Android 13 to give users more control over their phones’ flashlights

Android 13 could bring an improvement to one of the most “important” features found on every Android phone. The flashlight. Okay, perhaps we are stretching a bit here, but we would bet that there have been times when the flashlight on your smartphone has bailed you out in the dark.

Have you ever had a time when you turned on the flashlight only for it to not provide enough light? After all, in most cases, these lights pull double duty as the LED flash to be used with the rear camera array. Unfortunately, most Android handsets don’t give users a way to make the Flashlight brighter or dimmer.

Android 13 Developer Preview has a change that will allow the flashlight to have different settings

According to Esper (via Android Police), Android 13 is going to be removing the obstacle that prevents this by adding two APIs to the CameraManager. One will show the current brightness level of the LED flash on the back of an Android 13 phone while the second will set the brightness level from “1” to as high as the hardware will allow. Currently, users canĀ  merely turn the flashlight on or off.

Not all Android phones will support this system. But changes made in the Android 13 Developer Preview for the Pixel 6 Pro allow the two new APIs to control the brightness of the phone’s flashlight. Still, it will be up to each device maker to implement the changes to Android needed to allow phones updating to Android 13 to offer brightness controls. The only thing that you can be\ sure of is that Google will allow the necessary changes to be made to Pixel devices being updated to Android 13 later this year.

Samsung and iPhone users can already adjust their flashlights

Speaking of which, Android 13 will be compatible with all Pixel models starting with the Pixel 4 series and newer. So if things go as planned, those with the 2019 Pixel handsets and newer should have more control over their flashlight once Android 13 drops.

And devices that launch with Android 13 pre-installed (such as the Pixel 7 series) should also support the flashlight brightness controls. We know that Motorola fans love the feature that turns the flashlight on by making a quick “chopping” gesture twice (repeat to turn the light off), but we don’t expect to see this gesture coming soon to the Pixel.

Samsung Galaxy owners and Apple iPhone users can already adjust the brightness of the flashlights on their devices. Those with an iPhone can do this by long pressing the flashlight icon on the Control Center. A bar divided into segments will appear on the screen. Swipe down to make the flashlight dimmer, swipe up to make it brighter although it usually opens by default at the brightest setting.

Has anyone ever bought a particular phone due to the strength of its flashlight?

The Pixel 6 Pro flashlight is pretty bright. You can turn it on by swiping down from the top of the home screen to the Quick Settings and the second row of controls should start with the Flashlight button. Tap it to turn it on and tap it again to turn it off. Or, you can ask Google Assistant to turn the flashlight on and off and the virtual helper will be happy to oblige.

While having a flashlight on your phone is useful and does come in handy, in the history of the device we can’t imagine someone choosing to buy a particular model because of a phone’s flashlight. We could be wrong and if for some reason the flashlight was the major feature that helped you decide to buy a particular phone, please share with us the circumstances behind your decision.

As we said, the flashlight on the Pixel 6 Pro is bright. Thus, it probably would benefit more by adding controls that dim the light instead of making it brighter. We will have to wait for August or September to see exactly what changes to the flashlight are kept in the final version of Android 13.

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