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Cycling app of the week: Better Bike Light

This Android-only app turns your phone in to either an emergency front or rear light, useful if you're caught out with flat batteries

What is it?

Ever forgotten to charge your light and it’s gone flat on your way home? This app gives you a useful solution in this situation, allowing you to turn your phone into either a front or back light. You need a flashlight on your phone for the front light settings to work, and it requires access to your camera to control it. The back light actually just takes over your main phone screen, turning it into flashing red arrows that are surprisingly bright and visible. This is also adaptive, so when you're slowing down it will hold steady like a brake light. You can also use a bluetooth headset to indicate turns so you needn't take your hands off the handlebars.

App of the week: Donkey Republic
App of the week: what3words 
 

better bike light 2.png

How can it help me?

Obviously, this app could get you out of a pickle if one of your lights has gone flat on the way home. In the photo above we see the phone mounted to a flat rear light inside a clear case, which brings us to its main shortfall... you'd think cyclists who are prone to memory lapses by not charging their lights might not always carry the necessary equipment to do this! I found it is visible enough to be seen through a clear rain jacket in a back pocket though, and with the brake light and bluetooth turn indicators, perhaps it's good enough to be a viable replacement for a back light in some cases. The front light option is more readily useable providing you have a phone mount fitted to your bike. 
 

What makes it unique?

While there are other apps that turn your phone into a torch, this is the first we've seen that also has a back light option. It's impressively visible but as previously mentioned, you'll have to be organised enough in the first place to find somewhere to mount or carry it. There are multiple front light modes, making this a pretty comprehensive replacement for a flat light when needs must. 

Where can I get it?

The app is completely free and is only available on Android. Download it here. 
 

 

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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