But when a background noise cancelation feature doesn’t work properly, that’s the time for a review. That applies to your own data as well, and that’s the focus of this article. You may or may not need this feature, but it’s important to note that if you do, it should be installed. If not, here are the ways the background noise cancellation doesn’t work properly, and they’ll ensure that you have a working solution.
First, let’s discuss how noise canceling works. Noise canceling basically means you’re telling your phone to turn off when other phones are nearby when in calls and receive a notification from Gmail, Google Hangouts, Hangouts on Desktop, and Hangouts on Android that you’re in a quiet room. This helps prevent disruptions, but it also makes it much more difficult to keep up with people around you. If you know someone is in a crowded place, you may also want to disable alerts like their location. Unfortunately, because this is a non-SMS feature, the phone may not get those alerts.
So how do you remove the noise? There are a couple ways to do this. You can always make your device as silent as possible. To do this, you’ll want to disable USB noise cancellation if you have it enabled. In the Google app on your phone (Android 4.2+) go to the Settings page, then press the volume down button, turn it down and uncheck USB noise cancellation. If you use a USB cable, this will only work if you’ve plugged in the phone to a computer via a cable. If not, you’ll likely want to also disable noise cancellation on any other devices that connect to your computer.
Next, you won’t want to do anything to the phone’s internal battery. Your device may get an error message saying battery not found, but a quick search (like google searches for phone battery ) returns results for removing the battery and charging. If you can’t get the noise to go away and you don’t care about being more productive, go the charging route.
If you only can’t be bothered to keep up with your phone’s idle battery, try a software solution.
In this case, you could use a voice app with Google Now to create a calendar reminder for work. You’ll be notified automatically if someone else needs to be picked up, and your phone can automatically set the background noise on mute when it reaches a predefined amount of idle battery. Once started, you can use your voice to set the background noise. The app will even show time remaining in the notification when it’s on.
(The app has its limitations too. For example, phone calls between work and home are not scheduled automatically; call frequency is limited to once per hour, and there is no option to enable notification for SMS in the calendar reminder. However, it really is the fastest, easiest way to keep up with your phone in a quiet room.)
Or keep the service running in your browser - the Chrome app can add the background noise canceling sound, so you can enjoy uninterrupted work at your desk. For Chrome on Android you can enable the new voice option in the Settings menu and set it to “Background noise canceling.”
The most frustrating thing of all is that while Google is claiming this is the first Google service that works with noise canceling, you can’t make a call from your phone or Google Now without having the noise cancel in your background. If you take your phone out of your pocket at a conference or a meeting, you need to disable noise canceling to get in line. That isn’t what I want from a personal tool, but I’ll take it if it helps me focus. For now, though, you can continue to do what you’re doing and keep up with what you’re doing from your phone!
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