Microsoft planning an automatic “inconspicuous mode” for our phones

microsofts new patent make phone theater friendly in the
Piercing ringtones or luminous glares can often ruin your enjoyment of a movie or a play if someone forgets to switch their smartphone off in the theater, but Microsoft wants to make our gadgets much more discreet: It’s applied for an “inconspicuous mode” patent that would turn off sounds and dim the screen at the same time.

The beauty of the idea is that the mode could be activated automatically rather than relying on a fallible human being to switch it on. Triggers such as a GPS location, an event in your calendar, or even an action in your browser (like buying cinema tickets) are discussed in the patent filing, which was granted to Microsoft this week. It could just be enough to save your blushes the next time you forget to switch your phone off while you’re out.

When in “inconspicuous mode” the smartphone would adapt its screen to lower the brightness and show key bits of information (such as the current time for easy checking). The user would also have the option to switch in and out of the mode manually, should the situation require it. It’s probably a little optimistic to expect these features in Windows Phone 10 but Microsoft could be on to something here.

“One problem with the ubiquity of [mobile devices] in so many different environments is that their use is not appropriate in all settings,” reads the patent. “As one common example, in a theater the sound from a mobile communication device and the light from its display can be distracting to other theater patrons.” Microsoft’s patent documents suggest that this new mode could also come in useful during meetings, whilst in the car, and at night time while users are asleep in bed.

Via The Next Web

[Header image courtesy of Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com]

Product Review

Lenovo’s Smart Tab P10 offers Android and Alexa but masters neither

If you’ve always fancied a smart display, but you need an Android tablet as well, then the Lenovo Smart Tab P10 could be the affordable device you’ve been dreaming of. Yet obsolete software and mediocre performance hold it back.
Mobile

Your OnePlus 7 Pro is awesome out of the box, but there's more to discover

You've got your awesome new OnePlus 7 Pro in your hand, and you want to make sure it's set up correctly. Here's our complete guide to the settings you should change, and features you must know about, on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Gaming

Here are all the game streaming services you should know about

You can still get your physical video game discs or cartridges at your local store or download games digitally, but another option is even more convenient: Game streaming. Here are the best game-streaming services.
Mobile

Cardinal red Galaxy S10 doesn't appear destined for the U.S.

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Gaming

These are the 20 best Android games you can play offline

Even in our increasingly connected world, you don't always have an internet connection on the go. To help you pass the time when you're disconnected, we compiled a list of the best Android games that can be played offline.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Product Review

Oppo’s cutting-edge Reno has a shark fin pop-up camera, and plenty of bite

The Oppo Reno has a very cool shark fin-style pop-up camera to make it stand out in a crowd, and a rear camera with a 10x zoom, plus there’s a 5G version coming soon. It’s truly up-to-date, with plenty of cutting-edge tech inside.
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Deals

Qustodio drops prices 10% on premium parental control software plans

With school almost out for summer, now is a prime time to keep your children's content consumption in check and protect your own peace of mind with Qustodio's premium parental control software plans, now available at 10% off.
Mobile

As stock Android spreads, is it time for Android manufacturer skins to die?

Many Android device manufacturers seem to be moving towards a stock Android look and ditching separate skins, but there are a few notable exceptions. Do manufacturer interfaces for Android still add value, or is it time for them to die?
Mobile

Prevent a broken screen with the best Google Pixel 3a XL screen protectors

The Pixel 3a XL is a solid choice if you're looking for a midrange phone with a large screen and a great camera. But it still needs protecting. Here are the best Pixel 3a XL screen protectors to keep your big display safe.
Mobile

Guard your Galaxy with the best Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus screen protectors

The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are two of the best phones to ever grace this planet -- but the screen still isn't brick-proof. Here are the best Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus screen protectors to keep yours safe.
Mobile

Huawei's situation in the U.S. may improve when trade war is resolved

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart deals

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.