Mobility

How to automate Android Lollipop's Interruptions feature

Learn to make the most out of Lollipop's Interruptions feature. Jack Wallen shows you how to easily automate it so that you never forget to "silence the noise."

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So, you've finally said goodbye to the old silent mode from KitKat and have grown used to the Interruptions feature. After working with Interruptions, I can honestly say that I do not miss, in any way, the old method of silencing an Android device. Interruptions is smarter, works more reliably, and offers far more flexibility.

One means of flexing this feature's muscle is to take advantage of the ability to automate it. With this, you can specify days and then associate a start and end time so that only the Interruptions you want to allow through will make themselves known.

Fortunately, this doesn't require the addition of a third-party software, and it's quite easy to set up. Let me walk you through the process.

The first step is to unlock your Android device. Once unlocked, tap either the volume up or down button to reveal the Interruptions drop-down (Figure A).

Figure A

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Image: Jack Wallen

Setting up Interruptions on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

Tap the time drop-down in the bottom portion of the overlay, and then tap the cog icon to open up the settings window. In the Interruptions settings window, tap Days under Downtime (Figure B).

Figure B

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Image: Jack Wallen

Configuring the automation of Interruptions.

Select the day(s) you want to apply the automation to, and then tap DONE.

Next, tap Start time and set the starting time for Interruptions to switch to Priority. Once you've set that, tap End time and do the same (only for the time, Interruptions will switch to All). Finally, tap Interruptions allowed and select Priority only.

With this complete, you can then set up what constitutes a priority Interruption. You can enable/disable:

  • Events and reminders
  • Calls
  • Messages

If you enable calls and messages, you can then set it to allow from:

  • Starred contacts only
  • Contacts
  • Anyone

When you're finished, your Android device will automatically switch to Interruptions mode at the set start time and then switch off Interruptions mode at the set end time.

This is an incredibly handy way to ensure that you do not forget to set your Android device to not interrupt you at specific times. And even if you have this set up, you can still manually interact with Interruptions at any given time.

Have you taken advantage of Android Interruptions? If so, tell us about the experience. If not, what's holding you back?

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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