HTC Attentive Phone App for Windows Phone 7: Great Idea But Interferes with Audio Playback

HTC’s free Attentive Phone app for Windows Phone 7 is one of those great concepts that went slightly awry in execution. The app was designed to note (attend to) your Windows Phone’s current situation and modify its behavior. Here’s its list of options:

1. Quiet ring on pickup: Reduce ring volume when phone is moved
2. Pocket mode: Increase ring volume while in pocket or bag
3. Flip for speaker: Turn over phone to activate speakerphone during calls
4. Flip to mute ringer: Turn over the phone to silence the ringer during an incoming call

This all sounds great. And, I’ve been mentioning the app to numerous people during conversations about my HTC HD7. However, I ran into an interesting problem over the weekend. I wanted to use Windows Phone 7’s media player to listen to music while working. I had done this before during brief tests. But, these past tests were while I held the device in my hand. When I left it flat on desk to free up both hands, the music came to a halt, volume level was reset to 0 (no sound), and the ringer was set to vibrate. The result was I couldn’t listen to any music. I tried this a couple of times before it occurred to me that Attentive Phone might be the culprit. I removed the app from the HD7. That seemed to help, but not completely. So, I pulled the battery from the phone to cause a forced soft reset. This seems to have fixed the problem.

I had noticed other oddities related to moving my HD7 around earlier but had not tied it to Attentive Phone. These other oddities (ringer switched to vibrate, for example) have stopped now too. It looks like Attentive Phone is a bit too sensitive to phone motions. A sensitivity setting in its future release might help make it more useful.