Android Flashlight Apps Compared


I checked out Android’s first two “flashlight” applications, ever prevalent on the iPhone as well, and gave them a test run. All the apps do as you probably could have predicted, is keep your backlight turned on. But in actuality the 2 apps I looked at – IO Flashlight and Flashlight – had 2 very distinguishing features that separated them.

The IO Flashlight allowed you to change the color of the screen but unfortunately, the application uses whatever brightness your current phone backlight is set to. In the video, mine is set to DIM and therefore the flashlight was quite DIM. If I wanted a BRIGHT flashlight I would have had to go into my phone settings and alter the brightness of my main screen. But then doesn’t that somewhat defeat the purpose of a simple flashlight?

The Flashlight application solved this problem by automatically setting your phone’s backlight to the brightest mode possible. But, it didn’t have that cool color spectrum for you to choose from.

Take your pick – they both have predictively simple features and serve their purpose. Neither will find a place on my home screen but I will probably stash it in a “Random Folder” for some bizarre time when I actually… need a flashlight… and don’t have one.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Why would anyone want to use colored light?
    That effectively lowers the available light since white is as bright a color there is.

  2. I have 2 comments:

    1) You would use colored light in order to minimize the affect on your night vision. Red affects your eyes the least in terms of adjusting to the dark.
    2) I find flashlight applications a bit overdone since if I need a flashlight (like when I come into a dark room and don’t want to turn on the light), I just turn on my phone backlight and I can see just fine.

    I suppose if you need a light for an extended period of time, you might find this useful but the amount of times when I might use this are slim-to-none.

  3. I am in the military and we have to use red light when we are in tactical or “blackout” operations. Like Matt says, it reduces the effects that white light has on your night vision. If white light is used and then turned off, your night vision takes significantly longer to return than if you were to use red light.

    This is a REALLY handy feature as map reading in blackout operations is tough with a red light as our military maps use red lines to denote certain features. The red lines become invisible with red light. A simple solution would be to change the tint of the light to blue or something else other than white.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for your review! We have updated the OI Flashlight application in the Market! Please try it out again :-)

    If there are still issues, please let us know and we’ll try to improve that!


  5. Which “Flashlight” did they rate? The developer was not given and there are multiple apps in the Droid Market with the name, “flashlight.”

  6. OI Flashlight is updated and works very well.

    There is a free app made by Motorola called DroidLight that uses the LED camera flash and is way brighter than the screen.

    I have both, OI Flashlight for night vison and DroidLight for everything else.

  7. What I don’t understand is why they can’t just use the handy dandy little light that the camera uses to take pictures..I’ve seen it done on way older phones, is it that hard to recreate on the droid?

  8. We’ve actually come out with a Flashlight app called BeLightWorks which incorporates all the best features of both flashlight apps you reviewed. Color picker, brightness slider, and a built in strobe light feature for any emergency situations. If you are interested, it is definitely worth a try.

  9. Ultimately if you are in a situation where you’re area has lost power, the last thing you want to do is run down the battery in your one communication device. So you have to take phone flashlight applications within that context. IE you don’t want it to be some kind of flood light. You want it to be just bright enough to help you find an actual flashlight.

    Now having said that, I realize there are a whole host of other situations where having a flashlight on your phone comes in handy. Which is one of the reasons why I have resisted going with the crowd to the smart phone store.

    I LOVE my Casio G-Shock phone and one of the reasons why, its that it has an actual real flashlight built into it. Much like the applications shown in the above, it has limited use and I won’t be using it to direct aircraft to a landing strip anytime soon but the LED light does project light out from the phone which much nicer that those applications.

    Its come in very handy for helping someone jump start their car in the middle of the night, helping coworkers find the flashlight box when the power goes off, or giving me just enough light to see what I’m doing while installing a vent duct, or finding a contact lens dropped on the floor…

    I’ll never own a phone without a flashlight ever again.

  10. I am a tour guide and looks like neither of the applications mentioned will do it for me. I agree with those who suggest an application to just keeping the camera flash on. It would be a lot brighter. I sure would like to avoid schlepping my separate flashlight for night tours.

  11. Id’ like to see a case with a built in LED on it, flashlight ever present, no drain on phone.

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