In the Galaxy S7, Samsung introduced for the first time the functionality Always on Display, or what is the same, the ability to see the clock, notifications and other data on the screen off and with the terminal blocked. This feature, which the Korean company continues to incorporate in its terminals with Super AMOLED screen, acts in the same way as Ambient Display (which we saw, for example, in the LG G5). Although currently many manufacturers offer this functionality, there are many Android models that can only have it using a Google Play app.
Of course, before reviewing some of them, it is important to clarify that it is essential that the mobile in question has an AMOLED panel (which only turns on the pixels necessary to show that information and keeps the rest turned off); otherwise, that is, if you had an LCD panel, the Always on Display functionality would quickly “eat” the autonomy of your terminal.
Always on Display – AMOLED
Compatible with Android 4.4 or higher, this mobile app with AMOLED screen provides information about time, date, battery and notifications, among other data, just by looking at the phone. In addition, it offers you the possibility to choose the size of the font, the color, and the level of brightness and the style of clock (digital or analog, with a multitude of spheres available).
It also allows you to write a reminder of something important so that it appears constantly (Always On Memo) and turn on the screen with a double tap on it. It is downloaded for free, but contains ads.
Always On AMOLED – BETA
This app, which holds more than 5 million downloads, can be used on mobile phones that have Android 4.4 or higher, as well as an AMOLED screen, as we have already said. It is the first Open Source Always On application and shows, among other data, the time, date and notifications without having to touch the phone.
It includes a night mode that darkens the screen automatically in dark environments and a pocket mode that locks the device when we save it to save battery life. Among its customization options, the possibility of choosing the screen orientation and changing the text color, size, brightness, etc., stand out. It is downloaded in a special way but includes advertisements and offers purchases within the application starting at 1.69 dollars per item (watches of different types are some of them).
Always on AMOLED | Edge Lighting
In addition to displaying information about notifications, the clock, the date or the weather, it provides an attractive lighting at the edges of the phone, and all this without having to touch it and with ample customization options. It also allows you to set reminders or direct access (to the calendar or flashlight, for example).
Its creators say it uses 0% CPU resources and consumes very little power. It can be used in devices that have AMOLED, Edge, LCD, LED, QLED and curve screens, as long as they have Android 4.4 or higher (although, as we have said, it is not recommended to use it in LCD panels). It is free download, but contains ads.
Always On Edge – Edge Lighting
Although it shows the time, date, battery level and notifications (whose icons can be customized), the strength of this app for AMOLED screens is the illumination of the edges, which you can activate manually (when you open the application), automatically (as soon as you block the screen) or every time you receive a notification. It is even possible to define the color and time that will remain on.
It has a pocket mode that automatically detects when you take it out to activate it, a SmartUnlock mode that recognizes when you take the device or leave it on a flat surface, and possibility to deactivate it in a certain period (when we sleep) or when the battery level low of a set percentage. It is compatible from Android 5.0 and is downloaded for free, but offers purchases within the app for an amount between 1.09 and 21.99 dollars.