Have a KitKat device? If so, you've made the leap to the latest version of Android faster than most other people. That's the fun part. You've also jumped to Android 4.4 before most apps. That's the not so fun part. While older apps are generally stable and compatible, sometimes an update is in order to iron out the kinks. Thus a new version of Light Flow is now available that makes the app more compatible with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5.

LightFlow1 LightFlow2 LightFlow3

What does this entail? Well, now the app that lets users customize their phones' LED lights is better able to handle the Hangouts/SMS integration that KitKat rolled in. Light Flow's layout also more nicely adjusts to tablets and phones with massive displays. Of course, that's just the beginning.

What's new:

  • Nexus 5 compatibility
  • Android 4.4 compatibility
  • Hangout / SMS integration
  • Google voice contact specific notifications
  • Hangout contact specific notifications (see website for limitations)
  • Better layout on full HD phones
  • Improved tablet layout
  • New tasker/llama features

- Switch off all notifications task

- Switch on/off individual notification types

- Control up to 5 of your own notifications from these apps

  • Led brightness levels
  • Plus more including support for over 30 more apps

Light Flow comes in both a free and paid version, with the latter costing $2.49 and offering more features. Both have received the update, and both are available below.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Daniel Pogue

    Just got this on my new nexus 5. Works great!

    • Zak Taccardi

      Really? I have been having issues

      • Andrew

        What issue are you having? Check out the steps on my website for testing on the nexus 5 http://www.folioflow.com/ff/page/website/lightflow/pageId/2349

        • Darryl Stanley

          Can confirm, working with no issue on the n5

          • TJ Dong

            Do all the colors work for you guys on the N5? I'm noticing when I do the test only some colors work.

          • Darryl Stanley

            Personally have not noticed any not working but gold and yellows very close together as are the range of blues

          • Andrew

            The color set is based of what the nexus one could actually do. That was still the king in color representation!

          • Andrew

            Which colours aren't you getting. I know one of the colors nearly comes out white (violet or something)

          • TJ Dong

            It seems like some colors take longer to appear then other on the N5.

      • Nelson

        Mine works well but when I do the "Test LED" I have to wait maybe 30 seconds for it to start, not the 5 that it tells me I'll have to wait.

        • Andrew

          I must admit at the moment the test function isn't great. Real notifications work much better. The test method is really complicated at the moment and prone to cancelling itself. I've plans to change this but I need to re-jig how some of the apps screens work first.

          • Nelson

            Well it isn't that big a deal since like you said the notifications work. I thought maybe the other guy was thinking it wasn't working cause he didn't wait long enough on the test, I thought so too at first.

      • Daniel Pogue

        What kind of issues have you been experiencing. I've only been using it since this morning on my n5 but havent had problems.

  • Paul_Werner

    I know that Light Flow is the king here but has anyone tried out Frozen LED? Just thought I'd ask because this one only has a free option. Here's a link:


    • MirandaU

      Thanks, seems easier to set up, better UI, free and no permissions. Good alternative. gotta give it a try.

      • Ro

        Doesn't work with the Nexus 4

        • MirandaU

          Doesn't matter, got a Nexus 5.

          • Andy Stetson

            Not everyone has (or wants) a Nexus 5. If you're gonna be a turd, go lay in the yard.

          • Colin Kealty

            i don't find he's being a turd.. he remarked that it seemed better for him and that he'd give it a try, he never said "install this is WAY better" he was stating how this seemed better for him

          • Andy Stetson

            my response wasn't to the first thing said, it was the response to it not working on a Nexus 4, "doesn't matter, got a Nexus 5". sounded like a "neener neener, i got a nexus 5 and you don't".

        • Andy Stetson

          Thanks for passing the info on for other N4 owners!

    • dethduck

      I have tried Frozen LED on my Nexus 4. It seems to work for one or two notifications then everything just defaults back to the basic white led notification regardless of your settings.

      • Paul_Werner

        Yeah, I'm hoping it will work once my N5 ships. I tried it on my N4 and couldn't get it working right. The author does say "There are some issues in devices that run stock Android (namely Nexus 4/7)" so I figured he'd fix it sometime but it didn't happen before I ordered it

  • A guy who isn’t judging

    That second screenshot

    • oneyedmonkey

      Ha I was thinking the same thing

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    • Eric Jones

      Aww man, you have to pay for Guyspy Gay dating and video chat support?

    • Andrew

      If someone request an app I'm happy to add it :-)

    • Rita V. Jefferies

      my mum just got a fantastic yellow Kia Forte Sedan just by working from a macbook air. here are the findings>>> W­W­W.F­B­3­9.C­O­M

  • http://www.westagemusic.com/ Marc

    The previous version was also ok on the nexus 5.

  • Cory_S

    Having a hard time getting a charging LED to work on my Nexus 5. It takes along times to activate, and sometimes never does.

    • CPGumby

      Same. Hoping this update fixes it.

    • Nick

      Make sure you're not trying to set an always-on LED. I've found the N5 can't handle that.

      • Cory_S

        Yeah that was it. It's too bad because blinking LEDs drive my OCD crazy.

        • Andrew

          This should now work reasonably in the latest release. It can at least do a very slow blink! A shame the drivers ignore "always on" commands though

  • bat0nas

    Stopped using this after moving to CM nightlies.

    • you_don’t_say

      Cool story bro... please, tell me more -_-

      • veRdiKt

        .....Remarks from the Peanut Gallery starring you_don't_say.....

      • bat0nas

        Because Light Flow was not that reliable at the time I used it (not the Lite version). It happened very often that the lights just lied. You had to be very careful with removing notifications not to break the LED light. You swipe by accident - fail. You open the app - OK, but too long process to shut the LED etc. etc.

        I hope things changed.

        PS: And yes.. CM has it. A lot simpler implementation. But works.

        • ProvoAggie

          I just started using it the other day on my Nexus 5 and it still seems to have a lot of issues. I'll randomly start seeing the notification LED light up just to unlock the phone and see that there are no notifications. Kind of defeats the purpose when you have false positives like that.

          • bat0nas

            See? Told ya. And they downvoted me. App is not 100 percent reliable. That's a fact.
            But on the other hand - it's really a good app and made in a good way.
            Been using it on Galaxy Nexus on all versions and bunch of ROMs. Same everywhere.

          • you_don’t_say

            Dude... your first comment was down voted because it has no context. Your follow up comment is a lot more constructive.

          • Haunter

            I used the full version of LightFlow on my GNex and it worked perfectly... though, I am having some bugs on the N5. But, 4.4 is so new, it's expected.

          • Theratchetnclank

            Thats because before this update it didn't support the new notifications method in 4.4 that was introduced in 4.3.

          • Andrew

            I personally don't see that. When that happens the best thing to do is use the lightflow debug widget. It'll tell you what notifications the app thinks are on. If there's then one you don't understand, just get in touch via the app and usually I can help sort it out.

          • David Wood

            This may have been caused by the bug in SMS/Hangouts integration, that was fixed in this version.

  • Erstam

    Has anyone tried getting contract specific notifications to work with hangouts? I've tried 5 different people setup the way the website says too, but none work. Nexus 5.

    • Andrew

      Did I reply to you in an email . I think I might. You'll need the contact name in your phone book to match exactly how it's shown in the notification raise by hangouts as the data available is really limited

      • Erstam

        You did :).
        I just added new contacts for those people with different names in hangouts to work around it.

  • TJ Dong

    Question. Does Light Flow override default led notifications on the Nexus 5? Say if I download the free version and then setup Light Flow for charging and don't set anything else. Will I still get the default led notifications like I did prior to Light Flow? Or do I have to get the paid version to support Google Voice, Twitter, etc?

    • Nelson

      You still get them.

    • Nick

      You still get them. LightFlow just lets you customize them if you so choose.

    • Andrew

      Actually you won't get twitter, gvoice without the paid version. For lightflow to control the led and override all those apps it's need to take control of the led as any other app putting out a notification would mean we couldn't get access to it again without user intervention and some luck in the timing of taking control again. I did try this when first writing the app, but it's just not really possible.

      • TJ Dong

        OK that's what I just noticed. Thanks for the reply and information!

  • bl_nk

    In case someone missed it (as did I for a long time), Cyanogenmod has this built in

    "System Settings -> Display & Lights -> Notification Light"

    Works perfectly, comes de-facto and free.

    • Andrew

      I don't think it allows you to cycle around multiple outstanding notifications (or it didn't when I last spoke to them)

      • create812

        This is still true in the Jan 18th, 2014 CM 11 nightly.

  • BAM1789

    Does anybody know how to get rid of the persistent notification in the pull down? Seriously bothering me. I unchecked run in foreground but that just made all notifications stop. Anything else?

    • JOben

      Go into settings and uncheck Run in Foreground

      • BAM1789

        Dude did you read my comment?

        • ujujujus

          probalby sfs

        • Andrew

          I have sometimes known it not disappear until you reboot your phone. But if it's not working without running in the foreground then you'll probably need it set. I don't personally like it either, but the changes in android 4.3 means there's no alternative to try and keep and app running without getting killed by android in it's housekeeping tasks

    • pfmiller

      Some phones need the run in foreground option, that's why it's there. Mostly I think it is needed on phones with limited memory. If your phone needs it you're out of luck, Google requires the app to display the notification.

    • shonangreg

      How about Settings -- Apps -- (choose the app) -- uncheck "Show notifications"?

      Or will that kill the LED notifications as well?

      • andy_o

        It does kill the LED.

  • Kyle Sutter

    Has anyone found a way to distinguish between hangouts group chats and sms? It seems that it is all one hangouts notification.

    • Nick

      "SMS Apps" is its own notification, which only includes SMS messages and not hangouts stuff.

      • Kyle Sutter

        Sorry, I should have specified hangouts group chat and hangouts sms. The new update seems to render the stock sms notification unfunctional.

        • Nick

          Do you not have the "SMS Apps" option in Light Flow? Sorry if I am misunderstanding. I attached a screenshot of what I'm talking about.

          • Kyle Sutter

            I do have that option, however it is the old sms logo, not the hangouts logo. I am not running 4.4 and only installed the APK for hangouts sms. I assume that is the issue. Thanks for helping!

          • Andrew

            If you are on an older version of android that 4.4 it's different. When you go into the sms apps it says at the top that this isn't functional if using hangouts sms integration in this version of android. That's because hangouts aborts the broadcast to other apps and also has a private database for it's details unlike the standard sms app.

            There's also no way to determine if you are using sms hangout integration either in versions below 4.4 hence the general message in the sms section

  • Aidan

    How does Light Flow fair with battery life?

  • ithehappy

    Nah, too complicated UI for me, I will stay with Light Manager. Maybe good for complex people.

  • https://plus.google.com/b/104983600193644243822/104983600193644243822/posts Enrique Labrada

    Finally, I was really looking for alternatives for my upcoming Nexus 5 as the reviews stated problems on it.

  • sinister1

    I love light flow, one of my favorite apps. It was a little bit tricky to set up on my S4. I found that after making adjustments to colors, for specific contacts a reboot helped get everything working like I wanted it. Sometimes the "test" light didn't work" Loved it on my Gnex too.

  • Logan Shaw

    The writer has exposed his sexuality, LOL.

  • Koo Koo

    I personally use Light Manger. Tried this though.

  • Sokudoningyou

    I bought Light Flow three years ago, and stopped bothering with it almost immediately because it never worked right on my Droid X. Fast forward to a Note 2, and it still gives me problems. No notifications for contact groups (which I swear they used to have), you can't get rid of apps you don't need from the list (which allows the app itself down as it loads; it kept crashing on me for a while), it doesn't save tons settings if the files are on your SD card and you, say, clean flash a rom, but then, putting the files on the phone itself means that my notifications STILL don't work, and if I have SMS and Incoming Call set, and then have some contacts specifically customized, it doesn't matter; it defaults to the default sounds and light. (And yes, I did move my custom contacts up on the hierarchy. Same problem.) Drives me effing nuts.

  • samer

    any bbm support ?

  • Mike

    Can you customize color per contact?

  • Sootie

    This update seemed to break my lightflow, was all working perfectly until this and now I cant get it to work again :/

  • dis

    seriously not working for me. I only use the sound notifications on my Samsung Captivate. I used to be able to select repeating sounds, how often the sound repeated, and for what duration. None of that seems evident in the new UI. Now get one sound notification only and if I don't hear it, tough luck for me.