Last week a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 by the New York Philharmonic was abruptly interrupted by the Marimba, the default ringtone of the iPhone. The phone continued to sound, drowning out the music and infuriating audience members who looked around to discover the culprit. The conductor stopped the concert until the offending iPhone was found and silenced. The owner of the phone, who did not initially realize that his phone was broadcasting its sound throughout Avery Fisher Hall, thought he had silenced his phone by turning on the mute button.
He had only owned the phone for a day, according to The New York Times, and didn’t realize that muting the phone didn’t silence the alarm. In fact, he didn’t even realize that an alarm was set to ring.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you want to avoid public humiliation and scorn, understanding how to silence your phone will help.
Knowing which are the best apps for your phone is useful. Knowing how to silence your phone is essential.
Muting Your Phone
Muting your phone will turn the ringer off but will not turn off alarm sounds.
To mute an iPhone, go to the left side of the phone and flip the switch to the back of the phone so a red bar (or dot for a 3GS) appears.
You can set your iPhone to vibrate when muted by going to Settings => Sounds => Vibrate => On.
To mute an Android phone, look for a mute button icon on the right side of the screen when you first turn on your phone.
Slide that button to the left so it looks like this:
Now your Android phone is muted. You can adjust the mute settings and set your phone to vibrate by going to Settings => Sound.
You can also mute your Android phone by holding the power button until a screen appears with phone options: Silent mode, Airplane mode and Power off. Choose Silent mode to mute the phone.
With both methods, you have to look at the Android phone to mute it, making it obvious that you are the offender in the event your phone accidentally rings in an inappropriate situation.
A mute switch would be a valuable improvement to Android phones.
Apps to the rescue! RD Mute, a free app in the Android Market, mutes your phone when you turn it over on its screen. Although you could easily mute your phone accidentally, this app may be helpful if you frequently find yourself forgetting to mute your phone. The app also has a helpful feature that mutes the phone automatically in the car if you are traveling above a set speed. You can find RD Mute in the Android Market here: RD Mute.
Shake2Mute is another app you can use to physically mute your Android phone. This free app, available in the Android Market, allows you to adjust the sensitivity so you don’t accidentally mute your phone with a minor shake. Check out the app here: Shake2MuteCall.
Silencing Your Phone
There are times when you want your phone to be totally silent. If you’re attending your child’s school play, a New York Philharmonic performance or a presidential inauguration, you want to be 100% sure that your phone makes no sound.
On the iPhone, press the top button until you see a “slide to power off” bar. Slide the arrow from left to right and the power will be turned off on your phone. Don’t worry, you won’t lose any apps or information when the power is off. To turn your power back on, hold the power button until you see the Apple logo and the phone will turn on again.
On Android phones, hold the top button down until you see the “phone options” screen. Choose Power off. You can also hold the top button down until the phone turns off. As with the iPhone, you won’t lose any data or apps by turning the power off.
Don’t rely upon your mute switch to keep your phone silent. Make sure to turn your phone’s power off to keep it as silent as a snowfall on a moonlit night.
Have you ever had your phone ring at a less than opportune time? Have you ever attended an event that was interrupted by a ringing cell phone? Let us know in the Comments section below!
* Snowfall image by Hartwig HKD