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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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In iOS 15, Apple introduced a new Focus feature that aims to help reduce distractions and let you zone in on a single thing. Focus does this by filtering notifications based on what you're doing.

iOS-15-Focus-Feature.jpg

With Focus, you can set your device to help you be in the moment by creating a custom Focus or selecting a suggested one based on the context, like during work hours or while you're winding down for bed. It's also possible to create ‌Home Screen‌ pages with apps and ‌widgets‌ that apply to moments of focus to only display relevant apps and reduce temptation.

How to Create a Custom Focus

  1. Launch the Control Center and tap the Focus button.
  2. Tap the New Focus button at the bottom, indicated by a plus sign.
    create-custom-focus-1.jpg

    Select Custom to create a new Focus.
  3. Give your custom Focus a name and choose a colour/emoji/icon to make it recognizable, then tap Next.
    create-custom-focus-2.jpg

    On the next screen, tap Add Person to choose the people you want to receive notifications from when the Focus mode is enabled. You can also choose to receive calls from Everyone, No One, Favorites, or All Contacts, with this being a separate call-specific option.
  4. Tap Allow [X] Person or Allow None.
  5. On the next screen, tap Add App to choose apps you want to receive notifications from when the Focus mode is enabled.
  6. Tap Allow [X] Apps or Allow None.
    create-custom-focus-3.jpg

    On the next screen, choose whether to Allow Time Sensitive notifications when the Focus is enabled or tap Not Now to decide later.
  7. Tap Done to finish creating the custom Focus.
Once your custom Focus is created, you can adjust its options anytime by going to Settings -> Focus and selecting its name. There, you'll find additional settings available to you, including the option to Hide Notification Badges on app icons and an option to hide certain Home Screen pages using the Custom Page toggle. You can also choose to Dim Lock Screen appearance and Show On Lock Screen any silenced notifications you receive.

create-custom-focus-4a.jpg

In addition, note the Smart Activation option, which when turned on allows your device to turn on the custom Focus automatically at relevant times throughout the day, based on signals like your location, app usage, and more. Alternately, choose Add Schedule or Automation to have the Focus turn on automatically at a set time, location, or while using a certain app.

How to Turn On a Focus

Turning a Focus on is easy. Simply launch the Control Center, tap the Focus button, then select the Focus you want to enable. You can also tap the ellipsis (three dots) button to enable it For 1 hour, Until this evening, or Until I leave this location.

create-custom-focus-5.jpg

To disable the Focus, just tap the Focus button again in Control Center and then tap the active Focus. Remember, when you turn on/turn off a Focus, it's turned on/off across all your devices.

For more information on the new Focus mode options available in iOS 15, make sure to check out our Focus guide.

Article Link: iOS 15: How to Create a Focus
 

fede777

macrumors member
May 10, 2017
48
175
The "Allow People" is for every single app?

For example, today when I turn on DND at night, I don't get any WhatsApp notifications, if I were to add my parents to People, will I get WA notifications even when Focus (DND sleep) is on?
 
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Yptcn

macrumors 68000
Aug 24, 2012
1,680
825
Paris
The "Allow People" is for every single app?

For example, today when I turn on DND at night, I don't get any WhatsApp notifications, if I were to add my parents to People, will I get WA notifications even when Focus (DND sleep) is on?
I have te same question
 

RealMonster

macrumors regular
Oct 28, 2007
169
136
Okay, so Focus is quite a good feature, but it takes longer than you expect to work out the kinks. I had several calls and things go unanswered because my Work focus was on, and it turns out you really can't tune out the outside world.

But also—and this is very important, I think—if you want to install a beta of iOS 15 and use this feature, you basically HAVE to install WatchOS 8 Beta. If you don't, every focus puts WatchOS 7 into DND, so you never get any notifications on your watch. It's very jarring if that's something you're used to.
 
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LeadingHeat

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2015
913
2,259
Agree. Never understood why they make “how to’s” for an OS that not released yet ?
MAYBE it would be a good idea to explain that iOS15 isn't released yet? Not everyone landing on this article may know that.
While I agree with you, this is a very tech-savvy heavy site. Meaning a lot of people on here will be familiar with iOS betas and a good majority would have them installed. Maybe on The Verge it would be good to point out in big bold letters that this is for a beta software not publicly released haha.
 

Jeimu3u

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2020
11
13
The "Allow People" is for every single app?

For example, today when I turn on DND at night, I don't get any WhatsApp notifications, if I were to add my parents to People, will I get WA notifications even when Focus (DND sleep) is on?

I have te same question

from my initial testing of focuses, allowing my partner to bypass dnd only works for messages and not WhatsApp or other apps like it. I wonder if apps such as whatsapp will be able to access the api for bypassing dnd on a per person basis rather than per app basis.
 
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svenning

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2015
78
354
Los Angeles
While I agree with you, this is a very tech-savvy heavy site. Meaning a lot of people on here will be familiar with iOS betas and a good majority would have them installed. Maybe on The Verge it would be good to point out in big bold letters that this is for a beta software not publicly released haha.
Interesting, you a probably right. I’ve just always thought of macrumors to be fairly mainstream in the sense that, yes we are fairly tech savvy and understand that iOS 15 is not out yet, but I’ve always got the sense that most people only do betas if they have an extra device (and the rest waits). There’s also a bit of an oxymoron in that tech savvy people need a howto for a fairly simple feature and maybe that’s why I’ve thought those to be more for the less techy people who would probably not install a beta anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 
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Infinite Vortex

macrumors 6502a
Mar 6, 2015
521
1,057
This all seems like a lot of effort in order to do what Do Not Disturb and Aeroplane Modes are supposed to do.
 

fede777

macrumors member
May 10, 2017
48
175
from my initial testing of focuses, allowing my partner to bypass dnd only works for messages and not WhatsApp or other apps like it. I wonder if apps such as whatsapp will be able to access the api for bypassing dnd on a per person basis rather than per app basis.
I think there will be an API, hope messaging apps, like WA and others, implement it right away.
 

happygodavid

macrumors regular
May 14, 2007
241
253
Northern Virginia
I’m really proud of this feature. :)

I know it’s not directly “my” idea, but I’ve been sending this idea to apple.com/feedback for a few years. I usually describe it as “notification profiles” and talk about wanting to select what apps can bother me at any given moment. FINALLY. We can get texts and phone calls and nothing else, if that’s what we want in the moment.

People, if you want something, articulate it, send it in to apple.com/feedback repeatedly, and get others to do the same. Every Apple team has a feedback group that reads and filters feedback to engineering. Because I send feedback several times a month, I’ve lost count how many features I’ve submitted that ended up showing up. While a bunch of folks much smarter than me finalized the Focus feature, I’d like to think they took my feedback and ran with it.

Source on my assertion that they actually read feedback and design products/features around it: working for Apple for nearly 5 years. Pro-tip: don’t b*tch. Just succinctly describe the problem and offer your solution.
 
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happygodavid

macrumors regular
May 14, 2007
241
253
Northern Virginia
This all seems like a lot of effort in order to do what Do Not Disturb and Aeroplane Modes are supposed to do.
Not even close to the same thing. You can customize what apps give you notifications.

Imagine waiting to hear from someone via text but not wanting to be distracted by anything else, notification-wise. This gives you the option of setting up DND to only allow texts to alert you. All other apps, silence. Or, you need phone silence or no distractions, but you need to know when your package is delivered. Done. Or, you only want to get notified when work apps are giving you notifications (not Twitter or Reddit, texts, etc.). Boom. Or… you get the idea.

In short, this is customizable notifications, and for people who care, it’s a massive quality of life improvement. I, for one, hate being distracted by apps when I’m focused on something that needs my attention. Yet, there are times when I’m fine with every notification coming through. Focus gives us the ability to filter what apps distract us at any given moment. It’s more complex than the On/Off nature of DND.

Airplane mode is entirely different. It simply disables cellular and has nothing to do with notifications other than the fact that it disconnects the device from the internet unless WiFi is available.
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,829
5,552
Bay Area
My focus is called: leave my phone at home when walking in nature, Airplane mode when I don't want to be bugged while meditating, and no notifications for most apps.
That’s nice, but Focus is a good feature. There are plenty of times I need to be available to certain people only.
 
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matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
7,452
4,255
Can Focus be automatically turned on by location? Say, You're at your office and it turns on Work Focus automatically until you leave?
 
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ipedro

macrumors 603
Nov 30, 2004
5,713
7,165
Toronto, ON
This is going to be that under the radar feature that people will end up remembering years from now because it changed everything. It’s really changed the way I use my iPhone and iPad. I set different home screens with apps and widgets for different activities and my Focus hides the ones I don’t need.

When I’m working, my distracting apps are hidden away and I get a screen just full of tools and information to get me productive. When work is done, my work apps are put away and I dont get reminded about my work life. And when it’s time to wind down for bed, most of my apps are automatically hidden away in the last hour of the day and I only see the apps that will help me accomplish my nighttime routine.

I’ve only been using it for a few days and already I don’t want to go back to when I didn’t use my phone like this.
 
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