Thursday, April 11, 2013

Android Group Ringtones

Project Status: Feature Request
Updated here: Android Group Ringtones - Now Obsolete
How you can help: Star this topic on the Android issue tracker

Sure there are a few apps in the play store which provide options to set customized ringtones for contact groups and you can find them here if that is what you are looking for, but what about the ability to do this directly from the stock install of Android?

As of the today, with the current version of Android (4.2.2) this is not an option. However; it would be super easy for the Android development team to tack this onto the next version of Android. So here's to hoping that by Android 5.0 this feature exists right out of the box.

Check out this update, but you aren't going to be happy..
Update: Android Group Ringtones - Now Obsolete

When a contact is selected there are options to: edit, share, delete, set ringtone, send all calls to voicemail and place on home screen. Select a group of contacts and the only options are to edit which contacts are in the group or to delete the whole group.

What I'm suggesting here is that all of these same contact options become available for contact groups as well.

Let's take a moment and break this down for each new element that this feature includes:

I don't use the "share" feature for contact data myself, but seeing as many users would; I don't see why they wouldn't also want the ability to share a group of contact data.

All calls to voicemail
I use this option on individual contacts quite a bit. Imagine though having a group of "blocked" contacts that always go to voicemail, or when going on vacation being able to ignore all work calls with one easy click.

Place on Home screen
Placing a single contact on the home screen already works great by making a shortcut to that contact. Placing a group of contacts on the home screen should create a folder containing a shortcut to each contact in the group, and of course this folder should update automatically as the group members change over time.

Set ringtone
I've used Android since the first version and I've waited forever for groups to show up at all. Now that they have I'm sure it's only a matter of time until being able to set a ringtone for the entire group will become an option. I would love to know if it's my family, friends or coworkers calling before I ever pull my phone out of my pocket.

The priority levels for setting ringtones should go as follows:
  • Highest priority - a ringtone set for an individual contact
  • Medium priority - a ringtone set for a group of contacts
  • Lowest priority - the default ringtone
Then the only complicated part left to solve is to let users prioritize their groups. This is needed when a contact resides in multiple groups. It's necessary to define which group out ranks another and takes priority as the selected ringtone.

Do you want to help make it happen? Go to this page and star the post (which is issue 5146). The more stars this issue gets the more likely the Android development team will consider making this feature request a reality.

Update: As of Android Version 4.4.2 this is still not a feature.