In iOS 16, Focus filters give you finer control over iPhone distractions | Cult of Mac

In iOS 16, Focus filters give you finer control over iPhone distractions

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Focus filters can set more boundaries within apps, cutting down on distractions.
Focus filters can set more boundaries within apps, cutting down on distractions.
Photo: Apple
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Apple showcased an impressive lineup of improvements to Focus modes at WWDC22 Monday. They include Focus-linked custom Lock Screens, set-up suggestions, new filters and more.

The upgrades should provide users with customized ways to cut down on distractions more effectively, especially now that Focus can provide a new level of control by setting boundaries within apps.

Updated Focus adds filters to set boundaries within apps, links to Lock Screens, provides set-up suggestions and more

Apple introduced Focus modes with iOS 15 last year and now it’s greatly refining them for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and macOS Ventura.

One of the main additions in ‌iOS 16‌ is Focus filters. They allow users to set boundaries within apps like Mail, Messages, Calendar and Safari so they only display relevant content for the Focus they enable (e.g., work).

For example, you can allow only work-related items. That could be a particular Tab Group in Safari, one set of calendars in the Calendar app, or only certain email accounts in Mail.

And with a new Focus filter API, developers can build this functionality into their apps. They can change content based on a user’s current Focus settings.

Linked Locks Screens

Along with the new, customizable Lock Screen in ‌iOS 16‌, Focus mode will now have linked Lock Screen.

You could already activate a Focus mode in Control Center or via automations, but now iPhone users will be able to swipe between Lock Screens to enable a corresponding Focus.

In addition, users can also tie an Apple Watch face to a specific Focus.

Focus modes are greatly expanded and refined for iOS 16 and across devices.
Focus modes are greatly expanded and refined for iOS 16 and across devices, including linked Lock Screens.
Photo: Apple

More personalized setup

Apple also improved upon how you can set up Focus modes with a more personalized experience for each option.

iOS 16 suggests a set of Home Screens and Lock Screens for each Focus mode with apps, wallpapers and widgets that make sense to include.

You can also better-configure options within Focus modes. Notably, you can silence notifications from apps and people. So you can exclude notifications rather than only being able to include them, per ‌iOS 15‌.

Beta testing is underway for ‌iOS 16‌, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and ‌macOS Ventura‌ to find and fix bugs and let developers prepare their apps. Public betas should start rolling out in July for further refinement ahead of the fall public release.