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15 Best Tips to Use Focus on iPhone

by Mehvish
iOS Focus Mode Tips

Introduced in iOS 15, Focus mode is a new notification feature change for iPhone and iPad. Focus consists of different profiles, including Do not disturb that let you silence alerts and notifications based on the criteria set. But how to use the Focus modes on iPhone? You will find the answer here. Let’s check the best tips to use Focus mode on iOS 15.

Best Ways to Use iOS Focus Mode

1. How to Know Focus Mode Is Active

When a Focus mode is active, you will see its icon in three places: the Control Center, the lock screen, and the status bar.

2. Use Siri to Enable or Disable Focus Modes

Focus modes are compatible with Siri, so you can use it to toggle them on and off. Say commands like, turn on Driving mode, turn off Gaming mode, and so forth.

3. Customize Focus Mode Quickly

Touch and hold the Focus mode icon on the Lock screen or in Control Center to enable a different Focus profile. All the available modes will show up. Tap on the one that you want to activate. Or tap on the currently active one to disable it. Check out other ways to turn off Focus mode on iPhone.

iOS Focus Mode Change Quickly

Press the three-dot icon next to the Focus profile to modify its schedule.

iOS Focus Mode Schedule Quickly

4. Create Your Own Focus Profile

Apple offers a number of pre-created Focus profiles, such as Do not disturb, Driving, Fitness, Gaming, Meditation, Sleep, Reading, Mindfulness, and Personal. If the conditions set in them do not meet your requirements, you can create your own Focus profile as well.

To do so, go to Settings > Focus. Tap on the add (+) icon at the top and select Custom on the next screen.

iOS Focus Mode Create Custom

Give your Focus a name and choose its color and icon. Hit the Next button. You will be prompted to define the Focus’s conditions, such as allowed contacts, allowed apps, and so on. These conditions can always be changed afterward.

iOS Focus Mode Create Custom Name

5. Add People and Apps to Allowed Notifications List

You can allow calls and notifications from selected people and apps by adding them to the white list of each Focus profile separately.

Open the Focus profile for which you want to create a white list of apps and contacts. Tap on People or Apps under the Allowed section and add the contacts or apps that you want to white list.

iOS Focus Mode Allowed Contacts and Apps

6. Customize Who Can Call

In addition to adding people to the allowed notifications list as described above, you can further customize who can call you. This comes in handy if you want to allow incoming calls from a bulk of people.

Go to Settings > Focus > [Desired Focus profile] > People. Tap on Calls from.

iOS Focus Mode Allow Calls

By default, the Favorites list is selected. You can choose Everyone, No one, All contacts, or Groups.

Tip: You should create groups in the Contacts app.

iOS Focus Mode Allow Calls From

7. Allow Repeated Calls

For emergency situations, Apple has left the Allow repeated calls setting enabled by default for all Focus modes. This setting will not silence calls from people who have called you twice in the last three minutes. If it’s turned off, go to Settings > Focus > [Desired Focus profile] > People > Calls from to turn it on. Enable the toggle next to Allow repeated calls.

iOS Focus Mode Allow Repeated Calls

8. Let People Know Focus Mode Is Active

When a Focus mode is active on your iPhone, Apple notifies others in supported apps like iMessage about the same. They will see the ‘Contact has notifications silenced’ in your chat thread. This is possible by the Focus status feature that is enabled by the default in all the Focus modes. You can turn it off from Settings > Focus > [Preferred Focus mode] > Share Focus status. Turn it off on the next screen.

iOS Focus Mode Disable Focus Status

9. View Custom Home Screen Pages for a Focus

The Focus modes aren’t just for alerts. Custom home screen pages can be displayed based on the Focus profile selected. Let’s look at a Fitness Focus as an example. When enabled, you can display pages containing large fitness widgets and app icons such as Health, Happy Scale, and so on without any distractions.  

Please keep in mind that you must first create custom pages; otherwise, you will not be able to see them while configuring Focus. You can also leverage the concept of personalized pages on shared devices and allowing people to have their own apps or home screen layouts based on a Focus selected. Isn’t it cool?

To select home screen pages, open Settings > Focus > [Preferred Focus mode] > Home screen. Enable the toggle for Custom pages. Select the home screen pages to display and tap on Done.

Tip: You can also hide notification badges in the home screen settings.

iOS Focus Mode Home Screen Pages

11. View Silenced Notifications on Lock Screen

When a Focus profile is enabled, notifications will not appear on the lock screen by default. You may, however, change this behavior and have notifications show on the lock screen by going to Settings > Focus > [Preferred Focus mode] > Lock screen. Enable the toggle next to Show on Lock screen.

iOS Focus Mode Show Notifications Lock Screen

12. Change Auto-Reply Message for Driving Focus

The Driving Focus comes with an auto-reply feature. Within Settings > Focus > Driving > Auto-reply, you may choose who receives auto-reply messages and customize the message text.

iOS Focus Mode Auto Reply

13. Share Focus Modes Across Devices

The Focus modes support cross-device functionality, thus saving you the hassle of configuring them on each device separately. So, if you enable Focus mode on one device, it will turn on all other devices tied to your iCloud account. It is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

This setting is enabled by default. You can turn it off if you don’t want to share Focus modes by opening Settings > Focus. Turn off the toggle for Share across devices.

iOS Focus Mode Share Devices

14. Schedule Focus Modes

Focus modes can be set to activate automatically based on the criteria you specify. Automation criteria could include a specified time, location, the app opened, or a combination of these. For example, you can set Do not disturb to activate automatically from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and whenever you access the Kindle app.

To set these conditions, open the required Focus mode and tap on Add schedule or Automation. Tap on Time, Location, or App to set the automation as per your requirements.

iOS Focus Mode Schedule

15. Enable Smart Activation

In addition to manually selecting the activation criteria as described above, your device can automatically activate a Focus depending on signals like location, app usage, and more that it learns over time.

To enable this feature, open the preferred Focus mode and go to Add schedule or Automation. Tap on Smart Activation.

iOS Focus Mode Smart Activation

Bonus Tip: Automate Focus Modes Using Shortcuts App

You may further automate the Focus modes by using the Apple Shortcuts app to create triggers. Open the Shortcuts app and tap on the Automation tab followed by Create personal automation.

iOS Focus Mode Automation Shortcuts

Scroll down and you will find all the available Focus modes. Tap on the one that you want to automate and choose Turn on or Turn off trigger. Tap on Next and choose the required action.

Tip: Create automation to change the Apple Watch face automatically when a Focus mode is active.

iOS Focus Mode Create Automation

Enjoy Focus Mode on iPhone

Focus modes on iPhone can be intimidating at first, but they’re awesome if you know how to them correctly. I hope the tips above have helped you understand how to use the iPhone’s Focus mode. However, be careful while setting Focus modes as they are often responsible for notifications not working on iOS. Also, check out what other notification settings mean on iPhone.

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