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Diving into M: Revamped volume controls and Do Not Disturb mode

We take a closer look at Android M’s revamped volume controls and the evolution of priority interruptions with Do Not Disturb.

Published onMay 30, 2015

Android Lollipop was without a doubt the most massive change to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich, but all that change also brought a number of bugs, and some clunky implementation of certain features. Thankfully, Android M is less about changing the formula and more about refining it, making its relationship to Lollipop similar to the role Jelly Bean played in refining what was first introduced with ICS.

Want to dive even deeper? Check out our full “Diving into M” series by clicking here.


During the IO keynote earlier this week one of the new changes that Google highlighted was simplified volume controls. As you can see, pushing the volume button now brings up a volume slider with an arrow that expands the menu to also give you control of alarms, notifications, and media separately. Want to silence everything but the alarm? Hold down the volume key all the way, and eventually it will launch into that mode as well.

Overall the volume controls aren’t massively different, but they are an improvement over Lollipop.


Another semi-related change that wasn’t highlighted on stage is the return of the Do Not Disturb mode. DND first arrived with Android L, though the final Lollipop build simply referred to this functionality as priority interruptions. Although the same basic priority options are still here, DND in M actually brings a few interesting changes to the table as well, including a new “repeat callers” option that, when enabled, lets caller through if they call back within 15 minutes.


DND also introduces automatic rules that give you some basic options of when to turn on DND automatically, such as on weekends, weeknights, and during events. There’s also the ability to add a rule based on a certain time or calendar event.

Personally I tend to use DND-type functions often on my smartphone, so I’m glad to see the options evolving in Android M. It looks like they are finally catching up with many of the DND modes found in OEM skins as well. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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