iOS 16 Focus Guide: What’s New in Apple’s Focus Mode?

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iOS 16 Focus Guide: What's New in Apple's Focus Mode? Listen to this article

In iOS 15 Apple introduced Focus Mode, an extension to Do Not Disturb that lets you set different permissions based on apps, contacts, and what you’re doing. You may have different tasks for when you are at work, when you are studying, when you are at home, and more.

ios 16 focus feature
In iOS 16, Apple has enhanced Focus with new features, and this guide covers everything you need to know about using Focus in iOS 16.

better focus setting

It’s easier than ever to set up a focus, with a new custom setup experience for each focus you create.

focus building


Apple used to leave you with a confusing array of options for doing things like getting notifications to people and apps, but now there’s an explanation that lets you explain how all of Focus’s features work and choose your options. There is a systematic process for

With the Silence Notifications section, you can choose which apps and people can communicate with you when Focus is on, and Apple has added options to allow or silence notifications from selected people, which wasn’t an option before. was. With iOS 15, instead of muting specific people and apps, you can select only allowed apps and allowed people.

focus ios 16 choose people apps


Comment: Mute lists are only available on devices running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Devices running iOS 15 and earlier cannot access mute lists.

Apple also walks you through choosing who to allow calls, plus you can go through a custom screen interface, set focus times, and some email inboxes in Mail, Safari Tab Groups, and more. You can add filters to block. , which we describe in sections. Below

Customize Screen

With iOS 16, you can customize everything about your Focus, including the home screen, lock screen, and look of the Apple Watch face. You can choose from any lock screen you create by adding it to the focus mode. You can also create a new lock screen from the gallery.

Focus on Home Lock Screen Customization


For home screen customization, you can select any of your existing app pages to serve as your primary home screen for Focus Mode. So if you want to create a home screen with specific apps for focus, the first thing you need to do is set up an apps page by rearranging your apps.

For Apple Watch, if you have an Apple Watch, you can select one of your Apple Watch faces to activate on your wrist for specific focus modes.

If you’ve set up a custom lock screen, home screen or Apple Watch face for your focus and changed your mind, simply tap the “-” symbol to clear it.

Linked lock screen and focus mode

You can create custom lock screens in iOS 16, and each lock screen can be associated with a different focus. This means you can set the lock screen to match the focus, giving your phone a different look throughout the day.

ios 16 lock screen focus


For example, if you have a focus on work, you can set up a lock screen with useful styles and widgets for your work, and then when you’re at home, you have a completely different setup. It is possible

To associate Focus with the lock screen, open the lock screen interface by pressing and holding the unlocked iPhone lock screen, scrolling to the lock screen of your choice, and then tapping Focus to choose which focus mode associates the screen lock. Is.

After that, there will be a small icon at the bottom of the lock screen telling you which focus it is associated with. Then to turn on focus, you can switch to that lock screen, so switching focus modes is very easy.

Note that you can also do this setup process in the Focus section of the Settings app. Simply open it, select the outlook you want to use for the lock screen, and choose the “customize screen” option mentioned above.

Lock Screen and Home Page Tips

When you’re creating focus, Apple says iOS may suggest a lock screen for focus options, such as the Photos lock screen when you’re at home and a more centralized set of data options when you’re at work set. Apple also makes suggestions for the home screen pages that have the most relevant apps and widgets for the focus you’re choosing.

focus filter

Focus Filter is a brand new feature in iOS 16. With this option, you can choose to filter the content of the app and show a specific mail account or calendar, if you have several. When you use Focus with a set of filters, the application with the filter will only show what you have selected, while hiding everything else.

ios 16 focus filter 1


With the focus filter you can filter by:
  • Almanac – If you have separate calendars for work and family, you can associate only one calendar with Spotlight so that it can only see relevant events when Spotlight is on.
  • Match – You can choose any of your Mail accounts to associate with Focus, and with that, when you’re in that Focus, the Mail app will only display the accounts you’ve selected. This is useful if you want to filter personal emails while you work and vice versa.
  • messages – The Messages app can be set to hide all messages except messages from the people list you created for the particular focus mode. So if you have a “personal” focus that filters out all work contacts, you won’t see your messages when personal focus is turned on in the Messages app.
  • Safari – Safari can be set to show only a specific group of tabs when Spotlight is on. You have to set up a tab group in the Safari app beforehand.
  • dark mode You can choose dark mode or light mode for focus.
  • work energy mode – You can choose to enable or disable Low Power Mode with Focus.

Focus Filter API

Apple created the Focus Filter API for developers to allow third-party apps to allow specific filtering options within Focus, similar to Apple’s own apps. For example, if you’re using a third-party email app, you’ll be able to select a mailbox to appear within that app, as long as the developer adds the Focus Filter API.

focus state

Apple has made it easy to control whether apps can let people know you’ve turned on focus and mute notifications. With the “Focus Status” section, you can choose which focus modes they can share if you have muted their notifications.

iOS 16 focus state


You can lock Focus Mode from sharing that information so people don’t know your notifications are turned off if they try to message you. It was possible to configure in iOS 15, but in iOS 16, it is easier to access and manage.

silent and allowed lists

As mentioned above, silence and permission lists are available in the Focus app in iOS 16, which may be one of the most remarkable quality of life improvements. Instead of just selecting people or apps that can send you notifications, you can also select people or apps that can send you notifications. No Allows you to notify you with a specific focus.

iOS 16 Mute Lists


If you wanted to block a specific person or app prior to iOS 16, there was no easy way to do so because you could only allow contacts and apps. For example, if you want to lock only the Messages app in iOS 15 and leave everything else accessible, you’ll need to “Allow” all other apps. Not so in iOS 16, as you can choose apps (or people) to mute.

Guide Comments

Have questions about the focus option in iOS 16, know of a feature we missed, or want to give feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

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