Flashlight Apps

Imagine for a second the perfect flashlight app1 for your smartphone. What features would it include? What would the instructions look like? Here’s how you’d use my dream app:

  1. Launch the app.

That’s it. To turn the light off, simply hit the physical home button to exit the app. Power buttons within the app itself duplicate existing functionality and only serve to slow you down.

Something simple like Quick™ Light gives you light when you want it.2 It has no timers, strobe settings, dimmers, or other controls. Perfect.

SOS features in flashlight apps sound cool, but do little. Mountain climbers and others who need emergency beacons know they need PLBs. If your car breaks down, use your phone as a phone.

Are you a photographer experimenting with light? Go nuts. Want to send a visual message? Have at it. If you just want a flashlight though, keep it simple, efficient, and reliable.


  1. Updated 5/30: There’s some confusion about the term “flashlight app.” It’s a program that lights up the camera flash LED and keeps it on, turning the device into a flashlight of sorts. 

  2. Unfortunately, Quick™ Light is no longer available on the App Store. Please let me know if you find a replacement: no ads, no interactive UI, just light. 

Posted in Simplify and tagged ios, apps
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People will not adopt a technical solution that serves to replace a manual task, if that solution is less efficient than the manual task it replaces.

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