As previewed last month, Google Chat on iOS will let you set which contacts can reach you in Focus mode. This applies to the dedicated Chat app and the integrated experience available in Gmail.

You can now specify which Google Chat and Gmail contacts you still want notifications from when your iOS device is in Focus mode. This is useful in situations where you need to limit screen time, but don’t want to miss an important message when other notifications are silenced. 

Introduced with iOS 15, Focus mode lets you specify which people (and what apps) can reach you when Do Not Disturb or other user-created options are enabled. It’s marked by a pill, with different icons available, that appears underneath the time/date on the lockscreen.

With this update, Google is also making it so that other people’s profile photos will appear in Chat notifications to make it “easier to see who’s messaged you.” This is much better than just having an app logo appear.

Both of these changes are rolling out and will be fully launched in the coming weeks. We’ve yet to see them enabled on devices we checked this morning.

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers
  • Available to users with personal Google account 

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com