23
Jan
unnamed (1)

Do you find yourself constantly adjusting the volume of your phone's ringtone, or wishing that the annoying buzz of your phone's vibration could be toned down a little? Looking to solve all of your ringtone/vibration woes (while making sure you don't miss a call), Michael Pardo has introduced RingDimmer to the Android Market. The app adjusts vibration intensity and ringer volume based on ambient noise, ensuring that you never miss a call, and never have to be disrupted by an inappropriately loud ring tone.

The first thing users will notice about RingDimmer is its simple interface. When I say simple, I mean the entire app consists of one screen and two checkboxes. There's no other interface whatsoever, making RingDimmer perhaps the most straightforward app in the history of the universe. While a simple interface is great, the lack of user controls is also my biggest complaint with RingDimmer. While its functionality is a fantastic idea, I can't help but think that users could take some part in customizing the app's "smart" control of ringers and vibration intensity.

shot_Jan_23_2012_1

On the plus side, RingDimmer does exactly what it claims to do, taking live readings of ambient sound utilizing your phone's microphone. The app, when open, will also display the current ringtone volume setting.

Having an app constantly monitoring microphone input sounds fairly battery intensive, and the impact RingDimmer may have on a phone's battery life has yet to be seen, but the developer assures users that the app is "designed to conserve your battery."

Overall the app is extremely easy to use, and does exactly what it says. For those that find the idea of automated ring volume and vibration intensity control appealing, RingDimmer is available for a mere $0.99 from the Android Market. Given its simple, reliable functionality, I'd say this app is definitely worth checking out, and shows real promise in becoming an incredibly useful solution for those who can't be bothered by constantly adjusting ringer volume as they move through their day.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Seth

    Check out foxyring. It's a very simlar app with a lot more customizability, including the ability to make ring volume choices based on location. Plus, it's free!

    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.levelup.foxyring&feature=search_result&rdid=com.levelup.foxyring&rdot=1

  • Steve

    I was actually lucky enough to get this in a very short-lived reddit promo by the dev, it works really well. Doesn't need any more customization, because it works fine as is ;) I'm all for customization, but most of what you'll be doing in there is messing with the algorithms, I reckon, though I don't know how they work obviously :P
    Also, while I find my phone is awake slightly more often than it was (I had it tuned to not be awake when idle at all) it hasn't affected my battery life at all. I'm very happy with this app!

  • nevetsg

    Q: What happens when the phone is quietly sitting in a bag? As opposed to just a quiet room.
    I would want it to be ringing louder in that situation. Like the HTC phones and their pocket mode.

    • http://www.ringdimmer.com Michael Pardo

      Developer here. RingDimmer definitely accounts for pocketed (and pursed) phones. The algorithm is constantly improving, and more features are coming in the next release (like a widget).

      • koniczynek

        Hello Michael,

        Just wanted to let you know that I tested your app on my LG Swift 3D phone and it does not work at all. Doesn't matter if it's on or off - phone ring tone volume is the same.

        • http://www.ringdimmer.com Michael Pardo

          Does it force close? RingDimmer respects your silent and vibrate mode, is your phone set to silent or vibrate?

  • Leo Z

    I bought the apps then got a refund. What bugs me is that when I am in the quiet room and the phone ring, it rings soft. However, as the phone rings, ringdimmer hears the ringtone and decides to increase the volume of the ring due to it thinks it is in a "noisy environment".
    Basically, you ring tone will be ring softer at first and will suddenly jump to a higher lever.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I'll report it to the author, and I'm sure he'll fix it right up.

    • http://www.ringdimmer.com Michael Pardo

      This is something that's totally fixable right away. We never ran into this scenario while testing so thanks for the heads up. Will release a fix shortly.

    • http://www.ringdimmer.com Michael Pardo

      Just updated to account for incoming calls and calls in progress. I'll post the update when I land (I'm in flight now) and get to some power.

    • http://www.ringdimmer.com Michael Pardo

      Just published an update which accounts for your discovery. Also, a device specific bug was fixed.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Before forwarding the request to the team for the quick look, I've asked the developer this: "It's an interesting idea, but what effect does this have on battery with a service that continuously listens to the background noise level? Does this not prevent the phone from sleeping too?"

    His response was: "Hey Artem,

    The app doesn't actually use a service. It uses a repeating alarm to poll the mic at intervals. The polling time and interval is determined by device state, so as not to drain the battery.

    We've been beta testing since October, with good results. Actually, the battery usage was covered in a recent talk I gave at CodeMash called Android Protips (http://www.michaelpardo.com/files/android_protips.pdf). I'll be giving this talk at several other venues this year including Code PaLOUsa, and AnDevCon III."

  • Matt M

    Anyone know a way to make the vibration stronger?? Ive gotta sleep with ear plugs in because of noisy roommates and if i could make the vibration on my Evo 4G a light easier to feel when its laying on my bed would make life so much better..

    Thanks for any help in advance ;)

  • Chris Barron

    How does it work with other audio management apps like Audio Guru? I use that to set a 'Do Not Disturb' sleep time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patric4talk Shashi Kumar

    Hey guys I just found a new app on google play which is capable of doing all these with a lot of customizations and it free too.
    Give it a try its name is "Let It Ring"
    Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.techmutators.letitring