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If, like me, you’re constantly using the torch on your Android phone to find your way on dark dog walks, having to fumble around to open the torch is a pain. However, there is a simple way to add a torch icon to your home screen on Android and save the faffing around. Here’s how to do it, along with other tips on how to turn on the flashlight more quickly.
How to open the torch on an Android phone
Android phones all have slightly different interfaces, but to open the torch on a Samsung Galaxy S9 device, you swipe down from the top of the home screen. This unveils a menu of shortcut icons, in which you should find the torch.
If it doesn’t appear in the tray of five icons that first appears, swipe down again to open the full tray.
If it’s not in this expanded screen, swipe right to move to the next screen of icons.
How to turn on the torch with your voice
If it’s raining or you’ve got your hands full and can’t easily fiddle with the screen, you can turn the torch on and off via voice command, provided you’ve got a mobile data connection.
To turn the torch on, say:
“OK Google, turn on the torch.”
To turn it off, say:
“OK Google, turn off the torch.”
Your phone will need to be set to accept voice commands and you may need to unlock your device before Google will switch the flashlight on or off.
How to add a torch icon to the home screen
Perhaps the easiest way to turn the torch on or off is to add an icon to the home screen. You can do this with a very basic app from the Google Play Store called Flashlight Widget by David Medenjak.
Why this app? After all, there are dozens of different torch/flashlight apps in the Google Play Store that promise the same thing. However, I recommend this one because it doesn’t ask for any unnecessary permissions, so it isn’t a front to harvest data from your phone.
When you install this tiny app, you’ll be presented with a screen that asks if you want to Add to Home screen. Tap Add and a small power button icon will appear somewhere on your home screens. You can drag and drop the icon to somewhere convenient.
When you press that icon it will turn the torch on/off. Be careful not to place it somewhere too easy to hit by mistake, or you could activate the battery-burning torch accidentally.
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