The flashlight has long been a feature of phones, using its camera LED flash to help you navigate dark places. There’s a flashlight feature built right into Android, but it takes a couple of swipes to get to, so you may be after a quicker way of enabling it.
Luckily, there are plenty of snappy ways to enable the flashlight faster on your Android phone, and we’ve gathered a bunch of them here.
Most modern Android phones have support for gestures, which let you enable and activate various features using special button presses or motions.
The exact gestures vary between different device manufacturers, but to access them, go to “Settings -> Gestures,” then look for the flashlight feature and turn it on.
On Motorola phones, the gesture to instantly turn your flashlight on is shaking your phone. On OnePlus, it’s drawing a “V” on your phone screen when it’s turned off. If you use a different phone, then the exact gesture may vary, but it’ll likely be just as quick!
Add Flashlight to Quick Settings
On many phones, the Flashlight icon is right there in the menu when you just swipe down from the top of your screen once. If it’s not, then swipe down again to see all the quick-launch icons and press the pen icon beneath them.
From here, you can hold and drag the Flashlight icon to a place in the icons list where it’ll appear among your default notifications.
Tell Google to Turn on the Flashlight
Don’t forget about “OK Google” to turn on the flashlight. Either tap on the mic icon or say, “OK Google, turn on the Flashlight” (or “Flashlight on”). This is an excellent option if you already have too many apps on your phone and don’t have enough space for another one.
Turn on the Flashlight with the Volume Buttons
To instantly turn on the flashlight on any Android device with the volume buttons, you’re going to need to install Torchie – Volume Button Torch. The app will take up 4MB of your phone’s storage and doesn’t bombard you with ads.
For the app to work in the background, you will need to grant “Accessibility Service” permission to it.
You can even enable the flashlight from your lock screen, but you will need to go into the app’s settings to allow that. To access Settings, just open the app and tap on the three vertical dots on the top right of your display.
Shake the Flashlight On
If your phone doesn’t have the built-in Gesture support that we mentioned earlier, you can get a third-party app that does the job.
You’ll need to install an app called Shake Flashlight. Just shake your phone, and the flashlight will turn on. You can turn on the flashlight even if the screen of your Android device is off, then just shake it again to turn the flashlight off.
If you feel that you have to shake your phone too hard, you can change the sensitivity in the app’s settings. Tap on the three vertical dots on the top-right corner and tap on “Shake Sensitivity.” The app will warn you that if you set the sensitivity too high, the flashlight could turn on accidentally.
Use a Flashlight Widget
Last, but not least, you can use the Flashlight Widget app to get some light. The widget will not appear on its own, so you’ll need to long-press on a space in the Home screen where you want the widget to appear.
Tap on the Widgets option at the bottom, and the widget should be on the first page. Long-press on the widget and drag it to an empty space on your display. The app doesn’t have a Settings page; you’ll only know if the app is installed when you see the widget. No app icon will appear.
While the original purpose of the flashlight is to brighten up the surroundings so the camera app can take better photos at night, it has evolved to become a handy and useful torchlight. Nice, right?
For more Android-related fun, one of the most useful tools you can get for Android is TWRP recovery. See our guide on how to install it. Or if you fancy yourself a gamer, you owe it to yourself to see our guide to the emulation front-end Retroarch on Android.