An updated European Note 4 build removes Android 5.0's 'Interruptions' system entirely — and reinstates the Mute button.
Android 5.0 Lollipop's "Interruptions" system has been one of the most contentious parts of the OS's latest release, leaving users to muddle through this over-engineered feature when all anyone really wanted was a mute button.
Worse still, we've seen some positively insane implementations of Interruptions by some Android OEMs, with LG and Samsung being among the worst offenders. Thankfully, though, Samsung's latest Lollipop update for the Galaxy Note 4, available to unlocked devices in the Netherlands starting today, essentially reverts things to the way they were back on KitKat.
Newer model: Galaxy Note 5
Across Android 5.x as a whole, the Interruptions system remains an inconsistent, confusing mess.
The new firmware (build N910FXXU1BOC3, if you're keeping track) does away with the confusing blend of Interruptions and regular volume settings seen in the earlier Note 4 Lollipop builds, which never saw a wide release outside of Germany and Poland.
As before, you can't select Mute mode from the normal volume slider, instead you need to use the "Sound" shortcut in the quick settings panel. And the Lollipop Interruptions system, previously notoriously difficult to find, has been gutted, replaced with Samsung's Do Not Disturb setup (also known as Blocking Mode). Try to switch to Priority or "None" mode through a paired Android Wear watch and DND gets activated instead.
Sure, it's not perfect. And the fact that there are so many different implementations of the same feature across various Galaxy devices, let alone the rest of Android, isn't great. But Mute mode was never broken in the first place, and Samsung's realization that it doesn't need fixing is a good thing. At the very least, the manufacturer should be able to avoid some frustrated customer service calls once this update starts rolling out to the rest of Europe.