Where’s the “Do not disturb” feature for mobile phones?

15Jun09

My desk phone has a handy button labeled “Do not disturb”. When you press it, the phone won’t ring for new calls. This is great if you’re away from your desk or otherwise unable to answer the phone, and you don’t want it to ring aimlessly during that period.

Even though I’ve had this feature on my desk phone for years, I just realized there’s no equivalent on my BlackBerry. You can turn off the wireless service completely, but then you won’t receive emails or text messages. Or you can turn off the ringer and make it vibrate instead, but that’s much less convenient than the option I’m used to, where you just tell the phone you don’t want any calls at the moment.

Perhaps the newfangled phone models like the iPhone and Palm Pre have a “Do not disturb” option. But if they don’t, I really have to wonder what’s taking them so long. Maybe the people who design and develop mobile products barely use their desk phones at all, so they’ve never heard of the feature in the first place.



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