Restoring phone sanity without throwing it against a wall (phase 1)

I have a lot of apps. I get noticed when either of my operating robot vacuums finishes, if my wife’s phone has died I get notices that she’s walking around the house, I have various games that think it’s quite alright to alert me at 4am that someone has scouted my base, as an administrator of several Facebook groups I’m nonstop getting FB notifications, and then there’s email, nonstop spam/spoofed phone calls, and basically if the phone is in my pocket it sounds like I’m at a casino sometimes.

This was written in July 2021, chances are everything has changed in Android by the time you read it.

Silence what you don’t need to know about

You don’t have to block notifications or uninstall an app. You can silence said app, still see notifications, but not get that little ding. Like I love you app, but I’ll look at you on my terms. No need for audio to become involved.

This can be done by hold down on the notification and choosing “silent.: You can also disable the app from ever sending you notifications here if you want, but if you’re at that point perhaps just uninstall the app.

Choose a different sound

If you’re out and about you might be getting inundated with the default notification sound (I’m looking at you Samsung’s “beep boop phu wah weep weep”). You also might be getting alerts for something that’s vital and something that’s kind of spammy that sound the same. Pick something different than the default Samsung Notification Sound, or find yourself in the mall checking your phone every seven seconds.

Do text messages and the notification that you’ve got an email from Cable Fax need the same attention? No. Get yourself a notice-me, and a “hey, this happened” notification sound (I use Facebook pop quite a bit) – differentiate your important audio cues from your non-important so you’re not stressed when you get a notice that your daily crossword puzzle has been delivered.

Ring only for contacts

I get mostly spam calls. They get through Scam Shield, they spoof my work’s phone number and bypass SHAKEN/STIR somehow, they have legit local numbers for a hot ten seconds before they get flagged and shut down. I also have a series of what the phone companies don’t consider spam calls, being that they’re attempting to purchase my home, or are local businesses, etc.

There are a couple of ways to do this – the first is to set Do Not Disturb and allow only contacts to ring. I have an issue with this because at least on Samsung you have only one profile you can set, although you can set multiple times. This means if I want my apps to be quiet at night, they’ll be quiet during the day as well. I’m working on a Tasker profile swapper at the moment, and I think Samsung is the only mfg that simplified things like this, but yeah – I’ll do that at night but it doesn’t work for me during the day.

The other, and easier for people with few contacts, is to go into phone, settings, call alerts and ringtones, and change the ringtone to nothing and the vibration off. Use an app like Group Ringtone (or anything else with that functionality,) to give all your contacts a ringtone. Phone only will ring for people you know, others can leave a message.

More incoming in part 2, have to go retrieve children

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts