Let’s face it. We humans have this crazy way of engaging in what we know is wrong. Texting while driving? Not a good idea. We see it all the time. We know we should eat less and exercise more, but too often we do the opposite.
Apple’s Do Not Disturb is a single-minded feature we love but we prefer holes in what it does. If you hit Wikipedia for do not disturb you’ll get a list that ranges from a Do Not Disturb sign to various movies, songs, and even a Bollywood film from 2009. But the one we love to hate is Do Not Disturb on iOS and macOS.
We ask so much from our smartphones, tablets, and Macs these days but grumble how how they respond with an ever increasing stream of alerts, alarms, and notifications, but we thank Apple for putting DND so we can get some rest. Ask Siri to turn on Do Not Disturb and it happens.
What doesn’t happen is an option to leave Do Not Disturb on for a set period of time. That requires asking Siri to set a Reminder to turn on Do Not Disturb. It works, but a single request should be sufficient.
Hey, Siri, turn on Do Not Disturb at 2:00 PM and then turn it off at 4:00 PM.
How is that not an improvement?
Apple provides a few options for Do Not Disturb but those options are anemic and disturbing because they’re useful only in specific situations, whereby a more flexible scheduler would provide more benefits.
For example, Do Not Disturb has a Scheduled option. Turn it on at a specific time, turn it off at a specific time. Other options allow some callers or repeated calls, and the latest, in iOS 11 allows for Auto Reply-To and Automatic off when driving.
What disturbs me is Apple’s penchant for developing useful features with a few options that don’t have, well, enough options. Siri is a good example. Siri was the first intelligent assistant but Apple neglected development for years until Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and even Microsoft’s Cortana could do more.
Siri is the dumbest of the so-called intelligent assistants.
What I want to see in Do Not Disturb is what I want to see more of in Siri. Options. How about an automatic Do Not Disturb in Calendar events such as meetings or movies? Automatic. Otherwise, many of us need to use Siri to set a reminder to turn off Do Not Disturb after we told Siri to turn on Do Not Disturb before entering the theatre or meeting.
Do Not Disturb needs greater integration with Siri and some of those commands and requests we make should be universal. Now we have to set Do Not Disturb on each individual device. Where is the option to sync those options across devices using iCloud?
I know Apple is a hardware company and that’s where the profits are, but we use Apple’s software on Apple’s hardware and it’s iOS and macOS that help to differentiate the company’s gadgets from competition.
It’s disturbing that Apple introduces new and useful features but allows them to languish until all competitors have similar functions that do more.