At I/O 2019 in May, Google announced the latest Digital Wellbeing features to build on last year’s initial launch. In testing for the past several months, Focus mode for Android is now rolling out with new features following beta feedback.
The aptly named “Focus mode” lets you “pause distracting apps when you need to focus.” While app timers are a blunt instrument that prevents you from using an application once the daily limit has been reached, the feature exiting beta today can be wielded with precision.
Under “Ways to disconnect” in Digital Wellbeing settings, Focus mode prompts you to “select distracting apps.” When turned on, either from this page or a new quick settings shortcut, those applications will be grayed out and inaccessible, while related notifications are silenced.
Tapping a black-and-white homescreen icon opens a reminder that “Focus mode is on,” but there’s the ability to “Take a break.” For 5, 15, or 30 minutes, you can temporarily disable this Digital Wellbeing feature for all set apps to regain access and see alerts.
You can resume from the system notifications where you can also turn off the entire feature for the day. One feature Google added following user feedback is the ability to schedule Focus mode, just like Wind Down.
This is especially handy for setting daily schedules; you can minimize distractions during the hours you’re at work, school or home.
Focus mode is available on new devices launching with Android 9 and Android 10. It joins integrated parental control settings launched this year. Non-Digital Wellbeing beta users will get an update in the coming days.
More about Digital Wellbeing:
- ‘Flip to Shhh’ now available on Google Pixel 2 w/ Digital Wellbeing beta update
- Google releases new digital wellbeing apps for Android
- How to use the new Digital Wellbeing features in Android 10, Focus Mode, and site timers
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