You want to focus on your tasks, spend quality time with your loved ones, or simply get a few hours of sleep. But the annoying notifications and unnecessary calls won’t leave you alone.

Previously, you put your phone on “Do Not Disturb Mode” to get rid of all the attention-draining notifications. But its limited, inadequate options created other challenges: What if you received an urgent call? What if you don’t want to mute all notifications simultaneously?

But with iOS’s new feature, Focus Mode, you not only customize all the options but also share your schedule with others, so they know why you’re not responding.

Here’s everything you need to know about this helpful—and rather revolutionary—feature on Apple products.

What Is Share Focus Mode in iOS?

Introduced in iOS 15, Share Focus Mode is a productivity feature in the Focus menu that lets users share their personal schedule (sleep, work, vacation, etc.) with their contacts. When activated, it sends an auto-reply to people who contact you, letting them know why you’re unavailable at the time.

How to Activate It on an iPhone?

To turn on Share Focus Mode on iOS 15 and above, go to your Settings, tap Focus, toggle on “Share Across Devices, then select the focus status that you want to share and tap “Share Focus Status.”

Remember, in order to use Share Focus Mode on an iOS device, you have to 1) Sign in to an iCloud account and 2) Enable Two-Factor Authentication. Otherwise, it won’t work.

What Productivity Features Are in Share Focus Mode?

Sharing your focus time is not the only practical option on iPhones. Thanks to the latest iOS updates, you can now customize everything about your Focus Mode, creating a personal productivity tool.

Here are six new features that you don’t want to miss out on:

Time-Sensitive Notifications

Using Time-Sensitive Notifications, you can allow selected contacts to breach the Focus Mode and get you notified regardless. You could use this feature to allow specific people to access you regardless of your status.

Customized Home Screen

The point of Share Focus Mode and other system controls is to increase your productivity. But even with all of them, you’re still prone to picking up your phone and mindlessly scrolling through random apps unless you create a customized home screen.

On iOS 15 and above, you get to decide which apps should be available when you’re on Focus Mode so that you don’t get distracted after unlocking your device.

Delayed Notifications

What if you don’t want Share Focus Mode to remove all your notifications? Turn on delayed notifications if you still want to receive a summary of your notifications after exiting the Focus Mode. It will restore everything that happens while you’re away, delivering all when you’re available again.

Hide Notification Badges

Sharing your focus mode might not be enough to avoid distractions; you’ll still see red circles on top of the apps, urging you to tap on them to see what’s going on. But with the Hide Notification Badges setting, you can remove all those sidetracking, shiny circles and stay focused no matter what.  

Auto-Reply

Another cool feature of Share Focus Mode on iOS 15, 15.5, and above is creating customized messages for people who reach out to you. It’s a short text message they’ll see as soon as contacting you, explaining why you’re away, when you’ll be back or any other pieces of information that you want to share.

Allow Repeated Calls

With the new Share Focus Mode, you don’t have to worry about emergency calls; it lets certain calls pass through the controls. If you turn this setting on, you’ll receive the second call from the same person if it repeats for three minutes.  

Here’s a Quick Recap

  • Share Focus Mode is a productivity feature on iOS 15 or above that lets your contacts know when and why you’re unavailable.
  • You can turn on Share Focus Mode in settings > focus status.
  • You must sign in to an iCloud account and turn on Two-Factor Authentication to access Share Focus Mode on your iOS device.
  • Unlike Do Not Disturb, Share Focus Mode allows you to fully customize the options, creating your specific schedule.
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