Mute This

The iPhone mute switch functionality has been doing the rounds. Here’s Marco Arment on “Designing Mute”.

I almost entirely agree with Marco. This part caught my attention however:

The user told the iPhone to make noise by either scheduling an alarm or initiating an obviously noise-playing feature in an app.

The user also told the iPhone to be silent with the switch on the side.

I’m not sure this line of argument is entirely true given the push possibilities that are part of Exchange, iCloud and various other services. Is it possible someone else has pushed a reminder to your device that you’re not explicitly aware of? (Really, I’m asking, and I’m too lazy to find out. Someone tell me. In my comments. Which I don’t have. See my next post.)

What I do know for sure is that if the mute switch on the iPhone worked as Andy Ihnatko argues it should then I would be unable to use my iPhone as an alarm clock. I get far, far too many emails and notifications late into the night and early in the morning to not mute my iPhone before I go to bed at night. I’m quite sure that Andy, Josh, Marco and everyone else having this discussion likely faces the same problem.

I don’t know what the answer is. I do agree with Marco that the default suits my needs well and I appreciate the design choices. I also agree that it’s telling that it’s been years before this iPhone arrogant design flaw came up. I’d bet $100 that this happened already during some kid’s birthday party at a Chuck E. Cheese but nobody got all up in arms when the teenage wait-staff got bust out of their “Happy Birthday” groove. (Do they do that at Chuck E. Cheese? We don’t have those in Canada. We love our children.)

Anyway, feel free to fire away with your comments in the form presented below. I will sleep soundly knowing that both my iPhone being on mute, and the fact that there is no comment form, will prevent me from hearing the chimes of the incoming emails and allow me to rest soundly, knowing that my iPhone will dutifully wake me up sometime around noon.