In addition to revamping the way our notifications look with iOS 15, Apple is also finding new ways for you to stay productive. Or not. With ‘Focus’ in iOS 15, Apple wants you to have tools to “find Focus”, introducing a new filtering system for notifications.
But this actually goes much farther than just filtering notifications. When your iPhone is in Focus mode, it will be able to do so much more. Using on-device intelligence, suggestions are made and provided to you.
These suggestions are based on what you’re currently doing, along with analyzing what you do at different times of the day. For instance, if you always wake up and check the news in the morning, you might want to create a Focus mode for breakfast.
While you’re at work, you don’t need to be constantly checking Reddit or replying to Twitter responses. With Work Focus Mode, only the notifications pertinent to work can make their way to your iPhone’s lock screen.
With Focus, there are several different built-in options at your disposal featuring pre-determined suggestions. These can change as you continue using your iOS 15-powered iPhone or iPad based on your usage. Or, you can just create a custom Focus to use at your discretion.
As you continue using your phone more and more, Focus will learn your patterns. You may even receive a suggestion asking if you want to turn on a Focus mode when you arrive at the gym.
Granular controls are key here, with Apple making it possible for you to filter apps and contacts. You can choose apps to whitelist, or others that you are sure that you don’t want to send any notifications.
One of the neat features of Focus is that it stretches beyond notifications or limiting apps. It also will encourage your friends to think twice about blowing your phone up about next weekend’s plans. In Messages, a prompt appears at the bottom, informing your contact that you have notifications silenced.
Lock Screen notifications themselves are being revamped with iOS 15, and we’re not just talking about the look of things. Notification Summary is a new grouping mechanism in iOS 15 that will group non-pertinent notifications together. Then, you can determine when those appear on your lock screen. The rest of your notifications will arrive in a priority-first manner, using AI analysis of how you interact with each apps.
We’re going to be diving deep into Focus on iOS 15, iPadOS, and macOS Monterey. There have even been some rumblings that Shortcuts integrate easily with Focus. If this works as advertised, this could completely change how you use your phone. Let us know what you think about Focus Modes in the comments below!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.