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How to use your android phone as a flashlight

Cameron Summerson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and serves as an Editorial Advisor for How-To Geek and LifeSavvy. He’s been covering technology for nearly a decade and has written over 4,000 articles and hundreds of product reviews in that time. He’s been published in print magazines and quoted as a smartphone expert in the New York Times. Read more.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

It’s dark and you need to be able to see. It’s fine—whip out your trusty Android phone and put the camera flash to work as a flashlight. Here’s how to do it.

Honestly, this couldn’t be simpler, as it’s merely a toggle away on pretty much all Android phones. First, pull down the notification shade. Then find the flashlight icon and tap it.

How to use your android phone as a flashlightHow to use your android phone as a flashlight

Really, that’s it! If you can’t find the flashlight icon, you may need to tug the notification panel a second time to show the entire Quick Settings menu. At that point, you should see the flashlight.

Now that you’ve found the flashlight, however, let’s go ahead and eliminate that second tap by moving the flashlight icon to the top row of the Quick Settings panel.

To do that, tap the little pencil icon at the bottom of the expanded panel.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

On Samsung Galaxy phones, press the three dots in the upper right corner, then choose “Button Order.”

How to use your android phone as a flashlightHow to use your android phone as a flashlight

From there, drag and drop any icons into your preferred spot, making sure to move the flashlight icon closer to the front of the list. From that point forward, it’ll be little more than a swipe-and-tap away.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

The flash on most smartphones isn’t just there to improve the lighting on your snapshots. It can also serve as a handy flashlight. It’s one of the most useful accessories on your phone, with applications in many different situations, like when you’re having a hard time unlocking your front door late at night or looking for something in a dark room.

But how exactly can you turn on flashlight mode for your Android device? Well, there are more than a few to do it — with some being specific to certain smartphones. You’ll be all set to light your way the next time you come home late from a party with the flashlight options below.

Option 1: Turn on flashlight mode with the quick toggle

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

Google first introduced a flashlight toggle with Android 5.0 Lollipop, located right in the quick settings. To access it, all you have to do is pull down the notification bar, find the toggle, and tap on it. The flashlight will be turned on instantly, and you can toggle it right back off when you no longer need it.

All current Android smartphones should have this feature, but in the rare case that yours doesn’t, use one of the other options listed below. Here’s a quick reminder on the steps you’ll need:

  1. Pull down the notification bar by sliding your finger down from the top of the screen.
  2. Find the Flashlight toggle and tap on it to turn on flashlight mode. That’s it!

Option 2: Use a dedicated app

If you don’t have a simple flashlight toggle in your quick settings, you may have an app instead. However, there’s always the offhand chance that you have neither, and you’ll have to head to the Play Store for a solution. Don’t worry, most are free, and you have many different options to choose from.

There are plenty of apps out there. Lucky for you, it won’t be necessary to search for the right one in a sea of options, because we have already done that for you! Check out the steps you’ll need below:

  1. Find the flashlight app that is right for you.
  2. Download the app from the Google Play Store
  3. Open the app and light your way.

Option 3: Use a smart Assistant

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

Google Assistant made its debut back in October 2016 on the Pixel smartphones and allows you to interact with your device using voice commands. It’s now available on all smartphones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above and is smart enough to play the music you want, give you a weather update, and, of course, turn on flashlight mode.

To launch Assistant, just long-press the home button, and it will pop up on your screen. After that, say something like, “Okay, Google, turn on the flashlight,” and wait for the digital assistant to do its magic. When you don’t need to use it anymore, say, “Okay, Google, turn off the flashlight.”

If you feel that talking to your phone is weird, you can also give your commands to the Assistant in writing. Just open it up, tap on the keyboard icon in the bottom left corner, and type in “turn on the flashlight.”

Samsung offers a similar smart assistant in the form of Bixby. While it may not be quite as popular as Google’s Assistant, the steps are essentially the same. Here’s what to do:

  1. Activate Google Assistant or Bixby with your home button, the Bixby button, or a voice command
  2. Say, “Okay, Google (or Bixby), turn on the flashlight.”
  3. Ask your assistant to turn the flashlight back off when you’re finished.

Option 4: Use a gesture

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

One final way to control your flashlight is with a gesture. Different phones offer different methods, but they’re among the easiest on OnePlus devices. If you own a OnePlus device, all you have to do is draw the letter V on the screen with your finger while it’s turned off. But before you can do that, you have to enable the function by going into the settings menu.

  1. Open the settings menu on your OnePlus device.
  2. Tap on “Gestures.”
  3. Enable the “Toggle flashlight” option.
  4. Once enabled, draw a V on the screen with your finger while it’s turned off.

If you have a Motorola device instead, you can shake your phone to activate your flashlight. We all remember the good old days where you could shake your phone to randomize some dice, and now we have a more practical implementation. If your phone doesn’t allow you to shake for the flashlight, you can always head back to the Play Store and download the functionality.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

  • You can turn on the flashlight on most Androids by pulling down the Quick Settings menu from the top of the screen and tapping the flashlight button.
  • You can also turn on the flashlight with a voice command to Google Assistant .
  • Some Android phones also let you turn on the flashlight with a gesture or a shake.

There was a time when your smartphone’s flashlight feature was a distant afterthought – but once people realized you could use the camera’s built-in flash to illuminate a dark room, there was an explosion of third-party apps to let you easily enable the flashlight.

Eventually, the flashlight was built into the Android operating system, and today it’s just a swipe away on most phones. Here’s how to turn on the flashlight on your Android phone.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

How to turn on the flashlight on an Android using Quick Settings

2. Find the “Flashlight” icon and tap it. The flashlight should come on instantly.

3. Tap the Flashlight icon a second time to turn it off.

How to turn on the flashlight on an Android using Google Assistant

1. Tap and hold the Home button at the bottom center of your phone until the Google Assistant pop-up window appears. If your phone is set up to listen for “OK Google,” you might not even need to do that – just say “OK Google.”

2. Say “OK Google, turn on the flashlight.” The flashlight should come on instantly. 3. You can turn the flashlight off in the same way; say “OK Google, turn the flashlight off.”

How to turn on the flashlight on some Androids using a gesture

A small number of Android phones can enable the flashlight using a gesture, but there is no standard or systematic way of knowing if your phone has a flashlight gesture built in. If you want to explore this possibility, here are some ways you could get started:

  • Check Gestures in Settings. Some phones have a gesture in Settings you can enable. Open the Settings app and search for Gestures. If you find an option to enable a flashlight gesture, turn it on.
  • Some Motorola phones let you turn on the flashlight by shaking your phone in a “chopping” motion.
  • OnePlus phones let you enable the flashlight by drawing a “V” gesture on the screen (for this to work, the screen needs to be turned off).

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

The flash feature on smartphones is not just for taking pictures in dark or low light environment. This feature could also be used as a flashlight and could be handy in many different situations such as when you are having a difficult time unlocking your door at night or whenever you are trying to look something in the dark or when it is brownout. Yes, this feature is one of the most essential tools of your Android device, but, how do you exactly turn your flashlight mode? Through this article, we shall provide you few ways and guides on how to do this.

1. Turn on flashlight mode with quick toggle

With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has introduced the flashlight toggle which could be found on the quick settings. To access it all you have to do is pull your notification bar and you will find the flashlight toggle. Tap on it to turn it on. When you are done using it, tap on the icon again and it will turn off.

All Android smartphones now have this feature but in case your phone does not use this, there are several options more that we have featured in this article.

Step by step instructions for method 1:

– Pull down the notification bar. You could do this by sliding your finger down from the top of your screen

– Look for the flashlight icon and toggle.

– Tap on it to turn it on.

2. Use a dedicated app

In case your phone does not have a pre-installed flashlight on your device, you could download one from Google Play Store. Do not worry as there are a lot of apps that are free and there are many to choose from as well.

Step by step instructions for method 2:

– Look for a flashlight app that suits you the best

– Download the app from Google Play Store

– Open the app and now you could use your flashlight

3. Use Google assistant

Launched back in October 2016, Google Assistant has been with smartphones which allows you to interact with through voice commands. Currently, Google Assistant is available on all

smartphone with OS- Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above. Google Assistant could provide you a weather update, play music for you and turn on your flashlight mode.

To launch Google Assistant, press long the home button and a popup will appear on your screen. Talk to Google assistant by saying, “Okay, Google, turn on the flashlight.” Wait for Google Assistant to do its magic and when you are no longer using the flashlight, you could direct Google assistant to turn the flashlight off.

If you are uncomfortable talking to Google, you could give your commands in writing. Just open it up tap on the keyboard icon found at the bottom left corner. Type turn on flashlight.

Step by step instruction:

– Press long the home button. This will launch Google Assistant

– Say, “okay, Google, turn on the flashlight.”

4. Use a gesture (this method is for OnePlus devices only)

If you have a OnePlus device, turning on your flashlight is simple and fast. All you have to do is draw letter V on the screen with your finger while it is still turned off. But, of course, before you do that ensure that you have enabled the function by going to the settings menu.

– Open settings menu

– Enable toggle flashlight option

– Once you have enabled this option, you could now draw a V on your screen with your finger while it is turned off.

How to Use Your Phone as a Magnifying Glass
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Whether you are trying to read a menu in a dark restaurant, the warning label on your medicine, or the fine print on a contract you possibly should not be signing, a magnifying glass can come in very handy. One with a light is even better.

Good news! That phone in your pocket is filled with handy tools, including a magnifying glass. No more squinting! Your phone’s magnifying glass lets you see the small stuff, any time, anywhere.

iPhone magnifying glass Setting

The iPhone has a useful magnifying glass feature that uses the camera. You must turn this feature on in order to use it.

Turning on the magnifying glass on an iPhone

To turn on the magnifying glass on your iPhone, go to:

Settings, then General, then Accessibility, then Magnifier. Turn it to On.

You can also turn Auto-Brightness to on. Auto-Brightness changes the brightness of the screen based on the available light.

Using the magnifying glass on an iPhone

To use the iPhone’s magnifying glass, called the Magnifier, tap the Home button three times. That will open the magnifying glass screen.

Slide the yellow dot on the Magnifier to zoom in and out. Slide the dot right to zoom in and left to zoom out.

Tap the lightning icon to turn on the light on your phone and brighten what you are seeing.

Tap the lock icon to keep the camera’s focus level from changing.

Tap the white circle button to freeze the image. The circle will have a yellow edge while the image is frozen. Tap the button again to unfreeze the image.

You can freeze the image on the Magnifier and then zoom in on it. This way the image is stable as you are trying to see it. Move the image around with your finger to see different parts of the image.

Tap the triangle in the lower right corner of the screen to control the image you are seeing. The filter lets you adjust the brightness and color of the image. You can also add colored filters to the image.

In the bottom left corner of the filter screen is an invert button that lets you change the colors. Tap that to invert the colors.

Android

Some Android phones also have a magnifying glass feature, but you need to turn it on for it to work. To turn on the magnifying glass, go to Settings, then Accessibility, then Vision, then Magnification and turn it on.

When you need to use the magnifying glass, go to the camera app and tap the screen three times. To turn off the magnifying glass, tap the screen three times again.

Some Android phones do not come with a magnifying glass feature built in. You can use zoom in the camera app if you need magnification.

Many magnifying apps are in the Google Play app store with different features. Some of these apps are free but have advertisements.

Magnifying Glass Flashlight

Magnifying Glass Flashlight currently has the highest rating of the magnifying apps in the Google Play store. This app has both magnification and a flashlight to shine a light on what you are trying to see. Like the iPhone Magnifier, this app can freeze the image so you can zoom in and steady what you are trying to see.

This app has small ads at the bottom of the screen. They do not flash or move so they are fairly easy to ignore.

The first time you use the app, you will see that the flashlight is on by default. You can turn this off if you do not need it, and want to save battery, by tapping the lightbulb icon in the lower right corner of the screen.

The smartphone you keep in your pocket is amazing. It does everything. Despite all of the innovative things it does, one of the best features of smartphones is something as simple as it is old: the flashlight. Useful –in its own way– when taking pictures and even more so when you need to light up a dark corner.

There is no denying it. We have all used the flashlight on our phone to shake off the uneasiness (not to say fear) caused by the dark. However, and surprising as it may seem, perhaps we should not be so much afraid of the lack of light as of the app that we use on your phone to shed light.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

Apps that control the flashlight on the phone – there are thousands in the app stores – are not as harmless as they may seem. It is true that you do not have to register or provide any data in order to use them but the flashlight on your phone knows a lot about you, which makes it an interesting target for cyber-crooks.

Flashlight 007, with a license for everything

As already mentioned, you do not tell your flashlight app anything but it is capable of shedding light on a good handful of conclusions about your movements. The worst thing is that if it does this, it is because you have allowed it to.

Before downloading any app you have to give it certain permissions. This gives many of the apps installed on smartphones permission to know your location using GPS data, to take pictures, record sounds and even read your text messages. This is particularly true of phones running Android as the operating system, because Windows and Apple restrict the capability of apps to spy on us (always with your permission, of course).

According to a report from SnoopWall, a company dedicated to smartphone security, flashlight apps are surprisingly quite demanding as regards permissions. A simple glance at the table compiled by SnoopWall could make your hair stand on end:

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

The apps included in the table are not selected at random. There is no need to rummage through tons of apps available on Google Play to find flashlights that want to find out everything about you. In fact, these ones in particular make up the top 10 flashlight apps for Android.

Of these, the least demanding asks for permission to read the phone status, take pictures and videos, view Internet connections and full network access. Other flashlight apps ask for permission for everything they can think of, GPS location included.

The problem, of course, is that we usually download and install apps in a hurry, accepting whatever the app asks for without thinking twice about it. By doing this you are practically handing the keys to your life – your digital life at least– to any stranger.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

The key lies in advertising

The time has come to answer the big question. Why does a flashlight want so many permissions? Firstly, in general there is no need to worry: if these apps ask for so much it is because of advertising.

Another thing flashlight apps have in common is that they are free. Therefore, developers seek to monetize every download through advertising. Flashlight apps need an Internet connection and know your location and other data that allows advertising to be adapted to your habits.

Consequently, downloading and using these apps is not necessarily dangerous, but it is better to err on the side of caution. To prevent a cyber-crook from tricking you into installing one of these apps and stealing your data, it is better to use trusted apps.

Even though the most trusted apps ask for information and control of some of the tools on the phone, it is better to use those with the best statistics: the most downloaded and the highest rated are the most trustworthy. However, now you know that for these flashlights to provide light, first of all you will have to give them permission to shed some light on the inside of your phone (and they take everything of interest to them).

Panda Security

Panda Security specializes in the development of endpoint security products and is part of the WatchGuard portfolio of IT security solutions. Initially focused on the development of antivirus software, the company has since expanded its line of business to advanced cyber-security services with technology for preventing cyber-crime.

Whether you’re squinting trying to read a menu in a dark restaurant, the warning label on your medication, or the fine print on a contract you probably shouldn’t be signing, a magnifying glass can come in very handy. One with a light would be even better.

Good news! That phone in your pocket is filled with handy tools, including a magnifying glass. No more squinting needed, see what you want when you want to.

iPhone Magnifying Glass Setting

Beginning with iOS 10, your iPhone has a very useful magnifying glass feature using the lens of the camera. You must enable this feature to be able to use it.

[note]Also see Fixing Your Font Size! to learn how to increase the size of the font on your phone.[/note]

Turning on the Magnifying Glass on Your iPhone

To turn on the magnifying glass on your iPhone, go to:

Settings => General => Accessibility => Magnifier => On

You can also turn Auto-Brightness to On. Auto-Brightness adjusts the brightness of the screen according to the light in the room.

Using the Magnifying Glass on Your iPhone

To use the magnifying glass on your iPhone, called the Magnifier, triple-tap the Home button. That will open the magnifying glass screen.

Slide the yellow dot on the Magnifier to zoom in and out. Slide the dot right to zoom in and left to zoom out.

Tap the lightning bolt to turn on the light on your phone and brighten what you’re seeing.

Tap the lock to lock the focus level so the camera isn’t constantly adjusting the focus.

Tap the white circle button to freeze the image. The circle will have a yellow rim while the image is frozen. Tap the button again to unfreeze the image.

You can freeze the image on the Magnifier and then zoom in on it. This way the image is stable as you’re trying to see it. Move the image around with your finger to see different parts of the image.

Tap the triangular filter icon in the lower right corner of the screen to control the image you are seeing. The filter lets you adjust the brightness and color of the image.

You can also add colored filters to the image:

  • White/Blue
  • Yellow/Blue
  • Grayscale
  • Yellow/Black
  • Red/Black

In the bottom left corner of the filter screen is an invert button. Tap that to invert (switch) the colors.

Android

Some Android phones have a magnifying glass feature, depending on the version of Android they are using. To enable the magnifying glass feature, go to Settings => Accessibility => Vision => Magnification gesture, then turn it on.

When you need to use the magnifying glass, go to the camera app and tap the screen three times. To turn off the magnifying glass and see the normal view, tap the screen three times again.

Android phones do not come with a magnifying glass feature built in, though you can use zoom in the camera app if you need magnification.

Many magnifying apps are in the Google Play app store with different features. Many of these apps are free but have advertisements.

Magnifying Glass Flashlight

This app has small ads at the bottom of the screen. They do not flash or move so they are fairly easy to ignore.

After downloading and opening the app, you will see that the flashlight is on by default. You can turn this off if you do not need it, and want to save battery, by tapping the lightbulb in the lower right corner of the screen.

Tap the A button to add a blue filter and invert colors so light becomes dark and dark becomes light.

Tap the Red and Blue button to have the camera light flash like a strobe light.

Tap the camera icon to freeze the image and take a screenshot of the image. Pinch and spread your fingers to zoom in and out of the image.

Tap the photo icon on the left to see the screenshots you’ve taken and share them with others. Tap the back button on your phone to return to the magnifying glass.

You can check out other Magnifying Glass apps in the Google Play Store: Magnifying Glass Apps in Google Play.

Be sure to check for apps having a light, if that is important to you.

Your Thoughts

Have you ever needed a magnifying glass but didn’t have one handy? Do you like the idea of using your phone as a magnifying glass?

Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!

*Magnifying Glass image (edited) courtesy of Kate Ter Haar via Flickr and Creative Commons

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If you’re interested in learning tech and English at the same time, check out my personal technology column at Voice of America Learning English. This week’s article is: Websites to Find Free Ebooks.

It’s dark and you need to be able to see. It’s fine—whip out your trusty Android phone and put the camera flash to work as a flashlight. Here’s how to do it.

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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews. Read more.

There are certain smartphone functions that you want to be able to do quickly. Turning on the flashlight is one of them. We’ll show you how to turn it on by simply tapping the back of your Android device.

This is possible with an app called “Tap, Tap.” Once enabled, it can perform functions when you tap the back of your device. The app is not available to download from the Google Play Store, but it can be easily sideloaded on any Android 7.0+ device.

Before we proceed, follow our guide to get Tap, Tap installed and ready to go.

Now that you have Tap, Tap set up, we can configure the Flashlight gesture. Open the app and select either “Double Tap Actions” or “Triple Tap Actions.” For this guide, we’ll use Double Tap.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

Next, tap the “Add Action” button at the bottom of the screen.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

From the “Utilities” category, select “Flashlight.” Alternatively, you can take a screenshot by tapping on the back of your phone.

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

The flashlight will now turn on when you tap the back of your Android device. Next, we can set up some “Requirements.” These requirements need to be met in order for the Flashlight to turn on. You don’t have to add requirements, but if you want to, tap “Add Requirement.”

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

If you’re worried about the flashlight turning on in your pocket, you could select the “Display On” requirement. This will ensure the flashlight doesn’t turn on when the display is off (though, you may find that handy, too).

How to use your android phone as a flashlight

You’re done! Now you always have quick access to your Android phone’s flashlight when you’re in a dark situation.