No front-facing LED notification light?!

TomTomHatesCats

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 29, 2013
119
5
New York, NY
I’m sure most of you guys are long-time iPhone users, but as a new convert coming from Android I’m kind of shocked that the iPhone 6 has no front-facing multi-colored LED notification light. I never realized how much I’ve relied on this simple notification tool until now, since I don’t have it.

That said, I’m curious, is this a feature that iPhone users just don’t care about? Or are perhaps even unaware of? Or is it one of those things that’s been requested, but not yet delivered by Apple?
 
  • Like
Reactions: mattysmith118

mainomega

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2007
298
78
A "feature" that's useless to me and probably the vast majority of iPhone users. My blackberry had one... where is it now?
 

TomTomHatesCats

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 29, 2013
119
5
New York, NY
A "feature" that's useless to me and probably the vast majority of iPhone users. My blackberry had one... where is it now?
I'll take it as a vote for one person who doesn't care about notification lights, thanks, but not sure why you think it's useless to the vast majority.

Also, not sure what your point was about your blackberry when my comparison was to Android, but cool.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pam29466

FrankB1191

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2013
722
1
Pennsylvania
I just switched from an HTC One to an iPhone 6. The HTC had a very discrete green LED, and I do miss it. You can set your iPhone's LED light to flash when you get a notification, and it's extremely visible. My wife uses her iPhone 6 as an alarm, and seeing that light flashing at 5:50am nearly gave me a heart attack. We turned off the feature, but it can be turned back on if needed. Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, and then scroll down to LED Flash for Alerts.

Edit: Of course this is not front facing, but you'll see it either way.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,545
15,436
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
What iPhone users who don't care for a LED notification light always fail to understand is that not everyone is always carrying around their phone. Some people actually leave their phones on their desks or tables and what have you. An audio alert of a message can be missed. You have to go over, pick the phone up and check the screen to see if you got a message and what kind.

For these iPhone users that doesn't seem to be a big deal. But for me, I'd prefer to be able to glance over and visually be able to see from a distance that I have received a notification. I shouldn't have to turn the screen on to check.

That said, OP, in Accessibility is a visual option to have the LED on the back of the phone flash whenever a notification is received. It's a poor man's LED and if you are in the habit as I am of placing your phone on it's back you are unlikely to see the LED flash when you receive a notification.

But, it's better than nothing.
 

its Dale

macrumors 6502
Apr 8, 2013
446
111
LA California
I wish it had one. I had a Galaxy S4 and it was very useful not having to turn the screen on (sure it saved battery too). I recently came from an HTC One m8 paired with a Moto 360 smart watch. Once i had the smart watch, the LED became useless. Maybe Apple didnt include it because the demand is low and now they have the Apple Watch coming for notifications.

People dont care for it and I really dont know why the phone screen lights up for notifications, even when its sitting in the pocket. Maybe thats why most iphone users i know place their phone screen face down when they are with others. They dont want people to see what notification pops up
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pam29466

filakin

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2015
6
4
I've been an Android user for years - 5 different manufacturers - and ALL of them had front facing LED notification lights. Not ridiculously bright flash-strength LEDs, but discreet low power-use versions. Not one person I know has ever turned them off - they are extremely useful. One of those androids allowed me to display different colours depending if it was a missed call, text, email, or just social media.

Since I got an iPhone, I have to constantly turn the phone on to see if I missed a call or message. It uses up considerably more battery life than a low powered LED.

Apple is so far behind the times on this one, its embarrassing. The rest of the world gets it, why doesn't Apple?
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,473
8,168
Somewhere
I had one on the android phone I tried for a year, I didn't turn it off, but I don't miss it either after going back to the iPhone. If I go away from my phone for awhile it's not that hard to check the screen when I get back.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,545
15,436
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
If I go away from my phone for awhile it's not that hard to check the screen when I get back.
…and that's the attitude that I get from a majority of iPhone users. It's a reasonable explanation.

Except if I just want to glance over at my phone while I am a distance away from it to see if an important notification has come in. If I'm in the middle of something that puts me away from my phone but still within visible distance I have to drop what I am doing (yeah, my boss might like that) walk over, turn the screen on, check, turn the screen off (or take action) put the phone down, walk back and pick up again what I was doing.

Yeah. Easy.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,473
8,168
Somewhere
…and that's the attitude that I get from a majority of iPhone users. It's a reasonable explanation.

Except if I just want to glance over at my phone while I am a distance away from it to see if an important notification has come in. If I'm in the middle of something that puts me away from my phone but still within visible distance I have to drop what I am doing (yeah, my boss might like that) walk over, turn the screen on, check, turn the screen off (or take action) put the phone down, walk back and pick up again what I was doing.

Yeah. Easy.
If you see the light flashing that you have a notification you'll have to go over and check it anyway. Maybe Sony had a poor implementation of the notification light, but it could tell me if it was a Facebook message, text or email, but if I wanted to know if it was important I'd still have to turn on the screen to check so it wasn't a big benefit over just checking when I was free and back to it. If you're worried about getting notifications that can't wait a minute or two to check then either get an apple watch or just keep the phone with you, even the 6+ isn't too difficult to carry around in a pocket.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,545
15,436
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Well, I prefer a LED notification light.

It's not a big deal to you I can see that, but it's a big deal for me. Easy, does not always mean productive and there are many times where I don't want to be moving around with my phone when it can just stay on my desk.

Be that as it may, Apple is on your side anyway. Apple doesn't offer a dedicated LED notification light right now.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,410
18,760
If you see the light flashing that you have a notification you'll have to go over and check it anyway. Maybe Sony had a poor implementation of the notification light, but it could tell me if it was a Facebook message, text or email, but if I wanted to know if it was important I'd still have to turn on the screen to check so it wasn't a big benefit over just checking when I was free and back to it. If you're worried about getting notifications that can't wait a minute or two to check then either get an apple watch or just keep the phone with you, even the 6+ isn't too difficult to carry around in a pocket.
Most of the LED notification lights are configurable these days, not only as far as what notifications they would apply to, but also the color (many support multiple colors) and pattern (so that different patterns can be assigned to different things). Perhaps not something everyone would care about, but it's still useful nonetheless to many who would choose to use it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pam29466

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,473
8,168
Somewhere
Most of the LED notification lights are configurable these days, not only as far as what notifications they would apply to, but also the color (many support multiple colors) and pattern (so that different patterns can be assigned to different things). Perhaps not something everyone would care about, but it's still useful nonetheless to many who would choose to use it.
But if it's telling you you have an email you still have no way of knowing if that is an important email or spam that made it through your filter without looking at it.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,410
18,760
But if it's telling you you have an email you still have no way of knowing if that is an important email or spam that made it through your filter without looking at it.
And it's still a choice you make then. You can configure it for calls (and maybe messages) only if those are more important to you. You can even set it up so that isn't not used at all this making it no different for you at all.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TnIan

makotoisle

macrumors 6502
May 31, 2012
256
26
Personally, I'm not too bothered. So what if I miss a notification? It'll still be there when I next sit down to fuss with my phone. But I make a very conscious effort not to be a slave to notifications and have most turned off anyway.

If it's important, they'll call again or find another way to get a hold of me.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,410
18,760
Personally, I'm not too bothered. So what if I miss a notification? It'll still be there when I next sit down to fuss with my phone. But I make a very conscious effort not to be a slave to notifications and have most turned off anyway.

If it's important, they'll call again or find another way to get a hold of me.
That's all good and fine for you. Many other people use things and do things in different ways. That's why having an option for something is where it's at, so that you can chose what you want or need or what you don't want or need.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
22,545
15,436
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I am not a slave to notifications either. And an LED notification light would make that even easier. One glance and done.

Versus walking over, picking up the phone and checking.

You guys are arguing that it's an either/or proposition. Either you check your phone (it's easy) or don't check it (because you shouldn't be tied to your phone - they can call/email/text again or find another way to reach you that doesn't involve your phone). You reject any middle ground between the two which a notification light would provide.

How very Apple-like that is.
 

TnIan

macrumors member
Mar 19, 2010
55
8
If you see the light flashing that you have a notification you'll have to go over and check it anyway.
Yes. Very true. But if the light's not flashing, I know I don't have to go over and check it. That would work great for me. If that's not useful to you, you could leave it disabled. Then everybody gets to have an iPhone that works best for them.
 

ohohlsson

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2016
1
1
I am not a slave to notifications either. And an LED notification light would make that even easier. One glance and done.

Versus walking over, picking up the phone and checking.

You guys are arguing that it's an either/or proposition. Either you check your phone (it's easy) or don't check it (because you shouldn't be tied to your phone - they can call/email/text again or find another way to reach you that doesn't involve your phone). You reject any middle ground between the two which a notification light would provide.

How very Apple-like that is.

I just switched to iphone last week and couldn't agree more with you mate about this topic. not to mention now my iphone alarm clock blasts me with a limited choice of their crappy tones instead of the ones i had easily recorded and transfered onto my android.
Hopefully someone makes an app that does this feature so at least the led flashes continue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: eyoungren

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
50,410
18,760
I just switched to iphone last week and couldn't agree more with you mate about this topic. not to mention now my iphone alarm clock blasts me with a limited choice of their crappy tones instead of the ones i had easily recorded and transfered onto my android.
Hopefully someone makes an app that does this feature so at least the led flashes continue.
An app can't add a notification light to a device, nor would be able to control the existing LED flash (which isn't really the same thing at all) in relation to system and other notifications that are unrelated to that app.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.