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Hardware Volume Control

For smart phones
  [vote for,

How much time have I wasted hitting the down volume button on my "smart" phone while waiting for a video to load, while competing software struggle to take over the function of the volume button, only to finally give up just before one of them wins and plays the first few words of a video comercial on acne medication at top volume? How many times have I hit that down volume button in hopes that tge next time I hit it the correct software will have engaged? How many times have I given up and tried to switch the "hardware" mute switch only to have a piece of software obviate it?

I think people would trust the system more if there was at least one thing, like the volume, that they could reliably control. Hardware volume control.

JesusHChrist, Mar 02 2015


       Given that you mention a hardware mute key, I'm guessing you've got an iPhone? There's your problem, buddy. Get a decent Android phone. The problem you mention is one I've never experienced. The hardware volume key has always worked for me.
21 Quest, Mar 02 2015

       My Android phone has a very irritating startup chime which the hardware volume buttons don't affect. Plugging in an old snipped-off headphones cable is the only solution I have found so far.
pocmloc, Mar 02 2015

       Could you not just have a set of mini speakers which plugged into the earphone socket and had their own volume knob, or is that something you can't do with an iPhone?
nineteenthly, Mar 02 2015

       It sounds like a global software volume control would be sufficient, if it worked.   

       Honestly, this doesn't seem like it should be the most difficult part of an operating system.
Loris, Mar 02 2015

       [+] Fashion sucks.
FlyingToaster, Mar 02 2015

       A few years ago, I bought a laptop and was delighted to discover a physical wheel to control volume. However. Seconds later, I realized there was no hard stop, its position was meaningless, and rotation merely induced, through bundled software, emulation of volume control 'media keys'. Words cannot express the disgust, humiliation and bitter disappointment that I felt.
mitxela, Mar 02 2015

       // Words cannot express the disgust, humiliation and bitter disappointment that I felt.//   

       My career trajectory led me to the same point, but then eventually I found the words.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 02 2015

       (in response to pocmloc's anno)   

       There's android apps that are supposed to disable the startup sound. Failing that, you could probably use Cyanogenmod or other custom firmware.   

       Seems to me that the startup sounds are a vendor thing. My old Virgin Mobile phone had an annoying "VIRGIN! MOBILE! bleep boop" sound, but my current T-Mobile phone has a (almost silent) "doo doo doo dee doo" T-Mobile jingle.
Spacecoyote, Mar 02 2015

       My last several phones muted the sound if the phone was set to silent mode before turning it off.
21 Quest, Mar 03 2015

       Cheese! You sound angry.   

       This exists on the more expensive devices. Just to say that if you are really worried, you can always stick a disconnected earphone socket in. (btw: [+])
pashute, Mar 04 2015

       Android phones have a setting labeled 'system volume' that can be toggled independent of other volumes such as notifications, ringtone, and media.   

       When I press my volume key, either up or down, it briefly pops up a slider bar to show the current level. To the right of the slider is a settings icon. Tapping the settings icon brings up a list of all available volumes, each with its own slider. Alternatively, going to settings> sound > volumes brings up the same list.   

       Lowering the system volume to the silent position disables the startup sound. The system volume also controls other sounds like keypress clicks on the keyboard. I don't think iPhones give you that much control of your phone.
21 Quest, Mar 04 2015

       You can buy a basic hammer for USD$2.99. They work pretty well as a cure for iphoneys.   

       Or you could just look round for a nice big heavy rock ...
8th of 7, Mar 04 2015

       // Or you could just look round for a nice big heavy rock ...//   

       Isn't that what the iPhone 6 Plus is for?
21 Quest, Mar 05 2015

       Most (if not all) Android smartphones can be 'rooted', which basically means hacked. Once you've gained root access to the operating system, you can uninstall all that bloatware crap and disable programs from autostarting in the background eating up your CPU. Ditto iPhones, but instead of 'rooting', the process is called 'jailbreaking'. This also (on Android at least) allows you to install custom ROMs and enable settings that the carrier software prevents you from using unless you pay them extra money, such as WiFi and USB tethering.   

       So yes, there are some very good smartphones out there, you just have to fiddle with them to unlock their true potential. It really isn't very hard, either. I rooted my LG G3 and managed to do everything I just described except loading a custom ROM without even needing a computer. I just started with a Google search on something like 'root G3 without a computer', found a program called 'stump grinder' or something similar (it's been a while now), and downloaded it right to the phone. That app rooted the phone, and from there I just searched the Google Play Store for apps that require root access and found one called 'WiFi Tether Router'.   

       It was ridiculously easy, which was good for me because I know nothing about running ADB Shell or other computer- connected methods of rooting a phone. The ease can vary among phone models, however. Just start googling terms like 'how to root [model of phone]'.
21 Quest, Mar 07 2015

       No need to strip it to pure hardware. Rooting doesn't delete or uninstall anything in and of itself, nor does it install a custom ROM like Cyanogenmod (you do that yourself AFTER you've gained root permissions), it just gives you root access to delete whatever programs you don't need or want, and lets you activate whatever programs you need or want that your carrier's software was preventing you from using.
21 Quest, Mar 07 2015

       wouldn't be too difficult to make a USB device with a couple of knobs on. De rigeur for pro digital music systems, though not in the tiny form factor required for a pc or smartphone.
FlyingToaster, Mar 14 2015


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