Here’s How Apple’s New Focus Notifications Work in iOS 15

Here’s How Apple’s New Focus Notifications Work in iOS 15
Screenshot: Apple

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off today with a keynote that revealed a ton of new features coming to a suite of Apple devices.

The star of the show for most people is the next iteration of iOS, which will take us up to iOS 15. iPhone’s everywhere will be receiving some hefty new features when iOS 15 releases later this year, including improvements for FaceTime, Photos and iMessage.

One of the most intriguing new developments coming to iOS 15 is focused notifications which give users more control over their alerts than ever before.

What is Focus in iOS 15?

Apple’s focused notifications for iOS 15 are designed to help reduce distractions.

Focus allows users to filter their notifications by choosing what they want to focus on. You’ll be able to sort apps and contacts into categories and choose to block notifications from them during certain times of the day or during certain activities.

focus apple
Image: Apple

The range of options here are unlimited but could be as simple as only receiving email notifications during work hours, or switching off Facebook alerts while you’re trying to work.

There are pre-set Focus options or you can create and customise your own Focus filter. The pre-sets that Apple showed in its presentation included Do Not Disturb, Personal, Fitness, Work and Sleep options.

apple focus notifications
Image: Apple

This customisation can be applied to your Home Screen as well which will provide you with only relevant widgets and apps and hide all others during your Focus hours. This should put an end to tempting distractions.

When a Focus is activated and is blocking notifications it will be displayed on a person’s status in their Messages to show others that they’re currently unavailable. Although if someone really wants to get through to you they can push it through as an urgent message.

There are also Focus suggestions that your phone will provide when you arrive at a certain location or hour of the day. For example, if you show up at your gym your phone might suggest you activate the exercise focus.

apple focus
Image: Apple

Another neat aspect is that whatever is set on one Apple device will automatically apply to your other Apple devices too.

Focus notifications are launching alongside a new notifications summary feature that will compile all your notifications and sort them into priority categories. You can then schedule this summary to be sent to you at certain times of the day.

Image: Apple

Who can use it?

A reminder that these are the iPhone models that will be compatible with the iOS 15 update when it becomes available:

  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE 2o2o
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • ‌iPhone‌ 6s
  • ‌iPhone‌ 6s Plus
  • ‌iPhone SE‌ (1st generation)
  • ‌iPhone SE‌ (2nd generation)
  • iPod touch (7th generation

iOS 15 won’t be released until later in the year but if you’re keen on trying out this new focused notifications feature there is a way you can get it right now.

If you’re interested in seeing everything else Apple announced today, check out our round-up.