[Update: Issue escalated] Google Pixel users pushing for separate notification & ring volume controls

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…

Original story (published on November 16, 2020) follows:

Google Pixel users have continually demanded the addition of separate ring and notification volume controls, but their pleads were always left unheeded.

It is sad that Google decided to omit an extremely useful, basic feature like this while many other Android OEMs have continued to offer it. However, there is now a new ray of hope for fans of this function.

pixel-separate-notification-ring-volumes
Source

I play golf and I get a lot of notifications but not a lot of calls. If I get a call it’s usually an important one that can’t be ignored. With the volume separated, I can quiet the notifications but not miss that call and sometimes on the golf course I won’t feel the vibration.
Source

PLEASE do this. I’ve literally missed dozens of phonecalls because of this, it’s so annoying too because the notification sound is absurdly loud for some reason aswell.
Source

A seemingly frustrated Google Pixel user took to Reddit to seek help in pushing Google to add the feature back to sound management.

The OP wants Google to separate volume for ringing and notifications so that one can keep the call ringer high and other notifications low or even muted.

They have asked other users to use the Settings > About phone > Send feedback about this device section to demand its incorporation. And users have done just that.

pixel-no-separate-notification-volume
No separate notification volume control on the Google Pixel

It is too early to say if Google would actually give in to the demands though. But one can be sure that they will at least be made aware of the fact that users really, really want the feature, if they weren’t already, by this initiative.

It is worth noting here that the option used to be present in Android KitKat. But Google removed it and it has been that way ever since.

Users were obviously disappointed by this, but hey, who gives a damn about what they want?

Moreover, it seems that the code for the feature is still a part of the Android source code. It is just that Google, for some reason, gave a miss on the front-end UI to access the same. What a ridiculous move!

zen-x-rom-sound-settings
The Zen-X custom ROM with separate notification and ring volume controls

It used to be a thing, back around Jellybean. They removed it for some reason. All the code for it is still there, it’s just the UI that’s missing.
Source

I can tell you that every custom ROM out there has it still, so I imagine they’re just putting the UI toggle back in place.
Source

The fact that OEMs like Google and OnePlus have decided to omit this simple but useful utility is baffling. Of course, one can mute their phone or put it on DND mode, but that would mute both calls and notifications.

What if users are busy with some important work and do not wish to be disturbed by annoying notification sounds, but still want to attend to business calls? Well, nothing can be done then.

And this isn’t even the first time that Google decided to remove an important, convenience-based feature for no good reason whatsoever.

With the advent of Android Pie, the OEM nuked the option to change Wi-Fi connections or Bluetooth devices from the quick settings panel itself.

miui-quick-settings-wifi
A similar implementation to change WiFi via quick settings itself on MIUI 11

Users now have to hold down on a tile that opens up the settings app. Yet another step back on productivity – the very defining feature of Android.

For now, users are advised to do exactly what the guy from the Reddit post has requested. Hopefully, Google will add back the feature in the next version of Android.

Update 1 (January 11, 2021)

There has finally been some progress with this issue. A feature request for separate notification volume controls was opened up on the Google Issue Tracker and luckily enough, it was actually assigned to a developer.

While this doesn’t mean much, the development does imply that Google is now at least considering the feature addition.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Want to work for PiunikaWeb and enjoy best-in-industry compensation & benefits? You'll be glad to know we're hiring experienced candidates.

Zohaib Ahmed

Simply love being surrounded by technology as it's a constant reminder of how far humans have advanced as a race. Every new development feels exciting, which I convey to others through writing. And after a day's work, gaming just feels therapeutic.