Fixing Android Wear muting of phone calls on Lollipop

As long as I've been wearing a smartwatch, I've kept my phone's notifications silenced. It's been great for the patient care environment I work in as my phone never makes a peep but I don't miss any important phone calls or text messages. When my LG G Watch and Moto X were on KitKat, the Android Wear app had a great feature to "Mute connected phone." I kept it enabled all the time, and the phone stayed silent throughout the day. The "mute connected phone" feature still exists, but it doesn't quite work as advertised anymore.

With the latest update to Lollipop on both devices, Android Wear now ties its notification settings to those of the phone. It also adds the option for "priority mode" where only specified notifications can get though, and eliminates the traditional silent mode on phones. (Android Central has a good writeup on the new notification situation here) My original thought process was to use the Downtime feature to kick into priority mode at night during typical sleeping hours. That way a family member can wake me up, but a telemarketer cannot. I left the notification / call sounds cranked up loud enough to wake me. During the day those sounds would be silent thanks to the "mute connected phone" option in Android wear, and during my downtime (sleeping) I'd only hear the sound if someone was trying to wake me up. I was happy to be able to do all of this using built in Android settings instead of the Tasker profiles I used to use to let important calls through at night.

The problem is, during the day running the combination of "show all notifications" with the "mute connected phone" mutes all notifications EXCEPT phone calls. Yesterday I received a phone call from Wallgreens and had my phone unexpectedly blare out the default beat-boxing Moto ringtone at the office. That's a bit of a problem. I determined that phone calls can be muted out by placing the phone in vibrate mode, but then I have to remember to crank the volume back up every night lest I miss an important call because I didn't hear the vibrations. 

I've managed to implement this in a clean manner with Tasker and the Tasker Plugin for Android Wear. I've left the option to "mute connected phone" enabled in the Android Wear app. When my watch is on my wrist, the phone goes into vibrate mode, muting the phone call problem. When my watch is on the charging dock each night, Tasker enables silent mode, which on Lollipop means it enables priority mode with sounds only for my specified callers. As of 12/17/14 the latest update to Tasker removed the option for silent mode on 5.0 and replaced it wtih an option to set Interrupt Mode to Priority.

I only had to make two tasks:
State > Plugin > Android Wear > Charging     |      Audio > Interrupt Mode > Priority
State > Plugin > Android Wear > Not Charging    |    Audio > Silent Mode > Vibrate

Then I disabled my scheduled downtime, and left my priority interruptions as desired so that only phone calls from my starred contacts can get through during priority interruption time.

The end result is notifications on my watch throughout the day, and priority notifications at night when I take it off. In a way it's an upgrade as my phone will no longer kick into priority/silent mode while I'm still awake! Hopefully Google will fix the phone ringing while "mute connected phone" is enabled, but in the meantime I'm quite happy with this workaround.

This issue is currently cropping up with a combination of LG G Watch running 5.0.1 and Moto X 2014 running 5.0 with Android Wear


  1. Thanks for the write-up on this - it would be nice though if functionality worked as designed. In Lollipop this worked like a charm. Now with Marshmallow, it is broken! I don't know why Google keeps mucking with the way notifications work.

  2. I have very similar requirements than you. This post was very useful, thanks! By the way, instead of the plugin you mentioned, I believe a better alternative with android 6.0 is Autowear


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