Why there is no Automatically Dim Backlight setting on the BlackBerry Z10

No Need for Auto-Dim Settings on the BlackBerry Z10
By Kevin Michaluk on 9 Feb 2013 11:42 pm EST
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The setting for Auto Dim isn't present on the Z10 because it's fully baked in

If you read our recent BlackBerry 10 Help article outlining Ten Tips to Extend the Battery Life of your BlackBerry Z10, you may have noticed Adam mention that the Automatically Dim Backlight setting found in BlackBerry OS devices was missing on the BlackBerry Z10.

We weren't sure if this was a missing option on the BlackBerry Z10 that would be coming later or if there was another reason to explain its absence in the jump from BB7 to BB10, so we reached out to BlackBerry for the details.  

The product guys enlightened us with their response:

We spent a lot of time developing the "GLO" algorithm ("Garber Light Optimization", after the engineer who developed it) to automatically adjust the display backlight setting to provide the user with the same perceived brightness regardless of the ambient illumination level. The slider moves that auto-dimming curve up and down to match a user's preference. 

Pretty cool, right? It's all about the GLO algorithm. As for those looking to save battery life on the Z10, the product guys also reiterated what we said - if you want to save juice, reduce the brightness of your display.  

Reader comments

Why there is no Automatically Dim Backlight setting on the BlackBerry Z10

62 Comments

There's so much baked in we don't realize, bb10 is great. Thanks for the clarification guys to those who were wondering.

Great feature !
Now bring back TRUE BedTime mode and allow the Z10 to lock IMMEDIATELY upon pressing the top button but let the user set the screen 'blackout' to a different length of time.

I'd like to see my phone "screen lock timeout" set to a minute, but when I press the top button it immediately lock. BB give use MORE options to customize our phones please !!! Thats why I stayed with BB all these years .... ability to customize my phone.

still disappointed no auto on/auto off feature. was my FAVOURITE feature in my BB! Turneed of at night to save power and turned itself on before I woke up to wake me up/ retrieve my messages disappointed that feature was not included! Kevin, go reach out and ask!

Are you serious? This is a BIG deal to me too. Thanks for bringing this up. You know it's the little things like this that make me mad with BlackBerry sometimes (the calender date icon not updating showing the current day on the PlayBook for example or the fact that the PB timer app can't have seconds adjusted - I have no idea if this can be done on BB OS 10) just shows they're sloppy. The dumbing down of bridge on BB OS 10 is also a fail. Glad I'm waiting to see what other phones come out before deciding on BB OS 10. I'd want a Torch like slider myself making it the perfect hybrid in my opinion.

This phone has been FULLY baked.

Don't bash it.

It has what you need

Love it!

BB for LIFE!

..... and tell everyone you know to buy one ... NOW !!!!

so you are supposed to adjust it manually every time you go indoors and outdoors? i liked that feature on my 9810; not for power saving but when it brightened up when i was out in the sun then dimmed when i was inside when it was easy to see the screen.
i hope we can get this feature back

@Rydive Isn't that what it does now "..... to automatically adjust the display backlight setting ". Are you saying it doesn't automatically dim/brighten?

The article says it will do it FOR YOU. There is no need to have a switch because, as it works, you should not notice any difference, the GLO will give you the same perception of brightness no matter how bright/dark your surroundings are.

Which is the opposite of the two of you said.

That is awesome. If you have a z10, try it. Hide the light sensor. Very subtle, very classy.

Quit all your whining people!!! At least you have the phone. We still dont have the ability to even THINK about buying one yet.

Wha Wha Wha

I've heard from several Z10 users that the auto-dim "feature" isn't the greatest, and not having the ability to turn it off is very frustrating. I'd like to try it myself, but I have another month and a half (at best) before I can even get one in the US, so...

I have read and heared the same.
Just seems that BB cut some real corners with this.

I hope they get the OS ready for the US or they could have
a PB Repeat on their hands.

Tim

Truthfully, I don't care what algorithm they're using for the auto dim feature.

I just want an option to turn off AUTO DIM!

Agreed. The BB 9810 sensor never worked properly anyhow and is extremely irritating trying to read on the device on the transit system when the sun is being randomly blocked by trees and buildings. The fluctuating brightness sometimes drives me mental. Even with adjusting the settings it never seems to permanently shut off.

Now, this is a very good, really valid point.

I am going to get the device and trust the GLO can do its magic. If reading becomes troublesome though, I'll join the ranks of the "give us a switch off" band.

It is that good.. I've been using the phone all week, and didn't even realize it was doing it.. now that I think back I never noticed I couldn't see it in the sun, or that it was too bright at night.. but I never noticed it dimming or brightening.. I just tested it by putting my finger over the light sensor and sure enough.. but it does it in a way that you can't tell if you aren't purposely testing it.. the screen is just always at the perfect brightness..

Very cool.

These are the kinds of little things that need to be public though, and should have been discussed at launch.. these are the things that set us apart from other platforms.. such a seamless, unnoticeable feature that makes every day better.. we shouldn't have had to reach out to BB to find out about it.. non crackberry readers will probably never know about it.

Unlike my old 9900, when I block the sensor on a bright sunny day (like today, it takes about 10 to 15 seconds to go gradually go full dim. So, I would guess that being randomly blocked by trees and buildings would only adjust the screen brightness so little that you'll not be able to notice it, or at least, not be an annoyance.

This is the first phone I've ever owned where the auto brightness works properly -- as the article says, keeping the "perceived brightness" constant no matter what the environment. And the first phone where I have not tried to completely shut it off and manage it manually. So, I would question what your acquaintances are saying ... I think they are more likely annoyed that they can't manage it and thus *expecting* problems rather than actually experiencing them.

I miss auto on and off as well. very convienier feature, no need to worry ab out silence or change it to beditime

Excellent. Well, I think BlackBerry's cut enough BBOS options/features with BB10 to dash any interest/hope I had in it. I'll stick with my 9900 until it dies.

So what about peoples comments and reports about an obviously faulty dimming algorithm? Even Crackberry Kevin stated that two of six devices couldn't get to full brightness while another two of six Z10s were even visibly darker than those previous two.

Here on the forums a few people were disappointed because the screen was too dark to offer decent enough readability outdoors, even though that brightness slider was cranked up to the max. That would be an actuak downgrade from previous device generations, which mostly had decent sunlight readability.

Exactly. We now know that they worked really hard on this algorithm, but still doesn't explain the dim screens many are facing. Actually, Kevin even said that he is watching this "issue" very closely and I hope we get a response for that.

As mentioned before I think this is why the device has been launched in the blackberry friendly markets that it has. Valuable feedback for 10.1 that will most likely be released before the US launch.

Is the Z10 auto dimmed on the above picture? The 9900 has a noticeable brightness difference even though it is only set to 70%. Or maybe its a difference in color temperature between the two.

retards! GLO is something that, if working perfectly, should never be noticeable to your eyes. That's exactly what it does - makes your eyes see the same brightness you set it to in any light condition. You can't see things going dim and bright - bravo, they have perfected GLO.
And I can't believe you are all whining over the dumbest things.
And from a comment above about receiving "valuable feedback" from the US market ...... guaranteed that is where the most bitching and whining will come from, and I assume I will stay off the BB channels when that happens. I don't want to hear "I turned my blackberry on, and everything in the world didn't happen for me, instantly! I'm an american dammit!!!!! this is junk"
Throwaway account - save your chewing

I'm sure BlackBerry's glad there are obedient sheep like you out there that just accept mediocrity. Oh and please DO stay off the BlackBerry channels as you're threatening to do because you're just as irritating.

Yes, people like me are irritating to those who can't think past their own ignorance. Stick with an iphone - they are made for mindless idiots like you.

I don't have an iPhone asshole. I have a 9810 and a PlayBook. Save your breath, you'll need it to blow up your date later. With your yapping dog like demeanor you're more like a zero, not a numberfour. Somehow I think you're the type of person that complains a lot about a lot of things and I can totally picture you in road rage incidents too. Have a nice day being owned...see you around loser.

Kevin, is Crackberry going to repost all these tips in March for us bastard children in the U.S., so we don't have to be searching all over for them come launch?

Hurry up Verizon and get the Z10 in your stores already!

Disappointed with the Z10, no multiple twitter accounts, battery life is terrible, and most of the good apps aren't compatible - no Pingit, no Gwabbit

When RIMM said they did not need a camera on a smart phone, I thought it was a terrible decision. And I was lambasted in the forums. When RIMM said they didn't need a media player, although several other smart phones had launched with one, I thought it was a terrible decision and I was castigated in the forums. When RIMM decided that no one really needed WIFI on a cellular phone, I thought it was a major miscalculation; and I was toasted in these forums; When RIMM failed to invest in top hardware, upgrade the software, development tools and provide sufficient app memmory, I predicted a huge loos of share and revenue and was crucified in these forums. When RIMM decided to turn their attention to having QNX develpe the tablet, rather than invest straight on their handset, I was dissapointed and thought it would take years to recover - - and well you know.

BB10 has been 2+ years in develpment. They pushed hard to get developers to develop for it, but the Dev Alphas were never fully opened up for those who needed to fully test it. Imagine if just the team from CB and a some select members of the tech blogoshpere received the fully functioning device 6 months ago and could give feedback!

There are those who must believe that because they bought this or that or the other thing, that it is the very best. Their ego can not take a blow that like seeing any flaw. And they will believe anythin, no matter how ridiculous to coincide with that world view. And these folks, harm their brands far more by blind loyalty than those of us who point out the problems.

When the Storm 9500 came out RIMM was over $100 per share. BBRY is still under $18. There is a reason for this. And failing to call out the miscalculations and mistakes will never help them be competitive again. Ignoring your needs and wants will never make you happy.

Bottom line is BBRY REMOVED ALLOT - and I mean ALLOT of the user controlled options baked into the OS. This is not my fault, or other "stupid" or "entitled" users, its not the fault of BGR - this is all on Blackberry. 2+ years of laser like focus on one project. Pulling out adjustable profiles; Bedside mode; dimming and other items is not a fatal error in itself. But it is emblamatic of the thousand pin prick type of annoyances that has plauged this company for the last several years. A few big things, a few really annoying things and lots and lots of little annoyances that erode user enjoyment in the experience.

I am not criticizing anyone that has hope that 10.1 is coming soon and will fix the problems. I'm merely pointing out that this is not a solution, and not the best way to conduct business in a highly competitve market.

Oh, and for the last time - - anyone who says Z-10 is not competing with Apple or Android's best - you are FOS! This device is not coming to market at $399.00 or $50 with contract. It is coming at the same price point as Apple and Android flagships.

BlackBerry didn't remove anything - this is an entirely new platform, and they need time to add them in. Many of these features will be added back in, over time. It's up to people like you and I, and the rest of the members of CrackBerry to identify which features are most important, so BlackBerry can prioritize which features to add. Articles like this one (and the comments on such articles) will bring these types of things to BlackBerry's attention, and highlight which features old BlackBerry users miss most.

It is all so very relative...

From the Java to QNX point of view, we lost a number of stuff.

From the QNX to BB10 point of view, a crazy number of stuff was added.

I'd say it is just a matter of time till we see all features from the Java OS in BB10. They coded it from the ground up. And coding a whole OS is not the same as coding a few apps.

For a "1.0" release, BB10 packs more than enough features. You all remember the folders/copy-paste/sms-mms/multitasking issues Apple had (has?). Most of it is now either fixed or work-ish.

Good things to come for those who wait.

Exactly. May people are complaining about certain missing features. Stuff like the blackberry.net e-mail is true that it's going away. But most other features are a simple software update away. One of the beauties of BB10 is the ease of software updates.

Personally none of these features are something that the majority of users use on a regular basis including myself. So they arn't deal breakers. But as a Playbook owner from near the beginning I know that future updates will come to make the device even better than it is now.

I have to completely agree. BlackBerry needed to focus on the core features first. If they are wise, they should listen closely to the CrackBerry community and add features based on the community's priority list. They cannot afford to lose their current clients. Of course, all of this must be balanced with winning new clients. In the end, if BlackBerry is not making a profit, they will eventually go bankrupt and that means we have no BlackBerry features at all. We do not want to go in that direction. Let's work together in providing feedback, create priority lists and have BlackBerry take all of this in to consideration.

I know this is a new platform. Just like all competitors' platforms, not all features were present at the start.

Using new techniques in fine - but it doesn't mean that it's the best solution. I noticed some backlight flickering and it's probably due to this Garber Light Optimization

A picture speaks a thousand words. The pic in this article displays the screen brightness issue quite clearly. The 9900 is clearly brighter and not even at 100. This GLO thing needs to be tweaked or allow users to turn it off.

Try using a Z10. It's never not bright enough, the fact that the 9900 is brighter doesn't mean anything (except that the 9900 is too bright for the ambient lighting).

It means everything to the people it needs to mean the most to...that particular consumer. We all do NOT possess the same eyes/vision, therefore what's bright enough for you will not be bright enough for others. That doesn't even take into account we don't all live in the same areas with the same intensity of sunlight.

Like I said, the 9900 screen is clearly brighter and obviously, this is what many users prefer. The option needs to be there to turn off auto dim.

Is there a way to completely turn off the auto-dimming feature? I don't want it to dim...I keep having to tediously go into Settings to brighten up my phone everytime I go indoor or when I turn off the light.

the Q10 GLO isn't working IMO. The screen dims far too much in a dark environment. A toggle on the auto brightness would go a long way in fixing the issue.