Proposal: Improved structuring of incoming calls on mobile phones

Many years ago we all had fixnet telephones without answering machine/mailbox or number recognition. The paradigm was to take the call when the phone was ringing and see who’s there. This had some disadvantages, but also some advantages. Because you simply couldn’t, you did not check who was calling and you didn’t spend any time or energy deciding whether to take the call or not. You didn’t let emotions or reasoning get into the way of communicating. You just took the call.

Mailboxes, number recognition and finally the mobile phone have changed all of this dramatically. People have responded with a huge variety of coping mechanisms regarding how to handle these technical possibilities. Smartphone OS makers like Apple or Alphabet/Android have built in a variety of options how you could take calls like silent mode, number blocking, individual ringtones depending on the caller, manual or scheduled night mode, and even assignable caller groups that override night mode etc. That’s a nice set of features, but given the fact that a) fixnet and its safe phenomenal quality is disappearing and b) people are stressed out by the mobile phone and its permanent reachability paradigm, an even freer approach of prioritizing caller groups is desperately needed.

That is:

  • Silent/vibra mode is not needed anymore. The usual loud/silent switch could become a day/night mode switch.
  • It has to be possible to assign special caller groups (like the Favourites) to day and night mode respectively that will always make a phone ring loud, no matter what. (Of course I can also not assign anyone to this group.) Vibra on/off is an option.
  • The rest of the callers will follow the rules given by the respective day and night modes, including ringtone, vibra and repeated call options.

This way the incoming calls are structured more effectively and more subtly. The mobile phone becomes more ergonomic, it will be used with more pleasure once you have programmed the incoming call structure the way you really want it.

 

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