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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Making the LED blink work on other phones



The LED Blink app has been out there a couple weeks, either getting rave reviews or being panned for not working.  It appears that just about every phone has it's own unique twist to turning on the camera LED.  Since I only have access to my own Moto Droid, and occasional chances to get friends to load my app (usually they greet such a request with great suspicion, even the techies) I have no way to test fixes other than to try them and see if people complain.  Yuck.

Lesson learned.  Don't develop a hardware dependent flashlight app as your first project.   Or if you do, restrict it only to the phones you know it works on.  Good luck with that, >900 devices out there.

The top phones using my app, based on the android dev web page
It appears that Moto phones top the list.  No surprise.  I've gotten reports and tried personally on one samsung phone and it didn't work.  However I have users on that platform according to my stats.  It's possible there are just a lot of those phones out there and they haven't deleted it yet.  Or maybe it works on one or two.

Some links to good posts on making the torch work on other phones.

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6881004/setting-parameters-flash-mode-torch-doesnt-work-on-droid-x-2-3
http://code.google.com/p/torch/source/browse/trunk/src/com/colinmcdonough/android/torch/Torch.java
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3878294/camera-parameters-flash-mode-torch-replacement-for-android-2-1

One of the things I was priding myself on was the lack of useless permissions on my app, but i may have to ask for camera permissions and add some of these statements.   I was going to add some of this code above to my app but I chickened out.  Until I have a phone in my hand I risk breaking something else fixing this.   So I'm going to let it lie there for a while longer.

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