For those who like the functionality of the illumination bar on certain Sony Xperia devices, Sony has now finally released a illumination bar API, that will allow application developers to customise the look of the illumination bar in their app on certain Xperia smartphones. This new API is being classed as an Experimental API – A term used by Sony to describe API’s that may be interesting to some application developers but won’t be receiving full documentation and little or no support.
The Illumination bar API allows developers to control the LED light illumination bar at the bottom of a number of Xperia™ smartphones (see the list of support phones below). Some of the options that can be set are the LED colour, whether or not the LED pulses and time between pulses, and various pre-defined fading patterns. On Xperia™ SP, the LED can also be set to illuminate in rhythm with music from the audio player.
Sony have provided a list of devices that will be supported in this API, although a majority of Xperia devices with the illumination bar will not have full support due to hardware limitations.
The following phones are fully supported by the Illumination bar API:
The following phones are also supported by the Illumination bar API, but the support for the pre-defined fading patterns is less extensive on these devices:
Xperia™ acro HD
Xperia™ M dual
Also, for some devices (for example Xperia™ S and Xperia™ P) the hardware only supports white colour.
I think this a good start by Sony, in allowing more open access to proprietary features on Xperia smartphones and tablets. I hope Sony will continue to expand their relationship with the developer community, by implementing hardware API’s that support all upcoming and older Xperia devices.
If you would like to try out implementing this API for yourself, Sony have provided instructions on how to get started in their illumination bar API article.
Are there any other features that you would like Sony or other manufacturers to provide an API for?