Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Pretty dumb that you can't do this on a smartphone

I would think, as a newbie owner of a smartphone, that it would be straightforward to assign one ringtone to everyone on my Contacts list, and a different one to every other incoming call.

Apparently, though, this is not possible. You can assign a ringtone to one person on your Contact list, and then to another, and then to another ... but that seems tedious. Granted, it's likely that I'd only need to do this for a small fraction of my Contacts list, for all practical purposes, but still, how is this not something that a smartphone can do, right out of the box? I mean, when I get an incoming call from a friend, it takes no discernable time for the phone to display that person's name and avatar, as obtained by a look-up from the Contacts list, so why can't this info be used to play a different sound file, as well?

And given that an incoming call from someone not on my Contacts list is at least 99% likely to be a scam, why wouldn't phone programmers jump all over this opportunity to make our devices safer, and then indulge in a big splash of self-congratulations? Not to be all cynical or anything.

If I'm wrong about this, please do not hesitate to correct me.


Clare said...

Wow. I never even thought of this. What a great idea. Especially since there has been a proliferation of spam phone calls -- what happened to those state-wide and national "do not call" registries?

bjkeefe said...

As I understand it, the problem with the Do Not Call lists is that, essentially, compliance is voluntary. There is no way to enforce the intent, at least not down at the level of the fly by night scammers that infest the system. A major problem is that it is trivial to spoof the number of the source of the call. Another is that a large fraction of scam calls come from outside the US.