Turning backlight off

Discussion in 'iPad 1 Forum' started by barrygordon, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. barrygordon
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    barrygordon iPF Novice

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    I have a unique need. I am using iPads to control my home. There are five of them mounted in the walls of the major rooms of the house. They area all iPad 1 running IOS 5.0.1. I need a way to do the following:

    Have a small app that is running in the background and can be invoked by a URL schema from another app that is running in the foreground. Multitasking is on. The special app when invoked will be given as URL parameters the name (URL schema) to return to and a desired state for the iPad backlight. The app is to turn the backlight on or off, and return to the caller. I am assuming that if the backlight is off, screen touches still work.

    I will JB the iPads if need be.

    I am willing to pay a reasonable amount for the development of such an app. my name is Barry.

    ......EDITED BY MODERATOR......DO NOT POST CONTACT INFO......AS PER FORUM RULES.......

    TIA, Barry
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2012
  2. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Barry and welcome to the Forum!

    Quite an interesting idea you have, I'll be interested in the replies you receive.

    The IPad Forum is a community of members from all walks of life and from all over the world coming together to share our experiences and to help each other learn about this wonderful piece of technology the Ipad. There is a wealth of information already here in the many threads we have so doing some searches will answer most of the questions you have. If then you cannot find the answer you are seeking then by all means post your question. There are many friendly and informed members here only too willing to help you.

    We also have our own App - It is a very simple app to navigate.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/discussion-forum-for-ipad/id412896524?mt=8
    Reading the IPad manual is a great place to start so please download a copy of these.
    http://www.support.apple.com/manuals/ipad/
    2 very informative threads from which you will learn many tips and shortcuts for the IPad.
    http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-general-discussions/21590-tips-tricks-those-us-who-dont-know.html
    http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-os/49581-ios5-tips-tricks.html
    We have rules like any Community so please read these also
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  3. MikesTooLz
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    MikesTooLz Super Moderator Staff Member

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    backlight cannot be turned off via app and the low dim in settings is as low as you can make it go. Also iOS does not do true multitasking. The way multi tasking works is that a small function of the app may be allowed to continue running, example would be downloading of file in background. However it won't run in the background indefinatly.


    If you were to some how get the backlight off, whatever on the screen would not be visible the screen requires backlight to view whats being displayed. Sleep mode turns off the display but also can't be done via app without jail breaking and also touch would not work while in sleep mode. If you were to make an app that invoked sleep mode on a jailbroken iPad there is no way that I know of to invoke a wakeup and unlock.


    sadly this is something that an android tablet would be more sooted for, or customizable to do.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  4. barrygordon
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    barrygordon iPF Novice

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    Exactly what I want, nothing visible till the screen is touched. Just imagine a wall mounted iPad being used as a Home Automation controller in a bedroom at night. Without a backlight off capability, which would be trivial for apple to provide as they already have a private API that does it ,you have a constant night light in the room. The screen touch should not be affected (turning off the backlight should not affect the screen touchability) so using a touch to restore the backlight would work. The HA app would be running in trhe forground as the display would never be put to sleep (constantly being charged, auto lock set to never)
  5. hashman
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    hashman iPF Noob

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    i hope you find your solution but this seems like a whack investment and installation and i would love to see photos of how it looks around the rooms
  6. barrygordon
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    barrygordon iPF Novice

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    I don't know about England but wacky means crazy, stupid here in the USA. If you are truly interested go to ...... and at the bottom of the main page follow the link to documents and downloads. My HA system is in there under a grouping called commandfusion. The entry should be obvious.




    Moderator Noticed: Removed External Link to own website. Please read the rules.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2012
  7. MattIM
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    MattIM Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hello Barry, I hope you find the solution for your home. Installing that many iPads to manage your home would be an interesting project. I am bringing something up to you that is off topic to your original posting, Barry. This is a world wide accessible forum. I hope you have a very good security system to protect your home. Not only have you provided directions to get to your home but you have provided photos of your home, filed with many apparently valuable and attractive art, equipment, and desirable stuff. I can tell you are very proud of your home and I would think it would be something to appear in Architectural Digest or some other magazines that show off homes like yours. But even in those publications, they would not provide as much information as your posting. Please consider removing this information for your own safety.

    Of course if that doesn't matter to you, I apologize in advance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2012
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  8. barrygordon
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    barrygordon iPF Novice

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    Matt, Thank you for your concern. The home is well protected and is in a private community that is also well guarded.

    I would like this thread to get back on topic though. I am really interested in being able to turn the backlight off. I can not understand why Apple chose to eliminate that capability from the public API's.
  9. barrygordon
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    barrygordon iPF Novice

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    I am still searching for a way to turn the backlight completely off. I am willing to pay for an app (my iPads are jail broken) that monitors brightness and if brightness goes to zero (0) turns the backlight completely off. When the brightness goes non-zero I want the app to turn the backlight back on. Sounds simple. Any developers willing to do this? I have been trying to get the author of ScreenDimmer to do this to no avail. I will pay a reasonable fee and allow the developer to maintain rights to the app.
  10. scifan57
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    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You cannot turn the backlight off and leave the touchscreen active. It's all or nothing, when the backlight's off, the screen is completely shut down.
  11. barrygordon
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    barrygordon iPF Novice

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    scifan57, You are incorrect. On an iPad 1 running IOS 5.1.1 turning off the backlight (using Screendimmer) leaves the touchscreen active. Touching the screen with the backlight turned off shows the page that is on the screen at the current brightness setting. Using the Apple supplied method which is to put the ipad to sleep or power it down does turn off the backlight and shut down the touch screen. Apple should provide a method for controlling the backlight (on/off) in addition to brightness. This would truly save battery life and allow for the iPad to be used in many home control systems without its being a "night light". In many Home Control systems notifications are displayed on wall mounted controllers (iPads) in large type. An example of this is CallerID or emergency messages e.g. tornado warnings
  12. scifan57
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    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Your method will only work on jailbroken devices. If someone can't or doesn't 't want to jailbreak, he can't turn off the backlight.
  13. barrygordon
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    barrygordon iPF Novice

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    That is correct. I really don't see why Apple does not supply the option to turn the backlight off with a brightness setting of zero or minus one (-1). On a jailbroken device tuning the backlight off never affects the touchscreen capability. I would pay a reasonable amount for this capability.

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