Be a More Polite Smartphone User Using This Tip

Be a More Polite Smartphone User Using This Tip

Range Govindan
Jul 26, 2012

There's one thing that I've learned over the years and that's to keep my phone silent at all times. I hate bothering anyone with intrusive ringtones, abiding by the axiom, "silence is golden". However, what happens if vibration alerts fail? Here's one trick that we discovered.

Both Android and iOS phones are able to flash when they receive new notifications, but before iOS 5, the system didn't work as well with iPhones. Since it has been addressed, you can now tailor your phone's LED flash to emit a light whenever it receives a new notification.

We've noticed from time to time that we miss some notifications on our smartphone. There are many reasons for this, including where we put our phone in our pants, vibrations are easy to miss in cargo pockets, and how loud the environment is.

The LED indicators for the latest smartphones are quite bright, making it almost impossible to miss a notification if your phone is in view. In order to configure your iPhone's LED flash for alerts, you'll need to go to the Settings ->General -> Accessibility options and turn on the LED notifications.

Similarly, some Android devices like the new Samsung Galaxy SIII offers multi-color notification LED indicators (RGB) for not only missed calls and messages, but also to indicate when the device is at low battery or in charging mode. If this isn't enough notification, download an app life Light Flow Lite to further customize which LED illuminates for specific notifications.

There have been some reports of the LED flash alerts not working properly once enabled. Here's a way to make them work for you if this is your case.

  1. Turn the flash off in the camera app and in the notification alert settings.
  2. Press power and home button simultaneously until your phone reboots.
  3. Once your phone is on, turn on the LED notifications again.

This should fix the problem and the LED notifications should start working in sync. If it doesn't fix the problem immediately, wait a few hours and it should work. Naturally, there are only certain specific situations in which the LED alerts work well. However, they are nigh on impossible to miss, and will certainly keep you apprised of what's happening. That is, until something like the FLASHr iPhone case gets made.

There are certain clear cases, like the Belkin Clear Case, which allow you to see the LED notification even when your phone is face up. This should be the case for most clear cases, as they let the light of the flash reflect through the case itself.

Good Reasons to Keep Your Smartphone on Vibrate
Missing Notifications? Turn on Vibrations!
Vibrating Smartphones As Alarm Clocks

(Images: FLASHr, Flickr member Robert S. Donovan licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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