Category Archives: Flashlight by Joe

Updated Flashlight by Joe. No ads. No stolen data. Open source. Free. With widgets!

After initially publishing my app, I realized that it was not working for numerous phone models. So I went through and made some fixes to get it to work on those phones.

I also had a lot of people provide feedback and say that they wanted widgets. I added widgets for the home screen and lock screen.

I also updated the icon and button design because I didn’t love my original design. The app now looks like the follow.

Updated the button
Updated the button

The button design was influenced to be more in-line with toggle buttons on some Android phones.

Inspiration for the button design
Inspiration for the button design

I also messed around with some of the language localization and translated the app into 76 languages.

You can download the app at Flashlight by Joe – Google Play

You can find the source code used to make this app at Flashlight by Joe – GitHub

Although this release still has some issues, I am relatively happy with where this app is. I will consider this release to be the final release for the moment and move on to bigger and better things.

Built my first Android app. Flashlight by Joe. No ads. No stolen data. Open source. Free.

After learning some of the basics of Android I decided I wanted to go through the process of building an Android app and getting it into the app store. I’m at the point with learning programming that learning alone is no longer sufficient for my development. I have to start applying my knowledge and building some simple apps and websites. I’m not focused on making money at the moment, just applying my knowledge and gaining experience with developing.

With that motive, I had to pick something to build. I read an article about how many of the Android flashlight apps that are available secretly steal user data. Many flashlight apps also have ads on them. And yes, for all you iPhone users who have a flashlight installed with your operating system, many Android users do not have this luxury. So I figured stolen data and ads and charging people for premium versions of something that seems simple enough to implement is pretty lame. And while this app is meant to be a learning exercise for me and not intended to create a better flashlight, I figured maybe I could provide a little value to someone who downloads the app.

So I built Flashlight for Joe and put it into the Google Play store. The selling points being no ads, no stolen data, open source and free.

I wanted to build a simple looking interface, no need to complicate anything. Ended up with this design.

Keeping it simple
Keeping it simple

Nothing too complicated here. The big challenge that I realized from this project was that I would have to work with the Android camera, which is configured very differently depending upon the phone manufacturer. And given I would be supporting over 3,000 devices and 15 operating systems it was not feasible to track down all of those configurations to test. I was definitely a little bummed with how complicated it was to access such a simple functionality of the Android camera. Eventually I got it working on my Samsung Galaxy Note II and my mom’s OG droid and figured that would cover a good amount of users.

When I was happy with it I posted it to the Google Play store.

My first app
My first app

You can download the app at Flashlight by Joe – Google Play

You can find the source code used to make this app at Flashlight by Joe – GitHub