Flashlight apps, part 3: MyFlashlight v2.0 by aBs JMicro

flashlight 1Review: MyFlashlight v2.0 by aBs JMicro
Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 3/10
Cost: $1.95

This is the third part of a series. Click here to see the introduction of the series.

Our last contender in the flashlight application roundup is MyFlashlight v2.0 by aBs JMicro. This one is not good. Really. It’s even a little bizarre. While Flashlight Pro for BlackBerry – 60 Minutes Edition commits the sin of displaying a menu instead of lighting the “flashlight” right away, this one flashes a logo for 3 seconds before displaying… a menu. :-? That is not nice.

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I soon discovered that I can dismiss that logo screen immediately by pressing any key or just rolling the trackball. Still, what is the point? Advertising? I have the product in my hands already. Why do they still need advertising?

Help and About are items that you won’t access more than once in a lifetime if ever. Don’t worry about the Exit entry. You can dismiss the program with the Blackberry Escape key. I guess they put that option there just in case. We’re left with the, erm, Start option. I can’t help wondering: shouldn’t the application have started already? :-? Anyway, Start is the only real option now, but not until I get a little annoyed again. Similar to Flashlight Pro for BlackBerry – 60 Minutes Edition, MyFlashlight also is one of those annoying weird (old?) applications that force you to click everything twice, because instead of activating the selected item directly, it will pop up a menu with rather dumb options like Select and Exit. Oh, this one innovates. There is also a Copy option. It copies the word “Start” to the Blackberry’s clipboard. Whatever… :-?

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No, pressing the Enter key has no effect. You have to press the trackball and select Select. Moving on, pressing Select causes the screen to go entirely blank. That is the flashlight feature at work. There is no LED lighting, just the screen. The screen brightness is not changed, so it is really really dim unless your screen is already configured to use intense brightness all the time. That is really awful. Considering that all the latest Blackberry models include the Notepad application which can be launched with a key shortcut (letter d) and will display a blank white screen right away, what could possibly justify the very existence of MyFlashlight?

The folks of aBs JMicro maybe thought that they weren’t offering a lot of bang for the buck and decided to add a little spice to this otherwise pure lukewarm water in the form of 4 extra features: Mirror, Discolight, Rainbow and Laserlight.

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Mirror is exactly the same as the mirror feature of Flashlight Pro for BlackBerry – 60 Minutes Edition: the screen turns off so it gets dark and sort of reflects your image and you can hopefully check you lipstick or hairdo.

Discolight is perhaps the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen in a phone, PDA or computer whatsoever. The screen is suddenly flush with some color, but not for long. The color changes into many others randomly about four or five times per second. Here is the maker’s own description of the feature:

Discolight automatically cycles the colors in the spectrum thus generating a nice lighting effect transforming your room into a discotheque.

“Transforming your room into a discotheque is a loooong stretch”. A Blackberry phone screen can barely light up a closet, much less a room. I wonder if anyone has ever found any real use for this feature, even if nothing but pure fun. Ronen would probably say it is a “seizure-inducing mechanism” or something similar. If you’re reading this article and have any idea, please post about it! Whatever it is, it could be something fascinating, I hope. Some sort of signalling tool, maybe? Let me know. Actually, I wonder if aBs JMicro was really serious about this feature or just added it for lack of any ideas at all.

Rainbow is a lot like Discolight, except the colors are not cycled automatically. You need to roll the trackball to cycle through the colors. Even for signalling I don’t think this feature can quite cut it. Whatever color is next when you roll the trackball is very unpredictable, so it just basically looks pretty. These two features really mystify me. Hum, I wonder if I could at least make a baby stop crying with this thing…

Laserlight is another enigma. It lights up the LED in red, and not very bright. What is that good for? If only MyFlashlight lit up the LED in white and at its brightest like Flashlight Pro for BlackBerry – 60 Minutes Edition does, then MyFlashlight would actually make a pretty good flashlight. A few years ago, if this red LED were a lot brighter, then I guess one could use it to develop photographs in a dark room. You see, I really want to help this product! But it’s hard.

Pros: I guess that maybe it’s possible that you could probably make a baby stop crying with the Rainbow feature.

Cons: 100% useless startup screen; won’t light up immediately; no bright white LED support; dim lighting; odd and probably useless additional features.

My rating: 3 out 10. 1 for the mirror, 1 for the Rainbow feature and 1 for the Discolight feature, supposing you can find a real use for all of them. As a flashlight, this application deserves a zero. Like I said, the stock Blackberry Notepad application can replace MyFlashlight, and more efficiently. Add a couple of points if you find any real good use for the Rainbow and Discolight features. Actually, add as many points as you want. Whatever your specific use is, it must be very specific.

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