Apple Improves Focus Modes With Filters, Linked Lock Screens, and Set Up Enhancements

Apple unveiled a host of improvements to Focus modes at WWDC this week, including set up suggestions, linked custom Lock Screens and watch faces, Focus filters, and more.

ios 16 focus lock screen
Focus modes were introduced with iOS 15 last year and have been expanded and refined in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, and macOS Ventura. Accompanying the redesigned customizable Lock Screen in ‌iOS 16‌, each Focus mode now has a linked Lock Screen. In addition to all of the pre-existing ways to activate a Focus mode, such as in Control Center or via automations, iPhone users can swipe between Lock Screens to enable a corresponding Focus. Users can also directly tie an Apple Watch face to a specific Focus.

One of the biggest additions to Focuses in ‌iOS 16‌ is Focus filters. Focus filters allow users to set boundaries within apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari to only display relevant content, such as a particular Tab Group in Safari, set of calendars in the Calendar app, or email accounts in Mail. With a new Focus filter API, developers can build this functionality into their apps and change content based on a user's current Focus.

ios 16 focus filters
The process of setting up Focus modes has also been improved with a personalized setup experience for each option. Now, iOS suggests a relevant set of Home Screens and Lock Screens for each Focus mode with relevant apps, wallpapers, and widgets. There are also more configurable options inside Focus modes, with a new ability to silence notifications from apps and people, effectively adding the ability to exclude notifications rather than only include as is the case in iOS 15.

‌iOS 16‌, ‌iPadOS 16‌, ‌watchOS 9‌, and ‌macOS Ventura‌ are currently undergoing beta testing to give Apple time to perfect the updates and address any bugs, as well as allow developers to prepare their apps. Beta versions of the updates are currently available to developers with compatible devices now and a public beta will become available in July.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

Saturnine Avatar
9 months ago
Apple listened to feedback. There now seems to be an option to 'silence notifications from...' in addition to 'allow notifications from...'

This is much more convenient. Now I can create a 'Personal' focus mode which allows notifications from all apps except Teams, Outlook and others which I only use for work.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
9 months ago
What I would really like is a "blacklist" so that I can easily mute all my work apps after hours and on weekends. Slack lets you do it natively, but Gmail doesn't. Would just be cleaner to set it at the OS level.

[edit: I now see from @Saturnine's comment above that they're doing this now. Great addition!]
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
contacos Avatar
9 months ago
Can you finally share your actual Focus status? I guess not, that would make too much sense.

There is a difference between „Sleeping“ and thus, not responding at all and „Working“ which may simple cause a delay in replies
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
x-evil-x Avatar
9 months ago
Is there a focus mode like the old do not disturb?
I want to just have the notification be silent and not light up the phone but still be on the Lock Screen when I tap it.
it’s one feature they got rid of when they released focus mode i think last year.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
9 months ago
If you need to use this convoluted filter functionality on a phone, you're either doing life wrong or are the most (self) important person on Earth.
I use it on my iPad to turn off notifications and present a custom homescreen when I am using it to teach in class. This way, my screen isn’t interrupted my incoming email / telegram notifications, students aren’t distracted by my media consumption page, and I have the apps I typically use in class at my fingertips.

So far haven’t found a way to make it work on my iPhone though, but I am thinking along the like of custom homescreens for differing use cases.

Still tinkering. [emoji846]
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MLVC Avatar
9 months ago
Does anybody have that wallpaper of Apple Park? I know it's a photo but maybe it's out there somewhere ?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
iOS 16

When Will the iOS 16.4 Beta Be Released?

Wednesday February 1, 2023 11:09 am PST by
It's been more than a week since Apple released the iOS 16.3 update, and typically, new iOS betas follow launches within a day or so. We were expecting Apple to provide the first beta iOS 16.4 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but that hasn't happened. Tuesdays are the days that we most often see betas, though Monday and Wednesday happen now and then, and most often betas come...