Take a look around Google and you can see that people are seriously peeved by the lack of notification LED in the Samsung Galaxy S line of devices (excluding the Epic 4G). Developer and i9000 owner Michael R. - better known as neldar on the XDA forums - was annoyed enough by the glaring omission that he decided to come up with a solution. The result: BLN (BackLight Notification). 

The basic idea behind the app is quite simple: as there's no LED on the devices, the logical decision is to light up the soft-touch keys. Doing so isn't quite so simple as the layman might initially think, requiring a modified kernel to be flashed in conjunction with the BLN app. You'll need to be rooted in order to flash the custom kernel, meaning that BLN may not be for those who aren't willing to void their warranty or aren't comfortable flashing custom code to their device.

BLN1 bln2

One thing Michael mentioned was that many custom kernels already incorporate the modifications required by BLN, and simply don't activate them. It's also worth noting that some custom ROMs have both the kernel modifications and the BLN app built in - a good sign for the rest of us.

In fact, the only real bummer to BLN is that Nexus S support is, at this point, unlikely. Michael had originally contacted us in response to our post pointing out that the NS didn't have a notification LED, and said he was hoping to remedy that with BLN. But after digging into the digital innards of the Nexus S, he realized that it was a fairly different beast than its Galaxy S brethren. He has an alternate method in mind, but to try it out he'd have to score a NS, something that's a bit out of his budget as a student. Thus, we're without a solution in the Nexus S - for now.

Regardless, if you're the owner of an i9000, Vibrant, Fascinate, or Captivate, I'm guessing you're at least mildly interested in the app. Michael himself maintains the kernel for the i9000, while others have modified the code for the other devices.

If you're running a custom ROM or kernel, you should probably check if you already have BLN support. If not, the best place to find the required kernel is in the Development section of the XDA-Developers forums - or do a Search. Once you find the kernel, you can flash it manually or use Michael's SGS Kernel Flasher app. Then, just download and install BLN, and give it a whirl.

You can find details in the official XDA thread, and the app is available in the market.

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=neldar.bln.control.free QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=neldar.bln.control.pro

Free / Pro (~$1.37)

[Source: XDA-Developers -- thanks for taking the time to explain the details, Michael]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • PhineasJW

    NoLED already handles this and works on both the Galaxy S line and the Nexus S.

  • http://twitter.com/geeknik geeknik

    NoLED and BLN both suck. 'Nuff said. =)

    • artyte

      In my opinion, noled works as the perfect solution. It even makes me want to ditch led indicators because noled provides pictorial notifications with many colours to choose from.

  • BobbyPhoenix

    I don't get why manufactures knowing there are apps that do this already out there don't put an indicator on the phone to start. I mean if you see it out there, and know people want it, why do you insist on removing that feature on new phones? Absolutely stupid.

  • Robert

    I use BLN and it works great.

    Don't see what all the fuss is about.

    • Kim

      Hi Robert,
      Is your phone Samsung Galaxy 2S? I installed BLN for my new phone so many times and it all came up with the error message telling me that the BLN was not installed ... It drives me crazy!! Please help?
      Thank you very much!

  • Kim

    The BLN is not working on my new Samsung Galaxy 2S...Any help or idea?