Focusing in iOS 15: what is it and how does it work?


The iOS Focus Mode, announced at WWDC on June 7, is hardly new to the industry. One might even be surprised that against the background of a generally positive perception of the news, no one remembered the appearance of such a mode on Android much earlier, back in 2019. In Windows 10, it has generally been present since the spring of 2018.

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Perhaps this is due to the fact that Apple’s focus mode is similar to similar ones only formally. They have in common – the name, the tasks to be solved and the fact that the mode is the result of the evolution of the “Do not disturb” mode. And most Android users do not even realize that Google introduced this mode a couple of years ago – it is simply not present on all devices. Android smartphone manufacturers are in no rush to implement it. On Apple devices, Focus mode is available on all compatible operating systems: iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS on millions of iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watch.

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What is Focus Mode in iOS 15?

Focus mode is designed to help you avoid distractions when you need to focus on work, play, driving, etc. While Google and Microsoft offer a single “focus” mode, Apple has created several. Not only does Apple offer five built-in focusing scenarios at once (Do not disturb, Driving, Personal, Work, Sleep), but also users have the ability to create an unlimited number of their own. Any of the options can be configured both for manual start and for automatic activation at a specified time with a certain frequency. You can also customize the activation of focus mode based on the location of the user.

Each focusing scenario implies the admission of certain notifications (or their complete disallowance) in accordance with the type of activity of the user. For example, during the “Sleep” or “Work” mode, you can set to receive notifications (calls) only from close relatives.

Interestingly, if the user has multiple Apple devices, then there is no need to activate or deactivate the selected focus mode on each gadget. Everything works very simply – you need to enable or disable the desired mode on one device, and the rest will automatically do the same. But to accomplish this magic, Apple had to build its own ecosystem for years. It took a lot of time and effort, as well as money.

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What devices support Focus mode?

Mode Focusing Supported on devices with macOS 12, iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8 or later.

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Why do i need Focus mode in iOS 15 at all?

The essence of the “Do not disturb” mode and the other focusing modes that appeared on its basis is to restrict access to information coming from outside. But when you try to simply disconnect the connection, you can miss a really important call or message, the consequences of which can be the most unpredictable. So the possible nuances are obvious, which is why there is an opportunity to set exceptions in focus modes. The list of information sources that will not be blocked by the blocking may include phone numbers, email addresses, accounts in instant messengers, and more. This list may differ depending on the focus mode.

Apple has worked hard to make Focus mode work as expected. For example, an answering machine, when blocking a call (phone or messenger) in focus mode, can send a response message, for example: “I’m busy so far, I’ll contact you later.”

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How to set up Focus mode on iPhone, iPad and Mac

On iPhone and iPad

1. Open the app Settings and go to section Focusing

2. Select the required plan from the proposed ones or create your own by clicking the button “+” in the upper right corner. As an example, consider setting up a script “Do not disturb”

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

3. To enable the selected plan, set the switch with its name to the position Included

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

4. Click the tab People In chapter Permitted notifications and add contacts of people whose calls and notifications will be allowed during the custom scenario.

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

You can also expand (or shorten) the list of allowed contacts by pressing Challenges… Here you can add permission for calls from Chosen contacts, allow calls from all of us or from no one, add All contacts or certain group contacts.

If the option is enabled Repeated calls, then the second call from the same subscriber, made to you within three minutes, will not be muffled

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

5. Click the tab Applications In chapter Permitted notifications and add apps whose notifications will be allowed while the custom script is running.

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

6. Menu Focus status Enable the option Share focus statusif you want to inform people who write to you that you have turned off notifications. For example, this is relevant in the Messages application (iMessage).

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

7. Menu Home Screen… Enable the option Hide notification stickersto prevent app icons from showing red circles showing the number of notifications received when in focus mode.

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

Here you can also activate the parameter Customizing Pagesto select which application pages are displayed on the home screen in focus mode.

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

eight. Menu Lock screen… Enable the option Muted lock screen notificationsif you want to display received notifications in focus mode (they are not displayed by default). Here you can also enable Dimming the lock screen

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

9. Configure Auto power on customizable focus mode script. You can choose to automatically turn on on a schedule with a repeat on certain days of the week.

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

10. Menu Add Schedule or Automation allows you to enable the scenario of the focusing mode by time, geolocation (user location) or when launching a specific application.

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

Also, control the mode Focusing can be from Control Center

Touching the month icon on the widget Focusing will activate the script Do not disturb

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

Touching an inscription Focusing will list the available scripts.

To create a new script, click the button “+ New plan”

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

Mode activation Focusing can be produced on each device (iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch) individually. To prevent focus status from being transmitted from one device to another, disable the Accounting on all devices

How to set up Focus mode on iPhone and iPad

On Mac

1. Run the application System settings and open to section Notifications and focus

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

2. Go to the tab Focusing

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

3. Select the required plan from the proposed ones or create your own by clicking the button “+” at the bottom of the window.

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

As an example, consider setting up a script “Do not disturb”

4. To enable the selected plan, set the switch with its name to the position Included

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

5. Click the tab People In chapter Allowed notifications from and add contacts of people (by clicking the “+” button), calls and notifications from which will be allowed during the action of the custom script.

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

You can also expand (or shorten) the list of allowed contacts by pressing Options… Here you can add permission for calls from Chosen contacts, allow calls from all of us or from no one, add All contacts or certain group contacts.

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

If the option is enabled Repeated calls, then the second call from the same subscriber, made to you within three minutes, will not be muffled

How to set up Focus mode on Mac How to set up Focus mode on Mac

6. Click the tab Applications In chapter Allowed notifications from and add apps whose notifications will be allowed while the custom script is running.

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

7. Configure Auto power on customizable focus mode scenario at the touch of a button “+”… Here you can turn on the scenario of the focus mode by time, geolocation (user location) or when launching a specific application.

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

8. Enable the option Share focus statusif you want to inform people who write to you that you have turned off notifications. For example, this is relevant in the Messages application (iMessage).

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

Also, control the mode Focusing can be from Control Center

Touching the month icon on the widget Focusing will activate the script Do not disturb

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

Touching the Focus caption will display a list of available scenarios.

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

Mode activation Focusing can be produced on each device (iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch) individually. To prevent focus status from being transmitted from one device to another, disable the Accounting on all devices

How to set up Focus mode on Mac

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