scratch and dent” corner where they sold used demo models–that’s where I picked up mine, for around $15, IIRC. It has 4 LEDs and runs off of 3 AA batteries. The single LED on my cell phone is 2 or 3 times brighter than the 4 LEDs on my early flashlight. Modern LEDs are insanely bright.

For a while I tried out a few (bloated) flashlight apps on my phone because of the minor hassle of having to pull down the header menu and tap the flashlight icon, but then I realized that making it a minor inconvenience was a good thing–otherwise, I might be accidentally opening it when I didn’t want it.

(What I wish is that the LED was multi-frequency so that you could tune it to any color you wanted, as you can do on some novelty LEDs with red, green, and blue diodes all in the same package. Including UV would be nice, too.)

If Cracked is NSFW, then so is everything else on the Dope. If you want to err on the side of caution, it’s acceptable to put your link inside spoiler tags like this:

Quote my post to see how I did that.

Fair enough, but that only reaffirms that an extra flashlight app is mostly pointless.

You seem to be missing the “wherefore” on that first sentence.

And on the last point, that’s what a competitive market is for. A flashlight on your phone is a nonessential add-on doodad so let makers offer a better one. (I’m sure Samsung’s focus for the near future is more on making sure the battery is not an incendiary grenade.)

Well, but of course. Patent and trademark law is what it is, and OEM supplier contracts do have clauses about liabilities if you tamper with the components without clearing it with the maker, or if you use them outside of specs.

I am absolutely certain that all people would prefer to carry around a 0.1 kilogram phone that has a flashlight bright enough to light up their living room rather than a 0.025 kilogram phone that has a torch powerful enough to completely light up a single room in a doll-house. I mean, the torch in my phone is so dim that the screen is only about two to three times dimmer than the torch at full brightness.

The S5 Galaxy Samsung Actives are good, lightweight phones with good performance and they have bits of plastic and rubber on the sides that allow them to charge more because it’s waterproof and shockproof apparently. I mean my phone is very pleasant, except for the impact craters on the screen from when I dropped it lots of times because it was very slippery when I first got it, and I didn’t put the plastic cover over it yet. So that caused me to drop it dozens of times, and now there are small circular craters on the screen where the lining has peeled away almost as if a tiny meteorite struck there.

Anyway, other than that, the phone is excellent, the screen is orgasmically good, the sound is above mediocre, the metal casing is is dazzling to the hand (hyperbole), but the flashlight is very dim. Surely they could have made it that one bit thicker to house a much better light, or even just made a large bump on the LED light housing.
I mean, thin phones aren’t really that useful because they’re just more slippery and easy to drop. It’s almost like the phone companies do it deliberately so that people smash the phones into little bits accidentally, so that they buy them again and again and again. I think the marketing push for those ridiculous thinnest phone ever is silly, and that companies should be using much thicker cases in which they can stuff as much content in there as possible.

Errr to be honest I’m a bit tired right now, so I probably aren’t coming up with the best ideas. But I was just so surprised on how useless flashlight apps were. I thought they were actually really useful or something.

If you could build a 25-gram phone, it would sell like hotcakes even if it didn’t have a flash at all.

But seriously, if a flashlight is so important to you, perhaps you should have chosen a phone with a better flashlight. Different models have their strengths and weaknesses. All the phones I’ve owned (mainly the Galaxy S series, also a Pixel) have perfectly adequate lights.

Or you could carry a flashlight. They make great keychain flashlights now. I have this one which is tiny and even has a micro-USB port for recharging.

Well, then, it’s a good thing that they do in fact make them bright enough to keep people from tripping.
Darren Garrison, you accidentally mis-formatted a quote, and as a result attributed to me something dude robert said. I’ve fixed it.
It looks like the original misformat was in the post by dude robert you quoted. Although that one doesn’t have any misattribution in it, it would produce one if quoted again, so I’ve fixed that one, too.

The lights on cameras are LEDs. You can quite safely overdrive LEDs to produce a momentary burst of bright light that would quickly burn them out if it was sustained.

That’s about all there is to it.

I’ve had three phones with this function and I have found it perfectly adequate for occasional purposes (finding a keyhole; checking for dog shit when crossing a grass verge early in the morning; finding my way back along an unlit lane after the sun went down on my outward journey). Maybe you have a shit phone, or unreasonable expectations, or both.