I'm pretty stupid sometimes. In fact, I'm dumb enough when it comes to my cell phone that I need one a bit smarter than I am.

Too many times now, I've set the ringer setting on my phone to "vibrate" or even "silent" as I went into a meeting or movie theater only to realize (a day or two later) that I never changed it back to "loud" and missed a few calls along the way.

Does anyone know of a phone that allows you to set an expiration time on the ring style changes? I'd love to be able to say "please go into vibrate mode for the next 90 minutes, but then go back to the default."

I'd say it seems obvious, but nobody I know seems to have this particular problem as much as I do.


Posted by jzawodn at January 12, 2005 05:19 PM

Reader Comments
# tfr said:

Heh. Someone was just asking for a phone that can switch profiles at a given time on an Estonian Usenet group the other day, which yielded an answer that there are no known phones that do that, but at least Nokia 6820 has just the feature you need - you can switch on a profile for a given amount of time, after which it'll revert back to the previous/normal profile.

I'm sure the software on the newer Nokias is streamlined enough that the same feature is on other similar models as well, but being a convinced Siemens fan I cannot spit out model numbers.

on January 12, 2005 05:31 PM
# Michael Gall said:

Most of the more recent Nokia's have it, since around the 6310i. I'm sure Russell will be able to shed more light on the matter though regarding other brands.

on January 12, 2005 06:08 PM
# danielcole said:

I think I remember reading that someone's actually done this with the Nokia: use the internal GPS to watch where you (and your phone) are at and automatically switch profiles. Just mask off the meeting room, the movie theater, so on and then you don't have to forget to set the timer. The phone already knows where it's at, put that information to use!

on January 12, 2005 06:22 PM
# Jeramey Jannene said:

With the advent of smart phones I would love to see a preference on my calendar app to turn the phone to vibrate, silent, outdoor. That way it goes silent while I'm at school, vibrate at work, and loud on the weekends when I'm off at concerts or sporting events. Would most of kids in school use a feature like this? Probably not. Would a geek like me love something like this? Hell yes. Make it happen, someone.

That said the GPS sounds pretty cool.

on January 12, 2005 06:36 PM
# Russ said:

There's a little app called MiniGPS (which doesn't actually use GPS, but uses cell tower IDs and signal strength instead) for Series 60 phones which will allow you to do things like change profiles based on your location or time.


It's pretty neat, but there's not much to be done with your Moto, I'm afraid. You'll have to wait for your next upgrade to get a smart phone. :-)


on January 12, 2005 06:44 PM
# Craig Hughes said:

My Sony Ericsson T616 allows switching of profiles based on calendar items. It automatically goes into silent/vibrate mode when a meeting on the calendar starts, then reverts to normal mode when the meeting ends. Very handy indeed. And syncs nicely with iCal.

on January 12, 2005 07:04 PM
# Greg K. said:

Uh, answering service. All modern cell phone services offer them. Leave your cell phone on vibrant all the time - ringing cell phones are so fucking annoying.

on January 12, 2005 07:10 PM
# Matt Goyer said:

The Audiovox 5600 will also go into 'meeting' mode when your calendar says that you should be in a meeting and you can configure what it means to be in meeting mode.

on January 12, 2005 07:34 PM
# TDavid said:

The Verizon phone I have has a cool "manner mode" by just holding down the asterisk. To re-enable the phone you just press and hold the asterisk again. Not automatic or scheduled like you asked for Jeremy, but pretty easy to enable/disable.

on January 12, 2005 07:54 PM
# Shyam said:

The Nokia 2300 has a "Profile Time-out" feature..that just resets the profile or expires a selected profile after a preset amount of time in hours.

But that's a very low-end Nokia, maybe other models higher up have it too.

on January 12, 2005 09:16 PM
# James said:

Yea I have the same problem. I forget to set it back to my normal ringtone and will forget. And what sucks is I've done this one night when a server went down and they couldn't really get in contact with me. So I would also benefit from this feature.


on January 12, 2005 09:38 PM
# Josh Bancroft said:

Microsoft Windows Mobile Smartphones, like the Moto MPX220 and the Audiovox SMT5600 (a.k.a. the Scoblephone), as has been mentioned, have an "Automatic" profile setting, that will set the phone to the Meeting (vibrate) profile during any appointments in your Calendar. Since I synced with my Outlook calendar, I really loved that feature, and I wish my Blackberry 7100t had something similar.

Also, for Pocket PC Phone Edition devices (or any Pocket PC device, actually) there is a great program from www.pocketconcepts.com called MeetingMute. It handles muting intelligently - it can mte during meetings, mute until the next power off, mute for a specific duration, or mute until a specified time. It's very handy.

Josh Bancroft
Editor - www.tinyscreenfuls.com

on January 12, 2005 10:00 PM
# Peter van Dijk said:

My gf's Nokia 8310 comes with this feature too. Great for going to movies etc.

on January 13, 2005 12:42 AM
# Asgeir said:

My 6310 (not i) also had this. Great feature. Miss it on my K700i, but at least I can hold the pound key to turn Silent Mode on/off.

on January 13, 2005 04:17 AM
# Doug Burkhalter said:

My "Old" (I've had it about 2 years) Nokia 3585i has that - you set what time (clock time, not elapsed) you want the selected profile to switch off, and it goes back to the one before.

But, I'm willing to bet you're going to want something better than that; it doesn't even have a color screen. But, hey, it works for my needs (One of which being I got it for free). :)

on January 13, 2005 08:14 AM
# Pfunk said:

I've a Nokia 6610, and it has a time expiration for all "profiles". It's handy...and prevents exactly what you're talking about. It's a really nice small, business styled GPRS model. I recommend it highly for people who don't need a camera.

on January 13, 2005 08:21 AM
# Geof F. Morris said:

Jeremy: This is one thing that I love about the Treo 600. There's a nice, hard switch on top of the unit that takes you from audible rings to vibrate. It's so easy to toggle by just reaching in your pocket and feeling for the switch as you walk out of a meeting. [Of course, I keep mine on vibrate whenever it's in my pocket, and take it off vibrate when it's on my desk at work.]

on January 13, 2005 09:13 AM
# said:

Ditto with Craig. Works nicely with my ATT Wireless/Cingular T616. With iSync I have my address book and calendar synchronized and feel no need to lug around my iPaq anymore.

Their good features have made me stick to SonyEricsson for years now.

on January 13, 2005 01:59 PM
# Mike Boone said:

I'm not much of a cell phone user, I just have a pay-per-use Verizon phone, but I think a nice feature would be to have the ring volume automatically adjust with respect to the ambient noise level. I don't want a loud ringer in my office, but it might be nice to have it automatically get louder in my car. Obviously a bad feature in some public places, but the cell phone user should be courteous enough to turn the ringers off then anyway.

on January 13, 2005 02:40 PM
# Brett said:

I used to put my phone on vibrate all the time until the little vibrator thingy in it broke and then I started missing calls too. Now I have this ring that simply beeps just once and that's it. It notifies you there's a call coming but isn't annoying in a theater or lecture.

on January 13, 2005 07:39 PM
# Michael said:

There are some Treo apps that will allow you to set timers. THis page lists a couple of them - http://discussion.treocentral.com/showpost.php?p=428427&postcount=489

on January 13, 2005 08:00 PM
# Allen Hutchison said:

I use a Sony Ericcson T610 with iSync, and I've been really happy with this solution. While it doesn't have the "vibrate for the next 2 hours feature" it does have the ability to switch profiles based on the calendar in the phone.

So, I sync the phone with iCal and set the phone to automatically go into the meeting profile whenever an appointment is scheduled.

It works great for me.

on January 14, 2005 12:12 PM
# Richy C. said:

I leave my mobile phone (ok, cell phone) on permanent "Divert all calls to voicemail". When somebody leaves a message (if they don't then obviously it wasn't important enough to bother me with), my phone company sends a short text/SMS message to me phone which makes it beep (and scares the hell out of me as I think it's an alert from our server monitoring systems!).

Even when I put my Nokia 6210 on "Silent", I still have vibrate enabled. It's vibration motor is a powerful thing - stick it on my bedroom desk, go downstair to the living room (underneath bedroom) and watch the telly and I can *still* hear the thing vibrating through the desk, floor and celing! (sp?)

on January 14, 2005 12:38 PM
# dan isaacs said:

"I'd say it seems obvious, but nobody I know seems to have this particular problem as much as I do."

You know me.

on January 14, 2005 09:21 PM
# me said:

i have this problem a lot too.

on January 18, 2005 11:46 PM
# Yipcanjo said:

The Motorola MPx200 and MPx220 smartphones both have the 'go silent during a meeting based upon your calender' functionality. Pretty darn cool. A few of the Nokias have the "timed profile" (that's what they call it). For instance, the Nokia 6800 and 6010 both have it.

This would be VERY helpful for me! ;)

on January 19, 2005 09:13 AM
# MadMan said:

My Nokia 6610 allows me to set different profiles, and you can switch to another till a certain time is reached. So for instance, I can set the "Quiet" mode to expire 10 minutes after a movie ends.

on January 24, 2005 06:28 AM
# Shantanu Oak said:

I am looking for a cell phone that will block all the calls from the numbers those are not stored in its address book.

on January 29, 2005 10:17 PM
# Jeff said:

Many Motorola iDEN handsets for the Sprint Nextel network have a calender that will allow you to set profiles based on events in the calender.

Also most of the same handsets also let you filter calls. You can pick several people out of your call list to allow through or you can pick your entire call list to allow through. The feature is called call filtering and is in profiles.

on February 24, 2006 10:30 AM
# Scott Clark said:

Jeremy, this won't work on your phone but I know a lot of ppl are reading your comments... I found this for Windows Mobile Pocket PC Software: Photo Contacts PRO 5. It has automatic and temporary profile switching.


(from their site:)

* Automatic Profiles detect meetings and appointments and automatically switch profiles when appropriate
* Profile Scheduler - take full control of the phone and incoming calls by creating a schedule that automatically switches phone profiles based on hours, days, calendar.
* Timed Temporary Profiles enable you to quickly switch to a certain profile temporarily (to Silent for 2 hours when in a cinema for example), automatically switching back after the time passes. They also feature a Ringtone/SMS tone override enabling you to utilize an extra loud ring when needed.

BTW: There aren't even products FOR HOME OFFICES that switch ringers off after hours!!!!!

on June 25, 2007 12:58 PM
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