iPad - please don’t ding while you and I are asleep
I bought an iPad. I must admit I don’t really understand how people can use it their main device, but that was exactly the purpose of me buying an iPad. I believe that product people should constantly try and use every product that is immensly successful, in order to develop insights into what makes consumers get excited about stuff.
I just brought it home, set up my email and installed a couple of apps, then went to sleep. The iPad, too, was asleep (there’s this cool smart cover that sends it to sleep once you shut it). Then the iPad started dinging. I recognized the sound because I have an iPhone. It was a new email notification. I get lots of emails so it kept me awake.
I quickly browsed through the settings and could not find a solution to silence the damn thing, so I reached out to my good friend Google for help. The first result was a story by a guy just like myself complaining about the exact same problem in Apple forums. The community there initially dismissed him as crazy, not acknowledging that there is indeed something wrong with the fact that a sleeping device dings at night… At some point he answered:
“Thanks for both of these answers, although they are both nuisance-solutions. There should be a way to disable the stupid sound without adding something new I have to do every single night, that is ridiculous in my opinion. When the device is “asleep”, there should be a way to tell it not to make any noise. Putting it to sleep should cover it. Should NOT have to mute it or go into some freaking menu to change a setting in addition! Very lame.”
I couldn’t have said it better… Here’s the full thread.
The thread does include something that solves my problem (I just killed the email sounds because I don’t like them even the iPad is open), but it’s definitely not a complete solution. Don’t get me wrong, meanwhile the iPad is a great device and I’m doing nice things with it (like writing this post). But I think that making sounds by default when the device is asleep is a bad decision.
When I set up the device for the first time it took me through a wizard of several screens, asking me various questions about how I’ll use it. Many of those questions were less important to me than asking me “hey, when the device is asleep, can it still ding?”
So what’s my point here?
First, I’m constantly annoyed by the fact that many people just cannot accept criticism about Apple products. I’ve written about it before. Second, if you ever build a product that can go to sleep, ask yourself: when my owner puts me to sleep, does he think I’ll make unsolicited noises unless they were explicitly requested by him (eg alarm clock)?
I find it hard to imagine a case where the answer would be “yes”.