The Android November security patch has just started rolling out, and it has something great in tow for Pixel users plagued by a bug that silenced their starred contacts in Do Not Disturb (DND) — the problem should now be fixed. No more missed calls from your loved ones when it's important. If you experienced that problem, make sure you go to your system settings and hit that update button.
If you're an Android enthusiast, you might have more than one device running the OS in your possession, and you might have AutoApps' Tasker and Join set up to automate a number of things across them. If so, you can now import a new Tasker recipe created by the apps' developer himself that lets you match Do Not Disturb statuses across your phones and tablets.
One of the pillar features of Digital Wellbeing is the ability to "wind down" your device. That means switching the display to grayscale to make time-sink apps like social media ones less visually appealing, and turning on Do Not Disturb to stop notifications from waking you up or grabbing your attention. However, this setting was the same for every day — you couldn't disable it on Saturdays but keep it running every other day. But now you can.
Back in November last year, Google announced a range of new features for the Assistant on Home devices and phones that included routine integration for the Android clock app among other additions. A new command that would allow you to enable Do Not Disturb on your phone via a Google Home speaker was said to be "coming soon" — now it's here.
Do Not Disturb mode is an increasingly vital part of the Android OS as far as I'm concerned. Advanced "digital wellbeing" features are all well and good, but the simplicity of being able to tell my phone to shut up for a little while is something I'm using more and more. It seems that every new version of Android alters how DND works — sometimes for the better, sometimes worse. Google has made significant changes to DND in each Developer Preview of Android P, and the latest beta makes further alterations and includes a new notification to warn you of certain differences.
Believe it or not, Android 8.0 Oreo actually debuted with an invisible Do Not Disturb toggle in the volume popup. This DND toggle is enabled through the System UI Tuner, so not everyone saw it. If you knew where the toggle was, it still worked, but this was a bit of a stupid mistake for Google to make in the first place. The Android 8.1 developer preview fixes this problem and adds a DND toggle that we can actually see.
Before Google announced the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, it pushed a new app listing to the Play Store that offered some details about the rumored always-on music ID feature. It turns out there's another interesting tidbit in that listing: the Pixel 2 will be able to automatically toggle on Do Not Disturb mode when you're driving.
That's the sound you will hear every morning if you're on Android Oreo and you use Do Not Disturb during the night. For some reason, DND and notifications work differently since the latest update to Oreo: when your phone exits DND, it will proceed to play the sound or do the vibration of every notification that was received during the time it was stuck in DND.
We're not sure if this is a bug or an intended behavior, though the latter doesn't make a lot of sense. Previously, when your phone exited DND, whether at a set time or on an alarm, it was happy to just display the notifications so you'd see them when you picked it up.
Android's Do Not Disturb feature has a long and complicated relationship with alarms. In Lollipop the tiers of "priority" and "none" did a poor job of explaining how alarms fit in. With Marshmallow, there's that ongoing bug that kills the "until next alarm" option every month. In Android N, there's a new option that might finally make alarms and DND work the way you expect. Alarms can simply override Do Not Disturb.