Flashing LED for alerts on iPhone
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: My employer just switched from the BlackBerry to the iPhone 4. My supervisor mentioned one of the things that he really misses about the BlackBerry is its LED that constantly blinks to alert users of a new message. I know there is something similar in the iPhone’s accessibility settings that uses the camera’s flash, but having never enabled the feature, I’m not sure how closely it mimics the notification LED found on other smartphones (ie. does it blink just once or constantly until you acknowledge it).
A: Unfortunately, unlike the Blackberry, the iPhone doesn’t include any kind of normal alert LED. The “LED Flash for Alert” option found in the Accessibility settings uses the LED Flash on the back of the iPhone to draw attention to alerts for users with hearing difficulties, but only flashes in conjunction with an actual alert sound or vibration, rather than blinking repeatedly until an alert is acknowledged.
You may be able to work around this to some degree, however, by using repeating alerts for unacknowledged messages. For example, the iPhone provides a feature that allows you to repeat text message and iMessage alerts automatically at two-minute intervals up to 10 times until the message is actually read. Each of these alerts will be accompanied by the flashing LED if this is enabled. You can find this option in the Notifications section of the iOS Settings app.
Unfortunately, this type of option is not available natively for other types of alerts, but you may be able to use third-party apps such as MailTones or eNotify to provide repeated alerts for things like e-mail. Keep in mind, however, that these do not integrate with the built-in Mail app, but instead use other methods such as mail forwarding or a separate connection to the user’s mail server.
A key problem faced by developers in this case is that Apple doesn’t normally allow third-party apps to run in the background in such a way that they can intercept notifications and control the LED flash. If you’re willing to jailbreak the device, however, there are apps on the Cydia store that can be used for this purpose.
While we have not reviewed this product, another recent development that may be worth a look is an app and hardware accessory combination called myLED. The company provides a $30 LED accessory that connects to the iPhone headphone jack, with various colours available, in conjunction with an iOS app that is used to configure and manage alerts for e-mail, missed calls, Twitter, Facebook, battery level, cellular data usage, and VoIP services. As with other iOS apps, the downside seems to be that you must configure direct connections to your services as iOS doesn’t provide a way for the third-party app to intercept most system notifications, and some notifications such as Messages are not available at all. It’s also worth keeping in mind that this accessory connects to the headphone jack, so you will need to remove the accessory in order to connect a wired headphones or headset to listen to music or make calls.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple plans to begin iPhone manufacturing in India starting with the iPhone SE
- Rumor: iPhone 8 to eliminate Touch ID in favor of Facial Recognition
- Report: Apple working on 4K for next-generation Apple TV
- Apple announces WWDC 2017
- Apple patent points to possible new Smart Keyboard with dedicated ‘Share’ and ‘Emoji’ keys
- Jaguar announces in-car Apple Pay payment option at UK Shell gas stations
- Shareholders seek more diversity in Apple upper management
- Apple to fight Nebraska ‘right to repair’ bill
- Apple eyeing another supplier for future OLED screens
- Facebook announces Apple TV app along with iOS app video improvements
- 1More Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones
- Revogi Smart Lightbulb, Smart Lightstrip, Smart Candle + Smart Meter Plug
- Audeze iSine10 In-Ear Headphones
- MOCACARE MOCACuff Connected Blood Pressure Monitor
- Apple AirPods
- Elgato Eve Motion
- Olloclip Core Lens Set for iPhone 7/7 Plus
- Logitech Pop Home Switch Starter Pack
- Elgato Eve Light Switch
- iHome iPLWBT5 Docking Clock Radio for iPhone and Apple Watch
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10