What Is Priority Mode? It's The One Android Feature You Need to Know, So Here's How To Use It

Android is touted for its impressive levels of customization. Unlike other operating systems, Android doesn't rely on homogenous software and standard apps — the entire system caters to the user, from live wallpapers to Google integration. So it may come as a surprise to you that it isn't one of the glitzier bells and whistles I'm henceforth declaring as the one Android feature you must know about: Priority Mode. So what is Priority Mode in Android? In short, it's a handy little system that will improve your tech-savvy quality of life ten-fold. Lemme tell you how.

For starters, it merits mentioning that Android has long had the upperhand when it comes to interactive notifications. You know how this works — at a glance, you can look up at the top left corner of your screen to see little icons beckoning your attention. With a quick swipe, a stretch of tiles slides down. When you touch one, it prompts a corresponding action, i.e. dismiss or view a Periscope vid, respond to a Tweet, etc. It's an incredibly simple and engaging way to keep your finger on the pulse of your social media activity and more. With Android's latest update, the system even made it available to see those notifications in Lock Screen mode.

Now, although notifications are both convenient and welcome for the most part, there are times when I just want them to bugger off. Or at least some of them. And here's where Priority Mode comes into play. Using this improved Android 5.0 update, you can make the most of your smartphone's notifications in several surprisingly simple ways.

1. Hide Content from the Lock Screen

If you have a code set up on your phone for the Lock Screen, you obviously don't want everyone and their brother to have access to your phone's contents. So, understandably, it can be irksome if you are sitting next to someone you don't want to see said information, and a text message you'd prefer to keep private pops up on the lock screen. No worries, my friend. Simply head to Settings > Sounds & Notifications > Notifications on Lock Screen > Hide Content. Then you'll still know your bestie texted, but no one will be able to see what she said.

2. Prioritize Your Updates

If there are certain updates you live and die by, you're going to want to make sure those notifications always come through. For me, a gal who works from home, I cannot miss an email or the sky might literally start to cave in, Chicken Little style. So you know what I did? I went into Sounds & Notifications > Application Notifications > and chose Set as Priority. This way, my Gmail notifications pop up at the top of the notification panel and will even come through in Do Not Disturb mode (more on that in a bit).

3. Control What Chimes In and When

Using the same Application Notifications panel used to set something as priority, you can control what apps bother you and when. Let's say you will lose your mind if you get one more Twitter update while you're trying to work. Simply scroll down, click on that app's icon, and choose Block to block all notifications from the app. Voila! No more annoyances until you say so.

4. Silence Select Alerts

So there's this brilliant thing in Android, thanks to Priority Mode, called Do Not Disturb. And, well, it's pretty much exactly like it sounds. Simply go to Sounds & Notifications and tap on Do Not Disturb. Once inside, you can create a virtual Do Not Disturb sign for your smartphone. Don't want to get a call during your nap? Enable this app. You can set it to a regular schedule, or isolate it to a long hour each day. During that designated span, you won't be bothered by any ringing, dinging, chiming, or singing or any sort coming from your phone.

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