Mobility

Intelligent Ringer adjusts your ringer volume based on ambient noise

Intelligent Ringer uses your Android phone's microphone to determine the best volume setting for your device. Learn how to install and use this free app.

How many times have you stepped into an important meeting where quiet is crucial and your phone went off? This doesn't happen if you remember to turn your ringer volume down (or set your phone to vibrate), but sometimes that little task slips the mind. Fortunately, there's an free, easy-to-use, and reliable app for your Android smartphone called Intelligent Ringer that can do just that.

Intelligent Ringer uses the phone microphone to determine the best volume setting for the device. It takes into account both the device (the model of the device can affect the necessary volume) and whether or not the phone is in a pocket. Intelligent ringer also respects both silent and vibrate mode (when either is active, Intelligent Ringer will not change the volume).

Features

Here are some of the features you'll find with Intelligent Ringer:

  • Set minimum and maximum volume
  • Set pocket factor sensitivity
  • Very easy to use

There aren't a lot of features, but the app works like a charm and can save you a bit of embarrassment and frustration in certain situations. Let's get this piece of software installed and configured.

Installation

With Android, installing an app is quite simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Search for and select "intelligent ringer" (no quotes)
  3. Tap Accept
  4. Tap Download & install

Once the installation completes, you can find and run the application within the app drawer or (depending upon your device) on the home screen.

Set up

When you first run Intelligent Ringer, you'll need start the app daemon. When the app opens, tap the Start button (Figure A), and then tap the menu button and Settings. Figure A

Intelligent Ringer running on the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S III.
From the Settings window (Figure B), you'll need to take care of the following configurations:
  • Pocket factor: Adjust the sensitivity of the proximity sensor
  • Accuracy: The time the app takes to determine the current surrounding noise level (you don't want to set this too high, as it can extend the time it takes to adjust the volume)
  • Sensitivity: The sensitivity of the microphone used to determine the noise level
  • Minimum volume: The minimum volume to be used
  • Maximum volume: The maximum volume to be used
  • Last volume level set: An indicator as to what volume level the application was set
  • Pocket mode: This is a proximity sensor that, if triggered, will adjust the sensitivity of the sensor (you can enable or disable this feature)
  • Start on boot: Be sure to select this — if you don't, you'll have to remember to start Intelligent Ringer every time you reboot your device
Figure B

You'll probably need to play around with the top two settings, based on the sensitivity of your device's mic.

Now give Intelligent Ringer a test. Walk into a silent room and, with a different phone, call your mobile. You should notice the ringer is significantly quieter. Now, step into a loud room and run the same test. The volume level of the ringer should be much louder at this point.

If you're one of those users who frequently forgets to silent your phone when you step into meetings or other hushed events, install Intelligent Ringer and have it take care of this task for you. It's easy to use and will save you from embarrassment.

Have you used Intelligent Ringer or another app that helps modify your ringer volume? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

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 getjackd.net.

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