This feature is now on Apple’s last smartphone.
There are a lot of great smartphones out there, but only one has this feature.
The great “iPhone vs. Android” debate could go on for a long time, with neither side being able to say that they have won. Both platforms and the companies that make the hardware and software have their pros and cons. But now that Apple’s only competitor has left the game, there is one feature that only Apple can offer.
Alert sliders will not come with the OnePlus 10T.
Even though the official keynote presentation is still more than a week away, OnePlus has already said that the 10T will not have the company’s famous “alert slider,” or mute switch.
In an interview with The Verge, OnePlus chief designer Hope Liu said that the switch had to go so that the phone could have “high wattage charging, a large battery capacity, and better antenna signal.”
Even if Liu’s explanation about how the design came about is correct, this omission is disappointing: OnePlus was known for being the only Android manufacturer to include a hardware switch to turn sound alerts on or off. In the OnePlus version, you can move the slider to one of three places: one keeps alerts on, another turns off sound, and the third makes the phone vibrate. Now, like most Android phones, users of the OnePlus 10T will have to use software controls to turn the phone off or make it vibrate.
This isn’t the first time OnePlus has left the alert slider off one of their smartphones: Many of the company’s OnePlus Nord series are missing the switch, so customers with one of those devices will no doubt find the drama around this “news” confusing. But OnePlus’s “budget” line is called Nord, and the 10T is the company’s first full-featured flagship phone without an alert slider. This seems like a big deal.
The only new smartphone with a mute button is the iPhone.
It means that Apple is the only smartphone maker with this kind of hardware switch, which means that it is no longer found on any new Android phones. If you want to be able to mute your phone without having to look at it or take it out of your pocket, you can only get an iPhone or an older OnePlus device. Since OnePlus released the 10 Pro in March of this year, that shouldn’t be too hard. But if OnePlus doesn’t change its mind, that phone will be the last Android to have a mute button.
But let’s be honest: no one buys a phone just for the mute switch. Even if it would be a good selling point, Apple probably won’t show ads of a customer subtly turning off their iPhone before a big meeting. But it’s worth mentioning because it’s a big deal for Android phones and for OnePlus as a company. The alert slider will be missed, and we hope it comes back. Until then, we’ll use software to turn off the sound on our smartphones.
Fun fact: Apple has never sold an iPhone without a mute switch, but it did take that feature away from another line of products. Before the iPad Air 2, Apple used to put the switch on the iPad. You could use it to mute the sound or turn on or off the rotation lock. Now, you can find both options in the Control Center.