Lollipop is the latest update to the Android Operating System launched on the Nexus 6. While everyone has been talking about the visual overhaul, there are a lot of functional changes under the hood. Priority notifications is among one of those functional changes. Earlier Android phones had three typical sound settings- loud, vibrate and silent and these settings were universal.All apps would follow the setting with the only exception being the Alarm app. All this has changed with the Lollipop. The 3 modes are now called None, Priority and All.
The way Lollipop handles notifications is different than the previous versions. I’ll try and explain these modes to the best of my knowledge. “All” mode is the simplest of the three and similar to the loud profile – it does not filter anything. All calls, messages and apps will notify you and there is a volume control like in the older versions that sets the volume to the desired levels. One can toggle between vibrate and loud quickly by tapping the bell icon on the left corner. The “None” setting does not let any sound pass just like the silent mode- but it mutes the alarm as well(Media volume is still independent).
Priority is a recent introduction on Android phones. Priority notification is a hub for multiple settings, the main purpose of Priority notifications is to notify you about stuff that is important to you. Priority Interruptions are broken down in three main categories- Events/Reminders, Calls and Messages. Calls and messages have a submenu where you can select if you want all calls and messages to distract you or only, the ones from your starred contacts or from contacts only. Don’t you just hate it when you check your phone for a call/SMS and it turns out to be a telemarketer, this mode will just filter out the unimportant stuff. For example you can set some of your contacts like your best friend, parents or even your home number as a starred contact. Once the phone is set on Priority interruptions only for Starred contacts, the phone will only ring when you get a call/message from one of the chosen contacts.
There is also an option to set Priority mode based on time, quite handy for those who forget their phones on silent mode. However these time intervals are predefined and you cannot set a custom time period for the mode.
Priority mode is not restricted to calls and messages, installed apps can also be configured for this mode. There is an interruption tab under the sound and interruptions settings which lists all the app on the phone. Priority for these apps can be set from this screen. You can also long press a notification to access settings for the notifying app. This is how it works, the apps that are set as priority will be listed higher in the interactive lock screen. Some might wonder how useful it would really be. Imagine having multiple notifications from 5-6 apps, setting priority will arrange the apps based on priority thereby allowing you to access them quicker.
How to use Priority Mode Optimally
Priority mode has 2 options, you can set it indefinitely or you can set it for a fixed duration of time. Fixed duration works best if you want the phone in priority mode during working hours. You can set the days when the phone will be on priority along with the start and end times for the mode. This automates the process without you having to set it in priority mode every single day. This works best for people who have fixed working hours or when you’re sleeping, for others you can always set it manually from the menu that pops up when you hit the volume button.
Priority mode aside, configuring apps to priority will help you stay focused. At work? You might want to keep work related apps like Gmail on priority instead of WhatsApp and Facebook. This will at least reduce the chances of you being distracted at work with other unimportant notifications. Or when you’re asleep, only calls from starred contacts will ring, while everything else will not make a sound.
Smartphone makers have entered the race to update phones to Lollipop. Motorola and LG are leading the pack by releasing Lollipop for the Moto X (2nd gen) and the LG G3. While the update is rolling out gradually for other phones, we hope this article helps you manage your buzzing notifications better.
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