Despite the defiant claims of the major smartphone companies that they’re not copying each other (despite litigation finding evidence to the contrary), there’s little doubt that the market’s handsets – by and large – tend to follow the trends of one another. One feature that seems to have unfortunately died out, is the once-popular BlackBerry / Nokia LED notification light. Particularly useful if you find even the vibrating alert to be a tad obtrusive, it allows your device to communicate a notification without any sound whatsoever. While the OEMs appear to be neglecting a feature many of us would like to see return, the commendable work of those over at XDA-Developers has lead to something of a solution in the form of ButtonLED, which turns your hardware button into a makeshift notification light.
Waking up a device to check for notifications is borderline inexcusable in a day where technology can do so much for us, and it’s certainly made worse by the fact that it’s mostly older, less wholly-capable devices which feature an LED notification light. This certainly isn’t the first time an app has allowed you to use your device’s hardware keys or screen for this particular function, but since ButtonLED – developed by XDA Senior Member GermainZ - is compatible with essentially all rooted devices, ROMs and kernels, it’s more than noteworthy.
So long as you have a backlit hardware button and proximity sensor on your device, you should be good to go. Whenever you get a notification, your actual screen stays switched off, although the exact terms and conditions can be altered within the app’s settings.
The developer has pledged to continue updating and improving the app subject to feedback and suggestions, and if you’re the sort of person that likes your notification lights, get involved by checking out the link here.
Having tried it out ourselves, it certainly shows great promise, and although it could do with a few more options with regards to exactly when it lights up, for how long for, and so forth, it’s a very positive start.
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