Adding notification light to the Galaxy S10 - Samsung Good Lock vs Arc and Holey Light apps

Adding notification light to the Galaxy S10 - Samsung Good Lock vs Arc and Holey Light apps
TL;DR 

All three notification light solutions for the Galaxy S10 have downsides - appearance on locked screensbattery draw, or messing with the AoD features, yet they work well enough for those who can't live without the multicolored glow in your life.

For the new Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+, Samsung went with an ultrathin top bezel and the so-called "hole-in-active-area" design. For the surprise of many an S10 buyer, however, that also means that the LED light that used to bring us visual notifications about charging status or missed calls and messages in the Galaxy S9, was also gone.

Granted, there is a light ring animation around the in-display front camera area when you do face recognition and such, but it doesn't serve a notification purpose just yet. Eventually, Samsung may choose and use it for other notifications with an update, and we asked if it intends to do so, but it couldn't confirm anything of the sorts. 

What it did, however, is to update its experimental Good Lock app with the EdgeLighting+ plugin. Before that, owners could use the Holey Light or ARC Lighting applications from the Play Store as a stopgap solution for visual notifications. Is the Samsung plugin better than the third-party solutions?

Holey Light

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The original and most multi-functional of all Galaxy S10 notification light solutions keeps developing and growing. This app gives you the richest option set of the three, but asks for the most granular permissions in return, too. The Holey Light app is, in fact, in the beta section of the Play Store, and its developer, of Chainfire fame, warns that the solution is still work in progress. Nevertheless, you can set it to completely override your always-on display settings, or live concurrently, and dive down to app-by-app notification light setups

Pros

  • The most feature-rich S10 notification light solution
  • No ads, tracking, or in-app purchases

Cons

  • Clunky interface
  • Slow to setup, requires a ton of permissions



Arc Lighting


The arc of space and time has closed over this app to deliver the most user-friendly interface of them all, with clear instructions and easy to use options. The developer has deliberately stripped down the app of some notification light options that you may or may not use, leaving you focused on the basics. 


Pros

  • Clean, easy to use interface
  • Simple, useful options that work

Cons

  • The most appealing visualizations result in a significant battery draw
  • Paid full version
  • Some overlay glitches


Good Lock


Samsung updated its experimental Good Lock app with the EdgeLighting+ plugin that spruces up the available EdgeLighting options. Chief among the new features is the mimicry of notification light that can be achieved with the OLED display animation around the hole-in-display front cameras of the S10e, S10 or S10+.

While it is good to know that we now have an official option to use the camera animation ring for notifications, it turns out that Samsung's own plugin suffers from the same dealbreaker as the third-party apps. The plugin's new Eclipse option you can choose lights up the display around the camera hole in colors of your choosing, and you can opt for different pulse durations, too.

The Eclipse effect, however, doesn't work when the screen is off for the most part, defeating the whole purpose of notification lights. When the screen is switched off, you can still get the colorful ring and pulse notifications but only for incoming calls or a few stock apps that don't include the most likely chat or social network notifications you would be after.

Pros

  • Official Samsung solution, minimal battery draw

Cons

  • Doesn't work properly on locked screen except for a few pre-installed apps

Related phones

Galaxy S10
  • Display 6.1" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3400 mAh

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1 Comment

1. akersch

Posts: 2; Member since: Apr 30, 2019

You should also mention LED Me Know. It's my personal favorite of all the solutions currently available.

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