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Old August 16th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post No-app-required Flashlight

Did you know that the S4 is capable of placing a flashlight widget or app shortcut on your homescreen without having to access an app to activate it each time? And I'm not referring to the built-in 2x1 "Assitive light" widget either. This is a 1x1 widget or normal app shortcut that once configured, can be deleted and will use the volume up & volume down to turn on/off. Read on.

For the widget (there's no advantage to doing it this way… only included for the sake of completeness), you have to be running a 3rd-party launcher like Apex and add the "Activities" widget from the drawer (see below). It isn't shown in the stock Touchwiz drawer, and isn't available from the long-press "Add" menu in any launcher (that I'm aware of). Next, you will be presented a scrolling window of system activities. Expand the option for Settings, and scroll all the way down. The one you want is the very last option, Torch light. You will then open to your homescreen, with the newly added widget visible. Press it to access the setup menu. Check the box for enable, and then the press arrow next to time-out. An overlay window will appear, with time choices between 15 secs and 10mins before the light automatically shuts off. It doesn't mention, but a quick tap of the vol-down button will turn the light off instantly. The menu screens are shown below.

For the app shortcut method (this will work with stock Touchwiz), download xShortcut FREE.
Open the app, then: System Settings > Complete List (at bottom) > scroll to last entry, torchlight.TorchlightSettings
From there, the directions and menus are identical to the widget description above, and as illustrated below. Once you've set it up via either method, the desktop icon is no longer needed and may be deleted if desired.

I'm surprised this isn't documented anywhere, because it seems like a very practical solution. Think about it… if you need a flashlight, it's probably because it's dark. If it's dark, the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling with your phone, unlocking the screen, finding the app, etc. I hope someone finds this as useful as I did.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Or, you can install Power Toggles and have it sitting on your dropdown notification panel (along with some other ones that the default one does not add).

Nice and clean, and not cluttering up the home screens.

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Old August 17th, 2013, 02:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, but Power Toggles (or Widgetsoid) only avoids having the screen clutter. You still have to unlock your screen and swipe down the notication bar to activate the light. The solution I describer lets you activate it by simply long pressing your vol-up button. You don't have to access the screen at all… the only requirement is that the phone be powered on.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That works from the lockscreen?
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Old August 17th, 2013, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No. You don't have to mess with the screen at all, and once you've gone thru the 1-time setup I described, you simply long-press the volume-up button on the left side of the phone to turn on the light. To turn it off, just tap the volume-down (or let it time-out to whatever you set it to when configuring). Once you go thru the 1-time setup, you don't need to wake up the phone at all… just press the button like a real flashlight.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 10:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That wouldn't be good in a purse or backpack. Don't think Id stick it in my pocket either. If that button gets pushed on, there goes the battery.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 10:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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But you have to push and hold to turn it on, and you can always set a short timeout. I'm not twisting arms trying to persuade anyone… just putting the info out there FWIW. Works for me.

It's never come on in my backpack BTW, and I ride a motorcycle to work most days with one.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 10:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Aye.. and that's ok.

Just so long as everyone has all of the facts, so that they can make their own informed decision.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Is there a way to delete the torch shortcut? I don't like it and I'd like to get rid of it (not just set it to not toggle but completely remove it).
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Or, you can install Power Toggles and have it sitting on your dropdown notification panel (along with some other ones that the default one does not add).

Nice and clean, and not cluttering up the home screens.

Thanks for the Power Toggles recommendation. I just installed it and will figure out how to modify the swipe-down list of toggles. I was disappointed that Wi-Fi wasn't included by default (at least not in the VZW MDK version). I guess this will allow me to include it?
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That's a great find Mr. Lucky! Works great on my non-rooted but Nova Primed GS4!

Thanks.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Is there a way to delete the torch shortcut? I don't like it and I'd like to get rid of it (not just set it to not toggle but completely remove it).
Sure, just long-press and drag the icon to Remove at the top of the screen. It's no different than any other app shortcut or widget.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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When I saw tbis I thought it would be very useful for exactly the reasons Mr. Lucky sets out. Sadly it didn't work.

I set the shortcut up and the turn torchlight on using long press is ticked but when I long press volume up, nothing happens.

Any ideas?
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Old August 19th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #14 (permalink)
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For me, it worked 1 to 2 times and then never worked again until I re-edited the shortcut. This cycle happened several times. So, I deleted it.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 03:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That's strange as the shortcut is just a way of accessing the system setting.

I tried deleting it and trying again but no joy.

This would be a really useful feature as I use the torch a lot and it would save me time just being able to press the volume key. What a shame.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 06:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I added the Torch light shortcut and enabled it and set the 15-sec. timeout. But I can't activate the flashlight. I'm pressing the volume up key while the screen is off and held it for 7 sec. Do I need to hold it longer?
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Old August 19th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yes, it's a system shortcut, but one that's not accessible any other way. It took me awhile to figure out why it wasn't working for some, but I think I found the problem. It looks like the "turn phone over to mute/pause" function is mutually exclusive with the torch function working reliably. When I enabled it, long-pressing the vol-up only turned on the flashlight about 50% of the time. When I disabled it, it worked 100% of the time.

For those that are interested and have this problem, try following the instructions here to set the mute/pause function OFF. Once you reboot your phone, it should work fine (mine did anyway). I originally thought the mute function silenced your phone if it was face down. I figured it would be easier than unlocking the phone, swiping the notification bar, and then setting it on silent or vibrate every time I went into a meeting. But it doesn't work that way; it only silences (or pauses the music player) if you place the phone face-down while the sound is playing. That renders the feature useless to me, since it doesn't help when I go into meetings, and when I'm at the gym excercising I often place the phone face down to hear the music clearly from the rear speaker… but doing so pauses the music, doh! Just decide which feature is more important to. Again, this should have been documented somewhere, but it's not. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I also found that it won't work if you shut off the display (press the power button) with the dialer up. But as long as the dialer is not open, my shortcut works 100%.

(i337 on AT&T)
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Old August 19th, 2013, 11:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I also found that it won't work if you shut off the display (press the power button) with the dialer up. But as long as the dialer is not open, my shortcut works 100%.
Good catch - confirmed!
Actually, it works if you toggle vol-up immediately after going into sleep mode with the power switch. After a few seconds though, nada. I can't think of a situation where I would actually do this though (except by accident).
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Old August 20th, 2013, 10:07 AM   #20 (permalink)
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OK...I reinstalled it. On my phone, I have to do a short press followed by a long press to activate the light. After it is turned off, I have to wait at least 15 seconds or so before reusing it. Aside from that, it's great. Thanks!
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Old August 20th, 2013, 11:50 AM   #21 (permalink)
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It also doesn't appear to work if I have a notification I have not reviewed yet (blinking alert LED).

I also confirm the 15 second wait between uses. I wonder if that's tied to the on time selected? (I used 15 seconds).
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Old August 20th, 2013, 11:55 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Does anyone who is running VZW w/ MDK firmware have this torchlight feature work? Mine won't. Eh, no biggie, I have a Flashlight app and the Power Toggles method that Petrah described. Granted, for either of my flashlight methods, the phone screen needs to be on and unlocked.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The 15sec thing seems odd, but not really a problem. I mean, the typical use for this is finding a keyhole in the dark, not sending semaphore.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I agree it's not a problem. But we are just reporting anomalies with the app as they are discovered.

I really like having this feature enabled, regardless of the idiosyncrasies.
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Old August 20th, 2013, 10:18 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I guess we know now why Samsung didn't document it. They probably realized it would interact with other installed apps and enabled features.

And I agree… it's a keeper, regardless!
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Old August 30th, 2013, 11:44 AM   #26 (permalink)
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This worked for me but one tip is that it only works from the screen off/locked screen state. At last for me anyway. Once I disabled the screen down to mute feature I was testing with the screen on and it would only adjust the ringer volume. It wasn't until I tested it with a locked screen that I realized it worked fine. Another oddity that people need to be aware of is that if you listen to music with your phone and have the screen off in your pocket and reach in the hold down the up volume button (I'm sure most just tap it) the light will still activate. Just an FYI. This is a cool feature to enable and thank you for posting!
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I'm finding it to only word 20% of the time.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:22 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm finding it to only word 20% of the time.
Post #17.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:46 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Post #17.
I don't use the flip=mute functionality.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 12:49 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I don't use the flip=mute functionality.
It needs to be disabled as per post #17.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 01:35 PM   #31 (permalink)
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It would be a keeper if I could persuade it to work. I'd love this to work - it would be really useful as I use the torch all the time.

I have disabled the mute/pause functionality but it doesn't work, dialer or no dialer.

Boo hoo.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Works like a charm - thanks A+
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Old August 30th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Whether or I enable or disable the mute thing that post #17 mentioned, the torch light feature doesn't work for me. Screen is locked and I'm pressing the volume up key for 10 sec., nothing happens. (0% success.) Again, I have the VZW MDK build.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 05:34 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Whether or I enable or disable the mute thing that post #17 mentioned, the torch light feature doesn't work for me. Screen is locked and I'm pressing the volume up key for 10 sec., nothing happens. (0% success.) Again, I have the VZW MDK build.
Having a ROM makes a difference.
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Old August 30th, 2013, 09:12 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Stock SG4 (Verizon is my carrier, I'm in the USA)
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Old August 31st, 2013, 02:58 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Having a ROM makes a difference.
I'm a little confused. Do we have consensus by carrier and firmware what works or doesn't for this no-app-required flashlight? Is it confirmed that no one else w/ VZW MDK works to do this?
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Old August 31st, 2013, 08:26 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Thanks much Mr Lucky. Great tip. This is very useful !
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 06:10 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm a little confused. Do we have consensus by carrier and firmware what works or doesn't for this no-app-required flashlight? Is it confirmed that no one else w/ VZW MDK works to do this?

I have VZW (USA) and it works for me (I turned off the mute/pause function)
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 04:11 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I have VZW (USA) and it works for me (I turned off the mute/pause function)
Thanks, do you have the MDK or ME7 firmware?
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 07:57 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing ! works like a charm
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Old October 26th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #41 (permalink)
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AT&T AMDL stock (4.2.2) and it does not work at all. I disabled the mute function in the motion menu and it makes no difference.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 11:22 PM   #42 (permalink)
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AT&T AMDL stock (4.2.2) and it does not work at all. I disabled the mute function in the motion menu and it makes no difference.
You have some other issue. Although I'm on MF3 now, I was running MDL when I originally posted this.
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Old October 27th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #43 (permalink)
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You have some other issue. Although I'm on MF3 now, I was running MDL when I originally posted this.
I suspect it might be a mod...call recorder or similar. Or maybe because I am running DeOdexed. It's difficult to tell.
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