In our last WMExperts Podcast, we fielded a question from Daniel:
What I don't understand is when you play a video, the sound comes out the back speaker, in the opposite direction of where you are watching. If you are in a noisy room, you have to turn the phone to the back to hear, then, or course, you can't see the video. Is there a hack to get the sound via the front speaker?
In typical WMExperts fashion, we explained how on many phones the earpiece speaker is pretty much designed to work with telephony and not the OS and that the OS often has limited access to that speaker, depending on hardware. That's not completely the case though (as anybody who's received a text message or email while on a call can attest, the alert sound often comes through the earpiece mid-call). Lucky for us, listener Slartibartfast has provided a solution via twitter: an app called Audio Router for both WM Pro and WM Standard by Daniel Álvarez. Álvarez notes another great use for the app:
This is useful for VoIP applications which are quite unusable without headphones since the audio comes from the back speaker. It just runs for 10 minutes and it’s supposed to work at least with the latest HTC models.
Indeed! This makes apps like Fring a heck of a lot more useful. We also like that it runs for 10 minutes at a time -- meaning you won't get stuck having your audio permanently ported through your much-quieter front speaker because you forgot the hack was active. We've confirmed that it works on an HTC Fuze and it should work on plenty of other HTC devices, but as we noted above the ability to do this will vary depending on your hardware, so your mileage may vary.