How would iPhone be impacted by adding LED light?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by adam_fox, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. adam_fox macrumors member

    adam_fox

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    #1
    One thing about Android I found very useful was the little LED light that would alert me to missed calls, texts, etc.

    I'm curious (and this question is aimed at folks with stronger technical backgrounds), how might an iPhone be impacted by the inclusion of a small LED light akin to many Android phones? Would the addition of an LED light mean adding significantly more size to the device? Would the electromagentic radiation generated by the light be disruptive in some ways to other hardware components?

    I'm more interested in the technical attributes, design constraints and implications for functionality (and hope to avoid a philosophical discussion on whether an LED light should be incorporated into the iPhone.)
     
  2. aristobrat macrumors G4

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #2
    I honestly don't think there are any technical or design constraints that would prevent Apple from putting a notification light (or lights) in their products. Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones had them for years before the first iPhone and Android phones came out, so it's not rocket science.

    I know you're not looking to go down this route, but I truly believe that the only reason they're not already in the iPhone is due to a philosophical choice that Apple made a long time ago.
     
  3. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #3
    Wouldn't make the device thicker in the slightest. Having worked with soldering LEDs for various applications (hobbyist level of expertise here) I can say the LED that we are discussing here would literally be the size of a pinhead. The circuitry would be equally small.

    Sure, it would take up more space than nothing at all, but I don't think this is a space or technical issue. Apple simply doesn't want to implement an LED.

    I'll second that I would love one. It's so much more convenient to glance at your phone sitting on a desk and knowing whether there is an unread notification. It's even greater glancing and knowing if the notification might be of potential interest (i.e. Color or blink pattern).
     
  4. bufffilm macrumors 68040

    bufffilm

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    #4
    Adding notification light would be trivial to do...whether Apple will do it is another matter.

    I would love it if they did.
     
  5. got556 macrumors 6502

    got556

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    #5
    Honestly, I'm shocked Apple has yet to do it. I mean, it's been a feature in Android forever and it's one of those things you don't notice how useful it is, til it's gone. Maybe if they go to OLED screens they can have a few pixels light up on the screen and in a certain location (ie top left in blue for imessage, top right in red for missed call, bottom left in green for missed facetime, etc etc)
     
  6. LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

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    #6
    The iPhone already has this. It's in the Accessibility menu: "LED flash for alerts".
     
  7. an-other macrumors regular

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    Aug 12, 2011
    #7

    Not as robust as your proposal, but there is a Alert Warning: Settings->General -> Accessibility -> LED Flash For Alerts.
     
  8. nia820 macrumors 68000

    nia820

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    #8
    Maybe in 2017 apple will add a led light. But they'll probably call it something like 3D light lol. It will be "innovative".
     
  9. got556 macrumors 6502

    got556

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    #9
    Not in the sense that we are talking....
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2016 ---
    Using the camera flash has always been distracting to me and I don't like setting my phone face down. The LED on the front of Android phones is unobtrusive and subtle. Plus the ability to change the color depending on the notification is truly nice.
     
  10. Retired Cat macrumors 65816

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    Jun 12, 2013
    #10
    It would cost Apple next to nothing in hardware space and cost to include an LED notification light. I suspect that they exclude it because it would make the face of the iPhone minutely less clean.

    I don't care either way. A light can be disabled for those who don't want it though. I have to admit that I remember the red light on BlackBerry and thought it was pretentious, needy, and annoying. Phone should stop asking for attention! Phones should serve people, not demand things they have no right to demand.
     
  11. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #11
    Notifications on the lock screen are enough for me. I don't need blinking lights, way too annoying.
     
  12. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #12
    My old BB had a notification light and I did think it was obnoxious to a point. Now my watch gets the notifications and I don't have to be in same room or look at the phone.
     
  13. Ledsteplin macrumors 6502

    Ledsteplin

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    #13
    Just go to Settings > Notifications > set to "Alerts" at the bottom. The phone will light up for lock screen alerts.
     
  14. adam_fox thread starter macrumors member

    adam_fox

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    #14
    Now that is rather interesting. I didn't realise that OLED would allow for that kind of limited screen notification. Fascinating!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2016 ---
    Unfortunately, that requires facing the phone screen down, which is impractical for many.
     
  15. bufffilm macrumors 68040

    bufffilm

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    #15
    Exactly...too limited meaning it's nearly useless.
     
  16. adam_fox thread starter macrumors member

    adam_fox

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    #16
    Hmm .. perhaps my device isn't working properly .. if I step out of the room, and miss a call or text, should there be a visual indicator on the home screen that persists? I don't see that happening with those notifications turned on that you mentioned.
     
  17. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #17
    I can't imagine how an LED on the phone would improve my awareness over and above the sounds already played, and the notifications on the lock screen. If you want to make sure you never miss a notification, even with the sound off, consider purchasing and wearing an Apple Watch. It puts those notifications on your wrist and can alert you silently with a slight tap.
     
  18. adam_fox thread starter macrumors member

    adam_fox

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    #18
    One's lack of imagination does not negate a legitimate need.
     
  19. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #19
    Point taken. The Watch solves your problem. I don't think Apple will ever add the LED, so that's probably your best present solution.
     
  20. adam_fox thread starter macrumors member

    adam_fox

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    #20
    LOL
     
  21. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #21
    If you search for "blinky light" you'll find lots of prior discussion.
     
  22. bufffilm macrumors 68040

    bufffilm

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    #22
    Zero interest in buying an Apple Watch.

    I'm much rather wear a *real* watch...thank you.
     
  23. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

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    #23
    In response to an LED being annoying. Much like other phones I imagine the end user could decide to disable it should be or she choose.

    In response to being able to set the screen to turn on, this is great in the moment. An LED isnsuperiornib that it will warn you even if you weren't around when the notification came through (i.e. Walked away from desk, came back to see a red LED which I've set to alert me for VIP email).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2016 ---
    Not only that, it's a $300 wrist Notification Center in the context we are speaking here. Price is way to steep for me just for that.
     
  24. bufffilm, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016

    bufffilm macrumors 68040

    bufffilm

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    #24
    Something like this...
    image.jpeg

    The pic is ordinary (not mine)...the watch is not!
     
  25. ApfelKuchen, Jun 5, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016

    ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #25
    Dedicated LEDs that have a limited purpose... If someone showed me a smartphone and used that as a selling point, I'd snort, "Stupid design," and walk away. I simply don't need an always-on indication of incoming notifications/messages/etc. Others, of course, feel otherwise, and there's nothing wrong with that. That's why there are competing products, with different feature sets. Nobody has yet to design a product that's perfectly suited to all needs or user preferences.

    One of the key points of that big, whopping touch screen is that it's almost infinitely adaptable via software. The downside is that the backlight must be illuminated, even if you just need a little pin-point indication of a waiting message. It's less energy-efficient than one of those tiny LEDs, and battery life is a critical consideration.

    "It's a cheap feature to add" just doesn't hold water. It's not whether that feature is cheap to add, it's whether the feature adds substantial sales appeal. If the manufacturer incurs that added cost without passing it along to the end user, there has to be a positive return on the investment (greater unit sales to offset lower profit margins on each unit). If the price is increased to cover the cost, will consumers be willing to pay the higher price? If all the manufacturers end up doing is matching each other feature for feature, than no one feature adds substantial sales appeal on an ongoing basis - the advantage lasts for perhaps a season, while the added cost goes on for years to come.

    If you combed these forums for suggested, "cheap" features you'd have a pretty long list. Adding them all would not be that cheap, and many of them would please only a small constituency. The question is whether everybody needs to pay for what a smaller number of people need or care about. Add every feature and you end up with a more complex, difficult-to-learn product. Meantime, I read other threads on these forums where people bemoan the lost simplicity of the past. We can't have it both ways. More features are more features, even if most of them are hidden beneath the surface. The only practical solution is compromise - not everyone is going to get what they want.
     

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