You Should Be Using Focus Mode on the iPhone

The iPhone is generally considered a “simple” smartphone to use, but it has becomeĀ packed with features over the years. “Focus” is one feature that is particularly jam-packed with powerful tools. We’ll show you why it’s worth a look.


What is Focus Mode on iPhone?

Focus Mode—actually called just “Focus” on the iPhone—is essentially Do Not Disturb for specific situations. Rather than having a one-size-fits-all Do Not Disturb mode, Apple made it possible to create a bunch of specialized modes.

The long-standing Do Not Disturb mode is still present, by the way, but Focus makes it more useful. While you may have only used Do Not Disturb while you slept, now it can be customized for a bunch of different situations.

Related: What Is Focus on iPhone and iPad, and How Is It Better Than Do Not Disturb?

More Than Just Do Not Disturb

Creating a Focus from Settings

Distractions management is still a core part of Focus, but it goes far beyond traditional “Do Not Disturb.” Each Focus Mode you create can be customized with which people and apps you want to allow to send notifications. Maybe you don’t care about getting a text from your friend in the middle of your workout, but you might not want that distraction while studying.

The cool thing about Focus is it can go beyond just simply allowing certain people and apps to send notifications. It can actually filter out conversations from the Messages apps, hide calendars in the Calendar app, and limit you to specific Tab Groups in Safari.

That’s part of the reason why Focus is so useful. With other Do Not Disturb modes, you may be able to block notifications, but all the distractions are still on your phone if you look. Focus not only can block notifications, it can block the actual distraction too.

Related: How to Use Tab Groups in Safari on iPhone and iPad

Different iPhones for Different Situations

iOS 16 lock screen focus link

Another big part of Focus is customizable screens. You can actually create a specific lock screen and home screen setup to use in different Focus modes. It’s like having a different iPhone for each situation.

Let’s say you have a Focus mode you use while you’re at work. You can create a lock screen with widgets that pertain to your job and set up a home screen with the apps you use throughout the workday. You could also create a “Weekend” mode for unwinding with a plain lock screen and a single home screen page with only essential apps.

It’s essentially like switching between user profiles. Set up the Focus mode once, then it’s simply a matter of tapping a toggle and you’re looking at a whole new phone.

Related: How to Put Widgets on Your iPhone Lock Screen

So Much to Discover

If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot going on with Focus. Apple has really fleshed out this feature into a powerful tool, but it does require some poking around to get the most out of it. There’s plenty of other great stuff I haven’t mentioned.

Related: How to Set Up Focus on iPhone and iPad

For example, you can set up an “Auto Reply” message to text messages when you’re in a Focus mode. You can share your “Focus state” across devices, to let people know you’re not ignoring them. Focus modes can be scheduled to come on automatically by time, location, or when opening specific apps.

Focus is packed with cool and useful options, and if you haven’t taken the time to dive in, you owe it to yourself to take a look. You can really make your iPhone more enjoyable to use by setting up a few Focus modes.

Related: 6 Ways to Improve Notifications on iPhone

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