Interesting ideas interspersed with nonsense - RSS - by nikhil bhatla, -
Home Archives September 2010

« 28 Days of Survival Food: Day 22 - 28 Days of Survival Food: A Conclusion »
Introducing Brightness Rocker, my first Android app
Sep 23, 2010, 12:50p - Technology

I'm going to post some conclusions from my semi-starvation experiment, but before that I wanted to share a new Android app that I just released yesterday. It's called Brightness Rocker, and it let's you control your screen's brightness from any app just by clicking the volume rocker buttons on the side of your phone.

Brightness Rocker

More details available at

Maybe I'm a bit overly sensitive, but when I first got my HTC Evo I found the built-in automatic brightness feature far from sufficient. It was way too bright when it was dark out, and not bright enough when I was trying to show photos or videos to friends. I guess it would be better if I could calibrate it, but it didn't have that feature.

So instead I installed a bunch of the Android widgets that let you change brightness with one click from your home screen, but again found that if I was looking at pics or videos or something, I pretty much had to leave the app to change it's brightness. This is annoying, especially if I'm trying to tune the brightness to fit that exact object that I'm looking at (e.g. a pic with lots of white looks brighter than a screen with more muted colors, even at the same brightness setting).

I just kept itching for a dedicated brightness button, like the old-school Palm and other handheld electric organizers used to have. I kept itching for that "ancient" dial, which seems to have lost favor with hardware designers these day. Modifying hardware is a bit beyond me, but modifying software isn't, so I set out to make an app that would solve this screen brightness problem I'd been having.

Hence, Brightness Rocker was born. The software overloads the existing volume rocker buttons to not only still change the volume but also display a brightness slider which you can touch to brighten or darken your screen. The app also includes a home-screen widget and notification icon to view and ajust brightness level.

This is my first Android app, and overall it was fun to learn more about the platform, and even more fun to solve this problem I'd been having. It's still in its first release, but if you've got an Android phone and would like to test it out, you can either search for it on the Android Market or download it directly from There's a Lite (free with ads) version and a Pro ($1.99 without ads) version, if the ads bug you too much. Note that it works best in Android 2.2, and more slowly in Android 1.5-2.1.

I'd love to hear any feedback or other ideas you might have for Android apps.

Read comments (7) - Comment

nikhil - Sep 24, 2010, 9:26a
I just wrote a review of Brightness Rocker on helloandroid:

nikhil - Sep 28, 2010, 10:07p
A brief mention on

"Ever been stuck in an application and want your brightness adjusted? This is your ticket. Allows your volume rocker switch to act as a volume up/down switch. Brilliant right?"

nikhil - Sep 30, 2010, 11:38a
And another review, this time from

Mention #3: Droid

nikhil - Oct 1, 2010, 9:40p
Mention #4: Android

Mention #5: Droid

nikhil - Oct 3, 2010, 6:18p
Mention #6:

Mention #7: Productive

nikhil - Oct 6, 2010, 1:48p
Mention #8: Android

nikhil - Oct 9, 2010, 12:19a
Mention #9: XDA Newsgroup

Mention #10: Thai Android

Translation (via Google):
"I left on the program this year Robert gram that will allow you to control screen brightness from any app, just press the volume buttons rock slide that shows the brightness. Or use at home or on the icon notification."

« 28 Days of Survival Food: Day 22 - 28 Days of Survival Food: A Conclusion »

Come back soon! Better yet, stay up-to-date with RSS and an RSS Reader. Creative Commons License