What is the difference between silent, do not disturb and airplane mode?

Decided whether to turn on silent, airplane mode, or do not disturb? Here's a quick guide to figuring out the differences between the three features

Maybe, a few times, you'll have used one instead of the other without fully realizing it. In the end, to a "layman", they may even seem like the same feature but with different names. Instead, the differences between silent, do not disturb and airplane mode are there and they are substantial.

Present now for a long time on Android devices, they can also be used (more or less) interchangeably, but they are not at all the same thing. It's true that by putting the phone on "Do not disturb" or silent the effect will be the same (we won't receive "noisy" notifications for calls, SMS or other applications on the smartphone), but the principle on which they are based is very different. The same goes for the airplane mode: the effect is always not to be disturbed, but the operating modes and the principles behind the functionality are diametrically opposed.

Let's see together, then, what are and how they work the silent mode, the do not disturb mode and the airplane mode. And, most importantly, when it's appropriate to use one instead of the other.

What are Silent, Do Not Disturb and Airplane Mode

Once in a while, to understand what we are talking about, it will be enough to analyze the names of the features. Silence, the simplest function among the three, resets the device's volume and won't make the ringer ring for incoming calls, received messages or notifications of any kind; similarly, Do Not Disturb mode will silence the phone, although its operation is slightly different; with Airplane Mode, instead, it will be like turning off the device's signal reception.

What happens when we activate silent, do not disturb and airplane mode

The big difference between the first two features and the third one is in the behavior of the smartphone: while with silent and do not disturb the device will continue to receive the signal and, therefore, work perfectly, activating airplane mode will turn off the cellular connection of the smartphone. This means that you can continue to use it without any problems, but you will not be able to make or receive calls or surf the Internet. Once airplane mode is turned off, you'll receive all app and SMS notifications, including those for calls received while the phone was no longer receiving a signal.

The difference between silent and do not disturb, however, is more subtle. Both of them mute the sounds of your smartphone, but while silent is a "general" setting that applies to every function of the device, with Do Not Disturb you can set exceptions. For example, you can create a white list of contacts who can still contact you: whether it's a call or a text message doesn't matter, the phone will ring and you can decide if it's worth answering or not.