March 2, 2024

Android 13’s Flashlight Can Be Less Blinding, If You Want

Phone with a flashlight on

One thing lacking with Android smartphones is the ability to adjust the brightness. The feature has been available on iPhone and Samsung phones for a while, and it looks like it’s finally coming to Android 13.

Currently, Android has toggles that let you turn the phone on and off, but it doesn’t have the option to adjust how bright it is. By default, it seems to go to maximum brightness, because it’s rather blinding, no matter what phone you own.

According to Esper, Android 13 is introducing some new API additions called the getTorchStrengthLevel and turnOnTorchWithStrengthLevel methods to the CameraManager class. This lets us know that the operating system and third-party apps will be able to control the brightness of the LED light on the back of the phone.

Because of the openness of Android, not all phones will be able to control the flashlight’s brightness. Certain parameters must be met by the phone’s hardware in order for the flashlight to be adjustable.

Esper explained the limitations, saying, “The reason support for this feature will be limited is that it will require an update to the camera hardware abstraction layer (HAL). A HAL is the software that defines the interface between the OS and the underlying hardware.”

As mentioned, Samsung has offered this feature on its modified version of Android for some time, so it’s nice to see the base Android OS catching up to Samsung and iPhone.

RELATED: How to Use Your Android Phone as a Flashlight

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