Have you ever tried to dampen the sound coming out of your phone with your hands, for instance after it started ringing in a place where it should not? Or maybe you have accidentally ripped out the headphones while listening to music or a podcast in a crowded place and then frantically tried to get the phone to "shut up" while you felt embarrassed all the time because everyone was starring at you.
The Android application easyMute can be your savior in such a situation. It basically enables you to mute your phone by moving your hand near it. What's interesting here is that it works even if the phone is locked or the screen is turned off. Just move your hand next to it and whatever sound comes out of it will be muted for the time being.
This can actually be interesting in other situations as well. Say you are listening to music and someone comes up to you to talk to you. While you could take out your earpieces to listen to that person, you could also keep them in and simply mute your smartphone by moving one of your hands next to it.
The application has a few restrictions that I'd like to address next. Your phone or tablet needs a proximity sensor for this to work. Most phones should have one build in, but some may not. It also requires at least Android 2.1, and is currently not compatible with recent Samsung smartphones. I tested it on my Galaxy Note 2 and it did not work at all. User reviews on the site mention that it is also not working on Samsung's Galaxy S3 phone.
First thing that you need to do is tap on the enable easyMute button when you open the application. This enables the service. I recommend you start to play music or a video on your phone to see if the app works on your phone. Browse the settings afterwards to modify some of the features. Here you can disable notifications for instance, or select to lower the volume of the sound that is playing instead of pausing it which is the default behavior.
EasyMute by default works only when wired headsets are connected to the phone and when it is in flat position. You can disable both options in the settings of the application as well. Note that this may increase the apps battery consumption. Here you can also modify the sensitivity of the proximity sensor and the sweep threshold.
Update: The developer told me that the program is compatible with Samsung phones and that users are running it successfully. So, give it a spin and let me know if it works for you.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.