iPhone user using the Focus section in Control Center.
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

The new Focus feature in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey gives you the tools to decide who and what can interrupt you during different activities or times of day. Here is why it’s better than the old “Do Not Disturb” feature.

“Do Not Disturb” Is Now Part of Focus

Starting in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, the Do Not Disturb mode that you know and love is now a part of the Focus feature, and that’s not a bad thing. When you open the Control Center, you’ll find a big Focus button where the Do Not Disturb button used to be.

Even with Focus, you can continue to use Do Not Disturb the way you used to—for example, by turning it on for an hour, or only for the day.

Enabling Focus feature in Control Center.

The Focus feature also contains other presets (or modes) like Work, Personal, and more. You can add more presets like Fitness, Gaming, or create your own custom mode.

You Can Create Your Own Focus Mode

The Focus feature lets you dictate who and what can get your attention. In any Focus mode, you can decide which specific apps or contacts are allowed to notify you. This feature was sorely missing from Do Not Disturb.

Creating a Focus mode in Settings.

You can do this when setting up a new Focus (Apple has created a nice step-by-step process where you can add apps and contacts to the white list), or later by using the Settings app (there’s a brand new Focus section in Settings).

RELATED: How to Temporarily Enable Do Not Disturb Mode on iPhone

Focus Mode Can Show Custom Home Screens

Selecting home screen pages for the Focus mode.

On iPhone and iPad, you can decide which home screens to show when a particular Focus mode is triggered. You can choose to hide particular home screen pages when you’re working or just relaxing.

RELATED: How to Delete a Focus From iPhone and iPad

Focus Modes Sync Between All Your Devices

By default, your Focus modes will sync between all your Apple devices (as long as they are signed in to the same account). This means that a Focus mode that’s set on the iPhone will be enabled automatically on the Mac and iPad at the scheduled time.

This can be a great feature when it comes to helping you work better. If you don’t like it, you can disable the sync feature as well.

Focus Modes Can Be Automated

The work that Apple has put in to integrate Shortcuts automation in the OS is starting to show in a positive way. Shortcut’s Automation system is integrated directly into the Focus feature. For each Focus, you can create multiple time, location, and app-based schedules. For instance, you can have a Focus mode kick in for a couple of hours in the morning and the afternoon.

Setting up automations for time, location, or apps in the Focus mode.

Some focus modes, like Gaming or Fitness, are triggered automatically when you launch a game, or start a workout. And of course, if you’re creating a custom Focus mode, you can create your own multiple automations based on time, location, and apps.

Focus mode will be available with the public release of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 in Fall 2021. Wondering if your iPhone or iPad will support this release? We’ve got you covered with a list of all supported devices.

RELATED: Will iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 Run on my iPhone or iPad?

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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