Lollipop is important because it introduced Material Design, Matias Duarte and co’s new design language, along with advanced battery life possible thanks to the “Project Volta” initiative and a rethinking of the way Android devices handle notifications.
And that’s just scratching the top and putting aside important under-the-hood tweaks like the new Android Runtime (ART).
Anyway, even if it has been in the wild for a few months, Lollipop hasn’t yet landed on a lot of devices, as most smartphones and tablets are still waiting to be bumped up to Google’s latest.
But with more and more users receiving Lollipop (for example, UK owners of the Samsung Galaxy S5 have started receiving the new build this week) these days, more and more Lollipop deficiencies are unearthed.
And one of the major ones (it has the highest rating on the Android Issue Tracker) proves to be the absence of “silent mode” in Android 5.0 Lollipop (as seen on Reddit).
We have no clue whether the failure to introduce Silent Mode can be attributed to a mistake or a conscious decision. Regardless, Silent Mode was present in previous iteration of the operating system. We can all vouch for that.
So if you have a phone running on Lollipop, you’ll now have to resort to a bunch of tricks to keep your phone from making a scene during meetings or while you’re studying at the library.
For example, there is a Do Not Disturb option when notifications are basically blocked out or there’s a Priority mode, where what apps are allowed to send in notifications no matter what. Users also have a volume slider than controls notifications at their disposal, but you can only go as far as “vibrate.”
Bottom line is all these feats fail to elegantly solve the problem – providing a simple means to silence the phone, while still keeping connected to the outside world by virtue of receiving notifications.
However, Google has seemingly heard the cry of the desperate Lollipop users and will be bringing back the mode in a future update.
The rumor mill has it that Android 5.1 will be upon us as soon as February, so will it be our salvation?