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Setting Blocking and Driving Modes on the Galaxy Tab 3

You can use the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 in your daily life to inform you about upcoming appointments and notifications such as a new text message. However, there may be times when you want the Tab 3 to leave you alone, such as when you're driving in your car or in an important meeting. Eric Butow shows you how to turn off notifications and alarms by setting the blocking mode or have the Tab 3 read your alarms and notifications aloud in driving mode.
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When you're taking your Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 on the road with you or into a situation in which being quiet is essential, such as an important business meeting, you may not want to see and/or hear information coming from the device. Samsung realized this and included two device settings for managing your notifications while keeping your Tab 3 on.

The first is Blocking Mode, which turns off notifications and alarms. The other is Driving Mode, which reads out alarm information aloud, such as information about an upcoming appointment, while you're driving so you can keep your eyes on the road where they belong.

Blocking Mode

You can set Blocking Mode by tapping Settings on the Home screen and then tapping Blocking mode in the settings list on the left side of the screen. Within the Blocking mode entry in this list you see a slider button; turn Blocking Mode on by sliding the button to On.

The Blocking mode settings list appears as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 The Blocking mode settings list appears on the right side of the screen

No matter what screen you're on, you know that Blocking Mode is active because the Blocking Mode icon (a hyphen inside a circle) appears on the left side of the Status Bar.

The Blocking mode settings list is divided into two sections. Within the Features section, the Turn Off Notifications and Disable Alarm check boxes are checked by default, so you won't see or hear notifications and alarms.

You can view notifications and hear the associated sound by tapping the Notification check box; the check box is clear when Notifications are on. You can view and hear alarms by tapping the Disable Alarm check box to clear it.

In the Set Time section, the Always check box is checked so notifications and/or the alarm are disabled at all times—or at least until you turn off Blocking Mode.

You can set specific times to disable the notifications and/or alarm, such as during work hours, by tapping the Always check box to clear it. After you tap the check box, the From and To buttons become active, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 The From and To buttons appear below the Always check box

The default time for keeping the notifications and/or alarm off is from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., which are hours you'll probably be relaxing and/or sleeping. If you want to change the From time, tap the From button (it says 09:00 PM).

The time window appears as shown in Figure 3, so you can change the time.

Figure 3 The time window appears in the center of the screen so you can set a new time

The window shows three time components; from left to right, the hour, minute, and time of day (AM or PM). You can set the time by tapping the up or down arrow above or below each time component to change it.

When you finish changing the time, tap the Set button. If you change your mind and decide not to apply your changes, tap the Cancel button.

If you want to change the time when Blocking Mode ends, tap the To button (it says 06:00 AM) and then set the time in the time window as you did with the From time.

After you set the new time(s), you'll see the time(s) reflected in the From and To buttons, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 The new From and To times appear in the From and To buttons

If you want to turn off the notifications and/or alarm indefinitely, tap the Always check box again; you see the Always check box checked and the From and To buttons are disabled.

You can turn off Blocking Mode entirely by swiping the Blocking mode button from On to Off within the settings list on the left side of the screen.

Driving Mode

When you're driving, you can have the Tab 3 read alarm information aloud by putting the device in Driving Mode. You can access the Driving Mode settings shown in Figure 5 by tapping Driving mode in the settings list on the left side of the screen.

Figure 5 The Driving Mode settings list appears on the right side of the screen

By default, Driving Mode is off, as shown by the sliding Off button at the right side of the blue menu bar that appears at the top of the screen you saw in Figure 5.

You can turn Driving Mode on by sliding the Off button to On. When you do, the two menu options in the list become active, and you also see the Driving Mode icon—a steering wheel—at the left side of the Status Bar.

Both the Alarm and Schedule check boxes are checked by default. The Alarm feature will read out all alarm information when an alarm sounds. The Schedule feature will read out only all scheduled alarm information, such as an upcoming appointment, when a scheduled alarm sounds.

You can disable one or both of these options by tapping the Alarm check box and/or the Schedule check box. Note that if you clear both check boxes, Driving Mode turns off automatically because Driving Mode no longer has anything to do.

In the Quick Settings and Notifications Screen

If you'd rather not go into the Settings screen to turn Blocking and Driving Modes off and on, especially if you don't need to change any other settings such as the times Blocking Mode is on, you can turn Blocking and Driving Modes on and off in the Quick Settings and Notifications screen.

Open the Quick Settings and Notifications screen by holding your finger down on the Status Bar and then swiping downward. In the Notification Panel at the top of the screen, swipe from right to left until you see the Blocking Mode and Driving Mode buttons. as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 The Blocking Mode and Driving Mode buttons appear in the Notification Panel at the top of the screen

In the example shown in Figure 6, Blocking Mode is on, and the notification on the screen says that Blocking Mode is on between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. You can turn off Blocking Mode by tapping the Blocking Mode button in in the Notification Panel. The notification on the screen disappears.

You can restart Blocking Mode by tapping the Blocking Mode button again; when you do, you see the Blocking Mode window. It tells you that notifications for the selected features (notifications and/or alarms) will be turned off when Blocking Mode is turned on.

Turn on Blocking Mode by tapping the OK button. For a few seconds, the Status Bar shows a message that states Blocking Mode is on and then you see the Blocking Mode icon at the left side of the Status Bar.

For Driving Mode, all you have to do to turn the feature on is to tap the Driving Mode button in the Notification Panel. The Notification screen displays a message that Driving Mode is enabled. Turn off Driving Mode by tapping the Driving Mode button again.

That's all you need to know about using Blocking and Driving Modes so you can have the Tab 3 notify you in ways that don't get in your way.

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