06
Feb
ics

While I love most everything about my Galaxy Nexus, Google made one ridiculous omission in Android 4.0: they removed the ability to set separate notification and ringer volumes. On my previous phone, Tasker was set up to automatically mute notification tones and turn the ringer volume to three at 11:00 PM as long as the phone was on charge. This way, I wasn't bothered with constant email notifications throughout the night, but if someone needed to call during the late hours, it would wake me up.

With ICS, however, this isn't possible - the ringer and notification volumes are always the same, no matter what. It drives me nuts. Since this "master volume" controls it all, I have to set it to two at night and hope that the ringer is loud enough to wake me in case of emergency while keeping the notification wake-ups to a minimum. Fun stuff.

Then something happened that changed everything: the developer of a new app called ICS Enhanced Ringer Control hit sent us a tip about the new app. It seems that I wasn't the only one completely irritated about this oversight from El Goog - IERC is the answer to that annoyance.

This is another one of those simple-yet-brilliant ideas that I love so much. This app is one screen (and a 'help' dialog). Literally.

Screenshot_2012-02-06-09-12-51 Screenshot_2012-02-06-09-13-36 Screenshot_2012-02-06-14-57-31

As you can see, the app is about as straight forward as they come - you can set the overall system volume, ringer volume, and SMS volume. Once you tick the "enable..." box, it overrides the current system settings. After that, if you adjust the volume using the rocker, it will change the Alert Volume, but leave the ringer and SMS volume as-is. The app also provides a stupid-easy way to quickly toggle vibrations for each different setting, as well.

While pinning the app to the notification area comes in quick handy, I wish there was an option to hide just the icon. I don't typically like to clutter up the notification bar if I can help it, so that would be a nice addition to a very useful app.

Aside from that one minor annoyance, this app is exactly what I've been looking for since I got my Galaxy Nexus. It's easy to use and does exactly what it was intended to do in straight-forward manner. It's definitely a must-have for all GN owners; do yourself a favor and hit the widget below to buy - it's well worth three bucks.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Sleeepy2

    Or you can use
    AOKP - milstone 3 which has it split in the ROM ;)

  • Alberto Quintero

    most ppl like having stock rom on their phone

  • Spydie

    Or... you can get rid of that junk Nexus which doesn't have gorilla glass or SD card and has an outdated processor and get Galaxy Note which is still running gingerbread in which the volumes are still separated, then upgrade to ICS in March and use this app... but you'll get SD card support and Gorilla glass and several other features the now-abandoned "flagship" phone lacks! LOL (flaming starts NOW..."

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

      1. "now-abandoned" nothing is abandoned. FUD.

      2. Galaxy Note = Samsung updates. Google Nexus = Google updates (yes, they have to work with carriers on the CDMA libs, not a big deal).

      3. The size difference is huge. You won't just go for a Note if you don't go with the Nexus, they're way different.

      4. So, you get an SD card, true. To me, that's actually a big deal, can't disagree with you there. But is it a deal breaker? Probably not. The Nexus' glass isn't Gorilla but it's still plenty strong. And don't forget, both phones are made by Samsung, they're not *that* different to warrant such a bold statement.

      But hey, it's your opinion, you're welcome to state it here. We'll discuss, don't you worry about that :)

    • ERIFNOMI

      Must..not...feed....troll.

  • bman

    Your Tasker skills are lacking...you could solve this by leaving the Master volume at three and change the notification ringtone to silent (the actual ringtone, not the volume level--if you don't have a silent rington, then you can easily make one.) More than one way to solve this that doesn't involve installing more software to do what Tasker supports out of the box...

    • Cameron Summerson

      While that may be a viable option, it appears that it's only easily achievable for notifications that are set to use the 'default' tone. Since I use custom tones for each type of notification, using this app is much simpler solution.

    • Joshua

      I was going to point out that Tasker isn't free, but then I realized this app is $2.99. Wow, that seems expensive.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/brandonjnunn bjn714

        With regard to the price - you should check this out.

        http://theoatmeal.com/blog/apps

        • Joshua

          I buy apps all the time, and according to AppBrain, the apps I own are worth $195 at retail price. I just think that the price is high for what you are getting with this app. Tasker is a steal at $8, this is worth maybe $1 to me.

  • Chris

    Or you can get "Quick Settings". Unless I'm missing something it lets you set the volumes independently and vibrate or not.. And it's free and does a whole lot more.

    • Cameron Summerson

      Quick Settings isn't able to separate Ringer and Notification tones because it's nothing more than a frontend to the stock settings. It will show the change on-screen, but if you exit the app and re-open it, you'll see that the volumes are once again locked into matching levels.

  • Eric

    Audio Manager does the same thing.

    • Joshua

      I actually thought the same thing, and it does not appear to. The option was there on my old HTC Incredible running 2.3.

      Galaxy Nexus, stock 4.0.4.

  • TOMMMMMM

    I used tasker to create a toggle widget on my homescreen that toggles between, normal, vibrate, and silent.

    I don't care about changing the ringer/notification volume as it is set in the normal profile on the widget.

    Is there anyway to have the volume rockers only adjust the media volume? Is there an app for this? BTW I'm using Milestone 3 ICS ROM on EVO 3D.

    • Joshua

      FYI, in Android 4.0.3/4, the menu for the power button has all three. 4.0.2 and below have only silent/ring. That's the only thing I use to set ringer volume.

      • TOMMMMMM

        I have some additional volume tweaks set in my vibrate and silent profiles like setting the alarm volume to "0" for both.

        I never turn my ringer volume down (I just set it to silent or vibrate) and never turn the volume up (5/7 is loud enough for me), therefore I'd like to have the rocker control media volume (so that I don't accidentally change the ringer volume).

  • Drootz

    I used to use Ringleader Pro for this exact same reason as in the OP, but it also adds the ability to give each notification a separate tone as well as alert volume level. So you know what type of alert your getting without looking SMS, Email, or Gtalk etc....

    • Brian

      Hi Drootz,

      I'm the developer of ICS Enhanced Ringer Control. I tried out Ringleader Pro when I moved to ICS and was trying to find a solution to this annoying issue, but I couldn't get it to work with the HTC mail app. I get a lot of email through the app so it didn't really work for me. That along with the fact that it's a lot of work to set it up, I was looking for a simpler solution, which is why I developed this application!

      Cheers,

      Brian.

  • Latise

    I do this with setting profiles on my Gnex. Profile to set volume anytime a call comes in. Silence volume at night on charge, but calls still come through. Tasker can do it too.

  • Therock

    AudioGuru works very well on my Nexus

    • Brian

      Hi Therock, I'm the developer of ICS Enhanced Ringer Control, and when I saw your post I checked out AudioGuru on the market as I hadn't heard of it before.
      However, when reading through it's description, I saw this - "NOTE: Android 4+ (ICS) DOES NOT let the ringer and alerts volumes be separated. Pre Android 4 phones can still separate them in the phone sound settings.".
      So I'm unsure how it's working on your Nexus if you're on ICS!
      Cheers :)