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Developer
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎04-29-2009
My Device: 9630, 9700, 9800
My Carrier: Verizon

Keyboard backlight control

Hi  - Is there a way to programmatically control the keyboard backlight?  Specifically separate from the screen backlight? I coundn't find any docs that referred to the keyboard light.

 

Thanks.

 

- Scott

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Developer
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎02-08-2010
My Device: Torch 9800, Storm 9530, Curve 8330
My Carrier: AT&T, Verizon

Re: Keyboard backlight control

I need this also.  Obviously there's a hidden API for it, because the default clock app can do it, and also Garmin does it.  If someone just answers, "That functionality is not supported", I'll be very disappointed and so will the users who have been begging for a better, 3rd-party bedside clock for many months.

 

Another issue related to this is control of the keyboard brightness, and overriding the ambient light sensor that turns the keyboard and backlight up too bright when the phone is in light.

New Developer
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎01-30-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Keyboard backlight control

I also need this.

 

Pleeeeeeasee RIM tell us how to accomplish this.

Please?

Developer
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎02-08-2010
My Device: Torch 9800, Storm 9530, Curve 8330
My Carrier: AT&T, Verizon

Re: Keyboard backlight control

It's great to see that after 8 months of this question being asked, now that it's been re-asked twice, RIM still can't spare the time to answer it.

 

This is not asking much.  You can see how popular themes are, how much money you make off them.  People also want alternate clocks, just as they want alternate themes.  In order to make alternate clocks, we need to be able to leave the backlight on dim, and turn off the keyboard light.  I don't think we're asking for much when we ask if you could disclose the method for doing that.  It does exist, because your own clock app does it, and Garmin does it.  And if that API is locked down, how ridiculous.  Is the keyboard light a matter of corporate security?  How did Garmin access it?

 

Many users are waiting on a clock for 4.5 because RIM does not provide one, and they aren't going to accept one that leaves the keyboard on at night.

 

I've already written 24 apps that are clocks, idle screens, and/or charging monitors, and all are failures for one reason: they consume too much power.  And the main reason for that is the keyboard staying on full bright, and the backlight going 200% under lights instead of 10% as the apps request.  Why does the phone have to override what the app requests?  Let us read the light sensor and decide for ourselves what the brightness should be, if we want.  We have good reason to keep it dim, to save power.  When the phone turns it up to 200% with the battery already very low but the user only needs 50% to see, we should be able to override that.

 

But control of the keboard light is the main issue.  There must be some solution, hack or otherwise, and all we're talking about here is turning off a light, not anything that can compromise security or anything else.  Just let us turn that keyboard LED off.

 

I tried other values for 'type' in LED.setState.  0 is the status LED, 1 the trackball.  But other values throw an illegal argument exception.  Might there be some secret value we could use there to turn the keyboard light on and off?

 

 

Developer
Posts: 562
Registered: ‎09-30-2009
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Keyboard backlight control

If it's not in the public API, you can't do it. RIM can create applications that use private APIs, as is their prerogative. You may be able to try and discover what those private APIs are (some simple reverse engineering), but I'm not sure how easy it is to subsequently use them, and there are the usual disclaimers of those private APIs not being guaranteed across versions, etc.

Developer
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎02-08-2010
My Device: Torch 9800, Storm 9530, Curve 8330
My Carrier: AT&T, Verizon

Re: Keyboard backlight control

It is RIM's prerogative to do what they want with their platform, just as it was Apple's prerogative to lose its majority PC market share to IBM largely because the Apple /// was made too restrictive.

 

They can do it, yes.  But how does it make sense to lock us out of harmless stuff when anyone can easily write an app that bricks the entire phone?  I've done that accidentally a couple of times, so I'm allowed to completely trash the phone, but I'm not allowed to turn off the keyboard light in a bright room on my own phone to save the battery?

 

New Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-22-2011
My Device: Bold 9650
My Carrier: Verizon

Re: Keyboard backlight control

To leave clock on, but turn off keyboard, I found this work.

When Charging - Enter Bedside Mode

Dismiss Clock Automatically - no

Bedside Mode Dim Screen - yes

Phone calls only

 

While in the cradle, this turns off the keyboard and leaves the clock on dim.

Developer
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎02-08-2010
My Device: Torch 9800, Storm 9530, Curve 8330
My Carrier: AT&T, Verizon

Re: Keyboard backlight control

Thanks, but that won't work on a phone that doesn't have a built-in clock (OS 4.5 which is still 20-25% of the market judging from sales), and what we're trying to do is write themed and upgrade alarm clocks with a bedside mode.  There's so much demand for themes, and many users have asked for better & themed clocks -- but what kills the concept is the inability to turn off the key light, or to force the screen to stay dim when in moderate to bright light.  We need a way to override that ambient light sensor and turn off the keyboard light.  If we had that, we could include nice matching bedside clocks with themes.