Regardless of the improvements companies have made to flash units on smartphones, at the end of the day what happens is that photos still end up overexposed and extremely harsh when the flash is used. In fact what the flash seems to be mostly good for would be as a flashlight to help find things in the dark.
However it seems that on Kickstarter there is a campaign ongoing for a tiny attachment called the Flens. Its creators are calling this a flashlight booster for smartphones and basically what happens is that it takes the light coming out of the flash, and turns it into a narrow and concentrated light beam that is said to amplify the light given out by 10 times.
It will also aid night time photography as the narrowed and extended beam means that you can stand further away and still illuminate your subjects, although admittedly the end result is still not particularly flattering. It’s not a bad idea and for those interested, the Flens will play nicely with pretty much all iPhones going back to the iPhone 4.
It will also play nicely with Android and Windows Phone handsets, although this will be model dependent so check the FAQ before making your purchase. If this sounds like something you might be interested in, then head on over to Kickstarter for the details, but remember that you are backing it at your own risk, especially since PayPal will soon no longer be offering backer protection.