HTC One M8 Do Not Disturb

This may be the most important feature on any smartphone

Our phones make a lot of noise. They chirp. Beep. Vibrate. Sing. Howl. And if you're the popular type (or, worse, work with folks across many time zones), your phone can be worse than a newborn at 3 a.m. or a dog in a thunderstorm. Fortunately, smartphone manufacturers are finally baking in "Do Not Disturb" functions.

Here's how to use Do Not Disturb in Sense 6 on the HTC One M8.

How to get get to the Do Not Disturb settings

Do Not Disturb

There are two ways to enable DnD and to get to its options. It may be in your quick settings menu. Just pull down from the top of the screen with two fingers. Or pull down with one finger and hit the settings button in the top right. (If it's not in your quick settings menu, you should be able to add it. To get to the settings from here, hit the three dots on the button.

Alternately, you can just go to the main settings section, choose "Sound," and then "Do Not Disturb."

Basic operation for Do Not Disturb

As the name implies, DnD essentially tells your phone to shut the hell up. HTC's implementation of it can be a little confusing, though, so we'll break it down thusly:

The on/off toggle switch

Think of this like you would any other toggle in Sense 6. When it's on, DnD is turned on and your phone won't bother you. That means you can turn it on at any time to silence your phone. Middle of the day during a meeting? Sure thing. Want to take a nap? Have at it. On/off. Get it?

The Do Not Disturb Timer

Do Not Disturb Timer

Let's say you are, in fact, going to have a siesta, but you want to make sure you don't sleep all day. That's where the timer comes in. Turn DnD on manually, then set a time for 30 minutes, or an hour, or as long as 12 hours. Once the timer ticks down, your phone will start making a racket again.

We wouldn't rely on this to wake us up, but it's a nice option to have.

Contacts and exceptions

Do Not DisturbDo Not Disturb Exceptions

Silencing your phone is good and all, but what about if someone really needs to get ahold of you? That's where exceptions come in. You can choose individual contacts — or groups of contacts — whose phone calls will be whitelisted through. If for some reason you want to temporarily go off the grid, you can uncheck the exceptions option while leaving the exceptions list intact.

Alarm and timer

Do Not Disturb sounds

This is important. We've used third-party DnD-type apps that squelch alarms and timers, and that's no good. By default, your new HTC One will let timers and alarms ring through. But you can turn that off if you like.

Do Not Disturb Schedule

Do Not Disturb scheduleDo Not Disturb Schedule

And finally there's the all-important schedule. This is where you — wait for it ... — set schedules for your quiet times. Set start and end times, and which days you'd like to repeat this schedule on. You also can choose whether to whitelist calls from your exceptions list, all call from all contacts, or allow no calls at all.

Canceling Do Not Disturb — and a word of warning

Do Not Disturb

Maybe that nap was good, but you woke up early and it's time to get back at it. It's time to turn off Do Not Disturb. You could use that on/off toggle, sure.

The easiest way to cancel DnD is to just pull down the notification bar and tap to turn off. Another is to hit one of the volume buttons. With either method, you'll get a warning that you'll end DnD for that current schedule.

And that's where the warning comes in: If you manually end a Do Not Disturb schedule, it turns that schedule off. So if you, say, wake up a half-hour early and manually end DnD mode, and it's supposed to repeat itself the next day, it won't actually restart the schedule and your phone will continue to make noise until you manually reset the schedule. Not the end of the world, but it's different than the "I'm not sleeping" cancellation we'd grown used to on Motorola's implementation.

The bottom line

And that's that. If you get a lot of notifications on your phone, a good DnD mode is much better than having to remember to silence the volume. And HTC's done a pretty good job with its implementation here. Our only real eyebrow-raiser is having to turn a schedule back on if we manually end DnD mode. In the meantime, we've just learned to let DnD run its course.

It's worth noting that DND isn't new to Sense 6, so much of what you read here may be applicable to the previous generation of HTC smartphones, though do note that features may differ.

See our HTC One M8 help page for more tips, hints and how-tos.