Friday, February 27, 2015

Android Lollipop Notification Settings

Community Impressions?

Listening to podcasts and reading articles you'd think that the Lollipop notification settings were so bad that they'd be the end of Android as we know it. The only comments I've heard actually discussing the feature have been negative across the board. Me, I don't agree. I like the way it's been implemented. It's very simple to use, a very straight forward implementation. Yeah, it does need a little manual configuration, and yeah, it is missing a couple of features, but overall I think its pretty cool in its simplicity. So, what's it missing? You can set alert priority based on application, such as email, but you cannot filter based on account within a given app. If I could lower the priority of alerts by account I'd consider this damn near perfect. One more irritation around this, I've noticed that if I'm currently listening to music or a podcast, I can't enable the alert settings. The volume buttons set the volume, rather than keying off the fact that I'm pushing up/down at the same time.

How's it work?

Press both volume keys as the same time, and you'll see this little thing pop up at the top of your screen.
Press None, Priority, or All and you'll see this:
Clean, simple, you can silence your phone, or only allow in priority interruptions. I use this multiple times daily as I go in to meetings. I like this much better than just silencing my phone because the most likely scenario is that I silence my phone and forget about it, and wonder why I'm not getting phone calls for the rest of the day. In addition to this you can set down time that basically does the same sort of thing, except it's based on days and times. I've quieted alerts on weekends, for example. 

Configure it?

So, how do you set this stuff up? Pretty simple. Go in to settings --> Sound & Notification -->Interruptions. The options are very straight forward. In my example you'll see that I've enabled calls. There's one more step beyond this. Go in to your contact list and set the people you'd like to have come through on priority notifications as priority contacts. 

For those who don't like the way this is implemented, I don't really get it. What, exactly, were you expecting? Seriously, I'd like to know because my previous phone, an LG G2, didn't have a feature quite like this so I don't know what I'm missing out on from other Motorola implementations.