Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Removes Silent Mode on Phones: Report

Android 5.0 Lollipop Update Removes Silent Mode on Phones: Report
Google might be boasting about its latest Android Lollipop update as the company's "sweetest release yet," however the release seems to have been hit by multiple issues right from the start.

Last week, a Wi-Fi related bug was reported to be affecting some users, and now multiple reports are claiming that Android 5.0 Lollipop removes the very useful 'silent mode' from phones. Additionally, some Nexus 7 (2013) tablet users are reporting that they are having issues with video playback after updating to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Android Police first pointed out (via Reddit) the missing 'silent mode' feature, saying, "Lowering the volume only offers vibrate mode, and the new priority notification system isn't going to help you."

When users turn down the volume to '0' on Android smartphones (Android 4.3 and below), it activates vibration mode, while the silent mode is usually activated by turning volume up once again. In phones running Android 4.4 KitKat and higher, turning the volume down once again below vibrate mode activates silent mode. It however appears that with Android 5.0 Lollipop, turning the volume down below '0' offers only vibration mode, and no option exists to achieve true silent mode.


While this may be a bug, Google may have introduced this as a feature in line with its new Priority notifications introduced in Android 5.0 Lollipop. It describes Priority notifications as, "For fewer disruptions, turn on Priority mode via your device's volume button so only certain people and notifications get through. Or schedule recurring downtime like 10pm to 8am when only Priority notifications can get through."

The Priority notifications offers three modes namely - None, Priority, and All. The Priority mode will only allow a few set of notifications to go through and users will see a Star mark in the status bar when in this mode. Meanwhile, the None mode will allow the phone to receive all notifications but will not alert the user. Notably, the None mode in Priority notifications even limits set alarm functionality.

Motorola has shared a YouTube video to explain the new Priority notifications on the Moto X running the new Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The Android Police report also notes that a Google Nexus 9 running Android 5.0 Lollipop still offers 'silent mode'. The tablet offers vibrate mode when the volume is lowered to zero, while hitting the up toggle silent mode where the alarm will still work. The fact that silent mode still exists in the Nexus 9 with Lollipop lends credence to the speculation the 'silent mode' removal is actually a bug, and not a feature.

In other news, some Nexus 7 (2013) tablet users are reporting issues (via Android Police) in playing any video on the device after updating to the latest version of Android.

Reporting the issue on the Android Open Source Project Issue Tracker site, in a post titled "Android Lollipop video issue on Nexus 7 2013", some Nexus 7 (2013) users are claiming that their updated tablets are now unable to play any videos.

One of the users tries to explain the issue, saying, "The YouTube app keeps saying 'There was a problem while playing. Touch to retry'." On XDA a member suggested wiping the cache partition and it worked temporarily. Another member suggested uninstalling, rebooting, and reinstalling but again it only worked temporarily. Rebooting is reported to work in some cases, but again only temporarily.

Another user writes, "I'm so disappointed by the lollipop update, because of this problem! Lollipop has a fresh look but you can't use any video on Nexus 7. That's nice! And now we have to wait for 5.1 or what?"

As of now, Google has not offered any update on the Nexus 7 (2013) video playback issue.

Last week, Google announced the Android 5.0 Lollipop OTA rollout for older Nexus devices (namely, the Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013), and Nexus 10) alongside Motorola, which also started rolling out an OTA update for its second-generation Moto G and Moto X smartphones.


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Ketan Pratap
Ketan Pratap is the editor at Gadgets 360 - with over 12 years of experience covering the technology domain. With a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field, he's done extensive work across news, features, reviews, and opinion pieces. But what's truly inspiring about Ketan is how he spends his free time. He's often found gazing at snow-capped mountains from over 20,000 feet while sitting on the hood of his car, taking in the breathtaking beauty of nature. His passion for the great ...More
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