The XDA Developers forum is a massive online community dedicated to trying new things on Android. They’re well-known for their comprehensive Android rooting and ROM flashing guides for virtually every phone released in recent history.
Some users, however, show off their talent in other categories, like up-and-coming apps.
Senior XDA member elesbb has written an interesting app called Front Facing Flash (F3). This app allows you to use your front facing camera for photos like selfies and pictures with friends gathered around you. The key feature of Front Facing Flash is that it adds a “flash” to the photo so that you can take these pictures in dark locations.
It’s a deceptively simple idea. Tap the F3 app in the app drawer and it launches your stock camera app. Then what the app does is overlay a white screen that brightens the image that the camera is about to take. In this way, the screen acts as a flash on the face of your phone where there is none. Tap the red dot to take your photo and snap – you’ve just taken a selfie with your front camera and it’s lit up as if you had a flash. No more twisting your phone at awkward angles or worrying about a stranger taking off with your phone if you ask them to snap a photo of you.
I took some time to test the app in varying levels of light, from pitch black darkness to the soft glow of a lamp in both the background and the foreground. Each and every time, Front Facing Flash worked as designed. Sometimes developers release an app that has serious flaws, as it’s purely an alpha or beta version of the app. Front Facing Flash has garnered generally positive reviews and appears to work on most devices as of this writing.
I’d love to see elesbb bring this app to the Google Play Store officially. Selfie fever has really set in these days. With a little bit of marketing and word of mouth, I can see this being a very popular app among users of all ages, not just the younger crowd. It’s rare to see useful innovation in such a simple app, but Front Facing Flash delivers something that many of us never thought we needed, even if we don’t take selfies.
You can pick Front Facing Flash up over at the app’s thread on XDA, and if you’re a registered XDA member be sure to hit the “thanks” button to show your support for elesbb!
Note: To install this app, you must turn on the “Unknown Sources” option in your settings. Front Facing Flash (F3) is completely safe to install – it contains no malware and very limited app permissions requests. However, don’t forget to turn the “Unknown Sources” option off after installing the app, as some apps that you might download from unknown, shady, or illegal sources may be malicious and cause harm to your phone.