Let's get started with the main way your phone communicates with you: through its ringtones.
Your smartphone's ringtones are designed to alert you when you have call, a text, new email, or when it's time to get get up.
Default ringtones are meant to grab your attention as quickly as possible. By design, they're meant to be... well, alarming.
When you have one ringtone, every call is as important as every other: your parents, your acquaintance from work, the nurse at your child's school, the telemarketer and push poller are all on an equal footing.
All appointments are equally important.
All texts arrive with the same frantic breathlessness.
But our phones would be more useful, and our lives would run a little better, if our phones could do a better job of distinguishing between incoming calls, texts and email coming from the people who have the right to interrupt you, and everyone else.
We need the option of having ringtones that are ambient not alarming, quiet rather than insistent. Ringtones shouldn’t just catch our attention: they should communicate information as well.