It was questionable whether Apple would approve LED flashlight apps. After all, having used the LED as a flashlight recently, I can tell you it will drain the battery faster than not having a big honking LED burning brightly. Using the camera app as your LED flashlight was problematic too, because I set my iPhone to lock after 5 minutes, and had to keep tapping the screen to reset that timer.
The App Store is currently flooding with freshly approved LED flashlight apps. Let us know in the comments if you find any gems. But let's face it, the only task these are asked to do is turn on a simple LED. The differentiation is hilarious, at times. I've got a short list below.
- LED-Flashlight: Free. This is the app I use. So far I haven't had a problem and the app starts quickly, automatically turns the LED on and provides a white screen. The LED turns off if you move to another app.
- LED Light for iPhone 4 Free: The free version of this app. It has iAds. Seriously? Because what I want to do after crawling through the underground of post-apocalyptic New York is see an ad about insurance.
- LED Flashlight, only for iPhone 4: Catchy title aside, this one makes some fantastic marketing claims like other apps don't always work, or that they will continue to update and improve the app and that it looks gorgeous. As I said, it can be tough to differentiate yourself in this market. It costs US$.99.
- Actual LED Flashlight: Hey this one adds a strobe feature! It costs $.99
- LED-Torch: You have to double-tap the screen to turn the LED on/off, preventing light disasters. Also $.99
- Power LED Flashlight: I haven't the foggiest how this is different than anything else aside from the icon and interface. But it is $.99
- LED Strobe: And finally, an app that is just a strobe light. Also $.99, seemingly devoid of any actual flashlight setting...
There are easily a dozen more in the store right now, no doubt dozens more to follow. What have we learned from this tiny sampling? Well I wish there were video demos in the store, and you're likely going to have to spend a buck if you want anything more than an app which triggers the LED light -- even then you're not getting that much more.