Are you a VIP or a Favorite?


Why does Apple make it so hard to quite my phone? I was getting tried of my iPhone chirping and beeping so I turned off sounds. Well the phone still vibrates. All the time. It vibrates for phone calls, ok it’s a phone so guess it should. Vibrates for text messages, again it’s a phone. Vibrates for each email. Vibrates for calendar alerts. Vibrates for weather. Vibrates for news. It doesn’t stop! I was in a meeting today and thought, oh, I’ll just turn it face down. And of course nothing happened, it still vibrated. I love my iPhone (and iOS). I love Apple in general. Apple normally just gets it right. How could they not have a “silence when turned upside down” option? Didn’t I have that with my Droid years ago? Well anyway, they don’t (there is a hack out there, but that is another post).

So, how can I limit the annoying buzzing and vibrating on my iPhone? Well first, under Settings Apple gives us a Do Not Disturb option. I had it set up to silence alerts late at night, but it was also a quick way to silence all those disrupting alerts during the meeting. Glad I found it after the “hey, I’ll just turn my phone face side down” didn’t work.

Tonight I started playing with the Notifications section under Settings. Apple gives you quite a bit of control. First I found that under the Do Not Disturb option under Notifications in Settings you can over write the Do Not Disturb silencing for your favorite contacts. How do you set up your favorites you ask? Well that is pretty easy. Just go to your contacts, select the contact you want to add to your favorites scroll down and click on Add to Favorites and add the phone number of the person you want to favorite. Not too bad. And now if my Mom calls in the middle of the night her call will still go through. One thing to note: the order you select your favorites is the order they will show up in your favorites list in the Phone app.

So, you would think since this is Apple once you have your favorites set up you could use that setting for email too right? No. Not that easy. To control notifications in the Mail app you can over ride the settings for each email account for VIPs. Not favorites, VIPs. Really? VIPs? Ok, fine, so how do you set VIPs? That’s not as simple; it’s not hard, but not obvious either. You would think you would set VIPs in your Contacts, right? That’s how you set up Favorites, so it would be similar, right? No, you would be wrong. Nothing like that. You actually have to go to your Mail app to set up your VIPs. Go to the Mail app, select an email from the person you want to make a VIP, click on the name, scroll down and select Add to VIP. Now you can set up your phone to alert when you get an email from a VIP, but silence for anyone else.

So by using Do Not Disturb and setting up my Favorites and VIPs I can turn off most alerts so I have less disruptions during meetings, but the important calls and messages still get through.

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