Have any of you found yourself jealous that your fancy Android device is lacking the Galaxy S III’s ability to keep the screen on while looking at it? I mean, how annoying is it when you are reading a webpage and your device’s screen times-out and you have to power it back up and unlock it to just keep reading from where you left off? The Galaxy S III combats this annoyance by using Samsung’s new Smart Stay feature that prevents your device from going to sleep by using the front facing camera to detect an onlooking face. When Sammy first announced the device and its nifty features, I figured it would be the custom ROM development community who would port the feature over to be used in various ROMs. Looks like I was wrong. Now everyone can get in on the action by simply grabbing the ISeeYou app from the Google Play store.
ISeeYou comes in two different flavors. A free version and a paid version. The only difference besides $.99? The paid version allows you to change the scan interval and how long the camera will search for your face, the free version does not allow any changes. I opted for the paid version only because I wanted to change how often my Nexus scanned for my face in hopes to preserve precious battery life. You see, out of the box the free app will attempt to detect your face every 20 seconds which can be a bit overkill if you have your screen timeout set to 60 seconds like in my case. I have the ISeeYou app set to scan every 55 seconds for 5 seconds for those times when I am reading something that may require the screen to stay on for longer than a minute. For those times when I am only looking at the screen for 30 seconds or so, I wont be wasting battery by having the front facing camera power-up every 20 seconds scanning for my mug. You see where I am going here? I guess if battery life isn’t concern of yours then the free version will do the trick just as well, but for those of you who are like me and try to squeeze every amp hour out of your device, then I would suggest going for the paid. Either way, start with the free version to make sure the app is compatible with your device because I only tested it on one phone and only for about 20 minutes. That being said, while testing with the ISeeYou app activated, my phone never shut itself down while looking at it even though I never had any touch interaction. Pretty sweet if you ask me!
The jury is still out on whether or not the use of this app will cause any unwanted side affects like accessive battery drain or wake locks. I assume there is going to be some toll on battery life but I am hoping the benifit outweighs the possible lack of juice. Either way, this app will keep me happy until I get my GSIII in the mail and now I don’t need to feel like those folks with the international GSIII are enjoying features I can’t.
Check out the app for yourself through one of the links below and let us know what you think!