So the Galaxy SIII is out and taking the mobile world by storm, with Samsung anticipating shifting 10 million units worldwide. One of the most eye-catching features is “Smart Stay” which prevents the screen from timing out when you are looking at it by using the front facing camera. When you turn away or close your eyes, the phone knows this and allows the screen to turn off, extending your battery life.
But, what if you don’t have a Galaxy SIII and really want this feature? Try these apps available on the Android Market, but remember you must have a front-facing camera.
ISeeYou - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iseeyoulite
- Android 4.0 and above
ISeeYou has been developed for Ice Cream Sandwich handsets and does a fantastic job of replicating “Smart Stay” I have been testing it on a Galaxy SII and the screen refuses to go off when I’m looking at it, but resorts back to a 15 second timeout (or whatever Screen Timeout you have set in the standard Android Settings) when you turn away. An eye appears in the notification bar when the service is active and opens and closes when it detects a face (or not).
Hold Screen On - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kkeyser.android.eyebuddy.demo&hl=en
– Android 2.3 and above
Hold Screen On is £0.64 but there is a demo available that will work for ten minutes so you can test it on whichever phone model you have. It has more features to play with when compared to ISeeYou but doesn’t seem quite as reliable in its operation, often not realising that I was looking at it, and turning the screen off on a Sony Xperia S. This could be a hardware issue though or even an issue relating to Android 3.2, so sit tight until the Xperia S receives its long-awaited ICS update and install ISeeYou.
So, 2 great apps that bring a feature from the latest Android handset straight to any Android handset with a front-facing camera! Long live Android!
Review by Richard Goreham, IT Support Technician, Digital Phone Company.