Android Apps by Nikhil Bhatla


Brightness Rocker

"Control Screen Brightness From Any App"

Brightness Rocker Lite
Free web download or Free Market download
Some feature limitations

Brightness Rocker Pro
$1.99 on the Android Market or email me
No feature limitations


What is Brightness Rocker and why might I want it?

Brightness Rocker empowers you to control your screen's brightness from any Android app. Just press the volume rocker buttons to display a brightness slider (in addition to changing the volume). Alternatively, you can use the Brightness Rocker home-screen widget or notification icon to view and change screen brightness.

What versions of Android does Brightness Rocker work with?

Brightness Rocker will run on Android 1.5-2.2. Brightness Rocker is optimized for Android 2.2 and works best there. It also works with Android 1.5-2.1, but has several issues. First, it can take several seconds to appear after the volume pop-up has disappeared. Second, you actually have to change the volume to trigger it - if the volume is maxed out and you just click up on the volume rocker, it will not show the brightness control. Note that the notification icon and home widget work normally in 1.5-2.1; it's just the volume rocker triggering which isn't as good as in 2.2.

What Android phones does Brightness Rocker work on?

[If a phone isn't listed below, that just means that it hasn't been confirmed to work (though it should)]

The app has been tested and works well on the these phones:

  • G1 (Android 1.6 Donut on T-Mobile) - volume rocker is slow to display brightness control.
  • HTC Aria (2.1 Eclair on AT&T) - volume button is slow to display brightness control.
  • HTC Evo (2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, Fresh ROM on Sprint) - no known issues.
  • HTC Evo 3D (2.3 on Sprint) - no known issues
  • HTC Incredible (2.2 on Verizon) - no known issues.
  • Motorola Droid (2.2 on Verizon) - no known issues.
  • Motorola Droid 2 (2.2 on Verizon) - no known issues.
  • Motorola Droid X (2.2 on Verizon) - no known issues.
  • Samsung Galaxy 5 (2.1) - volume rocker is slow to display brightness control.

    The app has been tested and works with minor issues on these phones:

  • LG Ally (2.1 on Verizon) - volume button is slow to display window; auto brightness checkbox may not be visibile.
  • Samsung Fascinate (2.1 on Verizon) - volume button is slow to display window; notification icon and widget don't work properly.

    What's new in this release?

    Version 1.2 (Oct 1, 2010)
  • Integrates with Android's built-in automatic brightness feature, so you can switch auto brightness on and off easily via the brightness pop-up. A checkbox is located to the right of the manual brightness slider.
  • Integrates Google Adsense for Mobile Apps (AFMA) as a new ad provider in the Lite app, in addition to AdMob and MillenialMedia (mixed via AdWhirl).
  • Misc. bug fixes, including fix for hanging on install.

    Version 1.1 (Sep 23, 2010)
  • Update that disables "in-call volume" setting by default. Some visual voicemail applications will pause when the brightness slider gets displayed when you're trying to increase the call volume. This is annoying. Existing users will still need to uncheck "in-call volume" setting after upgrade, but new users will have it unchecked by default.

    Version 1.0 (Sep 22, 2010)
  • First public release
  • Brightness slider control triggered by volume change, home-screen widget, or notification icon
  • Compatible with Android 1.5 and up
  • Works best with Froyo (Android 2.2)
  • Works OK with <=2.1: deficiencies include a few second delay before brightness control appears after pushing volume buttons, and pressing the volume button without actually changing the volume (e.g. if the volume is already maxed out) will not trigger the brightness control to display
  • Tested most rigorously on Sprint HTC Evo running Android 2.2, with additional testing on AT&T HTC Aria (Android 2.1)
  • On 2.2, installing the app will disable automatic brightness
  • On <=2.1, you will need to disable automatic brightness for the app to work
  • Settings include:
        - Enable (on/off)
        - Trigger with volume buttons (on/off)
        - Trigger on ringer volume change (on/off)
        - Trigger on media volume change (on/off)
        - Trigger on in-call volume change (on/off)
        - Display notification icon in status bar (on/off)
        - Set time delay before dialog disappears (default is 5 sec on Lite, 2 sec on Pro)
  • Brightness control is not displayed in Camera or Phone apps

    What permissions do I give the app when I install it?

    Brightness Rocker requires various permissions primarily to improve the user experience and to help eliminate bugs. Secondarily, the Lite version requires certain permissions to provide more relevant advertising. Details are provided below. If this is a concern for you, don't hesitate to email me ( to let me know.
    • Permissions used by both Pro and Lite versions:
      • System tools: Used to display and update the screen brightness level, to prevent the slider from appearing in apps where it interferes with app function (such as Camera), and to start the app when Android starts
      • Network communication: Used to phone home so that number of installs and active users can be counted
      • Phone calls: Used to detect when the phone is ringing so that the volume buttons can be used to silence the ringtone instead of displaying the brightness slider
    • Permissions used only by the Lite version:
      • Your location: Used to provide location-based ads

    Who helped in the making of this app?

    Special thanks to Dave and Jude for getting me an Android programming book for my birthday, Nick for lots of testing with Android 2.1, my Android buddies for late-stage beta testing, and Becca for putting up with me.

  • Brightness Rocker Lite for Android on AppBrain
    Brightness Rocker Pro for Android on AppBrain

    Send questions, comments, bugs and feature suggestions to


    Developed in Somerville, Massachusetts