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When you install the upcoming update iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Montere, firstly check out a new Focus mode.


Basically, Focus mode is the expanded version of Apple’s existing Do Not Disturb mode, but with customizable features. You can access the Focus mode from the same menu on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The Verge notices in its original article that the new mode is even more customizable. You can adjust notifications so they will not bother you anymore. 

  • To set up a Focus, click at “Settings” > “Focus” and press the plus button to add a new Focus. You can always check what Focus modes you’ve installed and edit them.
  • Apple offers a variety of preset Focus modes to start with, including Personal, Work, Fitness, Gaming, Reading, and more. There are no boundaries to Apple’s preset suggestions, though you can’t use some additional features and triggers from Driving, Fitness or Gaming modes that aren’t available to user-created ones. Apple’s Fitness Focus mode, for example, can be automatically triggered when you start a Fitness Plus workout on your Apple Watch, while the Gaming mode can turn on whenever you connect a Bluetooth controller.
  • If you enable Custom in Focus mode, you’ll be able to change the name, icon, and color for that specific focus.After that you can choose unique contacts from whom you can get messages while the Focus mode is activated. 
  • The same screen will ask you to add apps you want to allow to send notifications when the Focus mode is enabled. 
  • When you reach the end Apple will ask you if you’d like to be able to receive special “Time Sensitive Notifications” — these are notifications with a crucial level of importance. You’ll be able to receive notifications that might not be able to wait until later.
The toggle to permit time-sensitive notifications. Image credit: theverge.com

Once you’ve finished setting up your Focus, you’ll end up on the Focus mode’s setting menu, where there are a few additional things you’ll be able to configure. You can also get back here at any time by heading to “Settings” > “Focus,” then selecting the Focus mode you want to edit.

  • The Focus Status menu will let you decide whether contacts will see a notice if you’re in an active Focus mode and their messages are muted. (Although right now, the only app that supports the feature is Apple’s Messages.)
  • The Home Screen menu allows you to hide specific home screens on your iPad or iPhone when you’re in a Focus mode. Combined with iOS 15’s App Library and the new ability to create multiple copies of an app icon, you can use this feature to customize what your phone looks like in different situations.
  • The Lock Screen menu offers the option to show or hide silenced notifications on the lock screen or to dim the lock screen when the Focus mode is active.

Finally, there’s the actual activation of a Focus mode. Apple offers two ways to turn on a Focus mode: you can either manually select it from the moon icon in Control Center or schedule it automatically (settings for which can be found in the Focus menu).

The simplest option is “Smart Activation,” which has your device automatically toggle a Focus on its own. But you can also add more granular manual controls, activating a Focus for specific times, when you’re at a specific location, or when you’re using specific apps.

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