Tuesday, 18 September 2012

LED Notification Light - The most underated feature on your smartphone?

I can't explain to you how much i LOVE the notification LED on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus.  So much so, I can't imagine buying a smartphone in the future that doesn't have this feature.

It started when I first jumped from Apple and my iPhone 3G to my first Android phone, the HTC Desire.  I'd never seen a notification LED before, but it didn't take long for me to realise how invaluable that little light is.

For the unitiated (iPhone users mainly), bascially you can set any notification to create a flashing alert on the little LED on the body of the phone.  Its a silent assassin compared to audio/vibrate alerts for email, SMS, DMs, mentions, comments, anything really.

The colour can also be controlled by RGB sliders to create allsorts of colourful effects and there are a few apps out there to really take control of the these notifications (Light Flow & Trackball Alert to name but two)

A couple of practical uses:

  • You're in a meeting, phone is on slient/no vibrate but you want alerting...... LED light pops on. :)
  • Sat at home on the sofa, don't wanna keep switching phone on to see if mails have come (and annoy wife constantly fiddling with phone for no reason)...... LED light pops on when mail arrives. :)

When Apple introduced iOS5 and their notification centre I thought this was an ideal opportunitiy to bring the notification LED to the iPhone.  But the iPhone 4S came and went and no LED.  Okay, maybe as the 4S was just a revamped iPhone 4 it would come later.  So I waited with anticipation of the redesigned iPhone 5 and iOS6.  But nope, still no notification LED.  Pity really, I would seriously consider an iPhone 5 if it had that little light. .....  Because I REALLY love the whole iOS/Apple delivery mechanism.  It is really that good to consider jumping. (but thats a whole other blog) :)

Some people can't understand why I get so excited about that little LED.  I don't know why, I just do, I love it.  After all, Blackberry have been doing it for years and thankfully the majority of good Android phones have it.

Also, the only thing that ever stopped me upgrading from the HTC Desire to a Samsung Galaxy S2 was the lack of a notification LED.  Crazy Eh?

Finally, I think Google have missed a trick by not including one on the Nexus 7 tablet too.  That would have been a nice touch.

Anyway, I love the little fella.  Long live notification LEDs.


  1. thanks for sharing..

  2. I'm still on my old blackberry for that very reason. The best feature of a smartphone!