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Putting the Galaxy to rights #7 – Neutralising Nocturnal Notifications

December 29, 2010

Vista busy cursor Some of the early reviewers of the Samsung Galaxy S must have been apple fanboys or simply wanted Android to fail. The litany of complaints and criticisms often boiled down to little more than determined nit-picking.  In any event, there has been no adverse effect on the fortunes of the device, which has survived to establish itself as a resounding global success story for Samsung.

One of the more unusual complaints trumpeted by reviewers turns out to be a fair one, although there is a simple solution. The issue relates to the process of charging the device on, say, a mains charger.

It is this. When the battery reaches full charge, the user is alerted by a dialog box and notification tone. And where is the problem with that, you might ask? Well, it’s down to typical usage patterns. People are out and about during the day, rapidly using up the battery on their phones, and usually plug them in to charge overnight. Most often they will have their phone charging in their bedroom so they can use it as a wake-up alarm, for emergency calls or just have it handy to play Angry Birds before going to sleep. The problem being that the aforementioned sleep is then likely to be disturbed at 3 or 4 in the morning by the phone playing its battery full charge notification sound!

Yes, it happened to me on the first night. Not only did I get the phone in one ear, disturbing my sleep, my wife also woke up so I got it in the other ear too. Not one to be repeated.

There is no simple setting which just turns off the full-charge alert on its own. You can set all notification sounds to silent but that also disables audible alerts on receipt of emails, text messages, notice of calendar events and so forth. I don’t want to be bothered by email alerts at night but I certainly want them during the day. A possible workaround would be to turn notification sounds off manually at night, and on again in the morning, but its is a crude solution and relies on my remembering to do it, and having the time to worry about it. There had to be a more elegant fix.

I found an app in the Android Market called Advanced Mode Scheduler by Webcipe. It allows you to change your phone’s settings at specified times of the day, so I set it up to switch off all notification sounds at midnight and on again at 8am, all automatically under scheduler control. It even supports separate settings for different days of the week so I have been able to recreate my much-loved separate ringtones for each day of the week, and with far less effort than to achieve the same result with Windows Mobile.

There is only one mild annoyance about the scheduler app.  Each scheduled event sets ALL the settings en bloc, even ones you don’t want to interfere with.  So, for example, all my scheduled events have to specify wifi “on” or “wifi” off.  I don’t have a setting for “leave wifi in whatever state it is at the time”. So there are times when I might have deliberately turned wifi off only to have the scheduler turn it back on for me, just because it happened to be time to turn audible notifications on or off.

And one final thought. Did neither Samsung nor Google think about the battery charge notification disturbing users at night? Why did they set the device up that way? Apparently, you are not supposed to leave the phone on the charger once the battery is at full charge.  It is in some way not “good” for it.  Well, since nocturnal notifications have been neutralised, the phone has often been left plugged in for hours after full charge and I have never noticed any issue.

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One comment

  1. […]discovered, and I advise you to read it[…]



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