Google removes silent mode from phones with Lollipop
As it stands now, users have a choice of volume that goes all the way down to “1″ and then to vibrate. Normally users could then hit the volume down key one more time and put their smartphone into silent mode where it won’t even vibrate. That last option is no longer available. Users have determined that on a tablet device, like the Nexus 9, users can go down to vibrate and if they tap the volume key back up they can get to “0″ volume. The only way to replicate this on a smartphone is for a user to go down to vibrate, then back up to “1″, then reboot their smartphone . The device will come back on at volume “0″.
There are other oddities that exist with the notification system as it relates to volume. Google tried to bake in a “sleep mode” type function in Lollipop where users could set notifications to be silent except for “Priority” sources. Unlike the function that appears in some manufacturers’ overlays, Google does not let you set a time of day for this to recur, relying instead on the user to manually set it for a specific length of time. That may be useful for on the fly needs for silence, like when attending a meeting or a movie. If a user sets the notification screening function to “None”, they will discover another problem. The “None” setting on smartphones will also silence alarms, rendering them useless.
Finally, Google makes the menu for changing notifications from “All” to “Priority” to “None” available from the lock screen, bypassing normal security like PIN codes. If you need your competition to miss a meeting because their alarm didn’t go off, all you need to do is get to their smartphone, set notifications to “None” and hope they don’t check it.