iPadOS 15 Beta Watch: Focus Mode

One of the new features that I’m truly excited about in iPadOS 15 is Focus Mode. It’s an updated take on the Do Not Disturb mode, which is still there, but now more of a gateway to fine-grained DND settings.

You’ll get prompts to configure Focus Mode right off the bat, as you can see from the screenshot above. This will then take you directly to the Focus Mode settings, found in the Settings app, under Focus.

You can limit what apps should be able to get notifications through, and also add people that you want to give access no matter what.

There are also settings for showing or hiding notifications on the lock screen, and if the system should share your focus status when someone reaches out to you in iMessage. It’s somewhat like the I’m driving a car messages, just not so clunky.

My personal favorite is limiting what homescreens should be displayed. My Work focus, for example, shows a simple homescreen with a couple of widgets and apps I need for Divide & Conquer stuff. It even triggers automatically when I get to the office, which is nice.

I’ve also got a Focus set up for Writing, which could mean I’m writing an issue of the Switch to iPad newsletter (do consider subscribing, if you’re not already), or working on a book. Both Work and Personal, as seen on the Focus Mode prompt screenshot above, come pre-installed, and is obviously fully customizable (and removable), but I created Writing myself. If you’ve ever fiddled with lists in the Reminder app, you’ll recognize this interface.

I feel like I’m only touching the surface of what Focus Mode can do for productivity. This, together with the updated support for widgets, makes for great dashboards tailored to your needs at any given time. I’m excited to explore this further.