The App that never sleeps

The other day, I picked my phone from the pocket and noticed that the Halide camera app was on. That’s right, I did not have to unlock the phone.

After using Halide and carelessly 1 putting the phone in my pocket, it stayed there for quite some time while Halide was obviously running in the foreground the entire time and so I ended up with a drained battery way too early in the day.

I tried to find information about why the phone wasn’t locked automatically while Halide was in the foreground. But I could not find anything specific. But at least I was able to successfully reproduce the behavior: Halide just wouldn’t trigger the auto-lock.

I tried other camera apps: Apple’s own Camera.app keeps the phone unlocked for about five minutes and Obscura 2 implements an even shorter timeout for locking the phone. Neither app seems to have any preference2 setting that affects the activation of auto-lock after the globally configured time period.

Mysterious and potentially undocumented behavior aside, I don’t think I want a camera app on my phone that keeps the phone awake indefinitely. I can see the point of keeping the phone awake in the hunt for a perfect shot. But in my opinion, the risk of ending up with a completely drained battery entirely cancels out the utility of Halide’s vigilance.

Maybe the fo … tography is not strong enough in me.

  1. In the assumption that the phone would lock itself after the configured auto-lock period expired.
  2. Sure enough, the official iPhone User Guide available off of iOS’s Books app did not mention anything specific in the chapter about Camera.app.