As I mentioned yesterday, I asked my Twitter followers what Windows Store statistics they’d like to see. He likely meant it as a joke, but follower @databasejase asked:
I figured I’d actually take a look at this one, just to see if they had shown up. Indeed they have.
Early on, the Apple iPhone had no LED flash, so “flashlight” apps arrived that could light the screen one (or often more) colors, so that the screen could be simply used as a flashlight in lieu of an actual flashlight. Hardly convenient for use all the time, but it worked in a pinch. I’m somewhat ashamed that, in the era of early iOS flashlight apps, where many were free, I knew a dev who charged for his, and actually made a killing.
The iPhone evolved, and added an LED flash, with an API. There are countless flashlight apps on iOS today – I still even have one on my iPhone today. The LED makes a wonderful flashlight when you need it.
It appears that, like the iPad, most (but not all) Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets will not feature an LED camera flash with their cameras, usually most useful for rear-facing cameras. I’m also unsure if there is a WinRT API to access such a flash, if it does exist.
As a result, it appears that we’re back in iPhone 3G territory, where a) Yes, there are WinRT “Flashlight” apps on the Windows Store, and b) They are all screen, not LED flash, based flashlights.
So to Jason’s question, how many are there?
As of yesterday, Sept. 16, 2012, there were 6 flashlight applications that I could find on the store, and thankfully, all are free.
The first one, innovatively named “Flashlight“, appeared on Aug. 20, 2012, and was created by PEARL APPS LLC, who currently have 5 apps on the store.
As of yesterday the others are as follows:
- Flashlight+ (8/21/2012) by Jujuba Software, who currently has 13 apps on the store.
- TorchLight (8/24/2012) by Jonathan Toh, who currently has 8 apps on the store.
- Portable Flashlight (9/11/2012) by DefthKniht, who currently has 7 apps on the store.
- Simple Flashlight (9/13/2012) by ??????????, who currently has 2 apps on the store.
- Flashlight for Win8 (9/13/2012) by TI Capacitación & Universidad de desarrollo, who currently has 17 apps on the store.
Most likely these apps are early pioneers, and we can expect that they will light the way for many other flashlight apps to follow.