Google announced today that Focus mode, a new digital wellbeing tool in Android, is now out of beta and generally available.
“Focus mode helps you get things done by temporarily pausing apps so you can focus on the task at hand,” Google’s Dayson Pais writes. “You can select apps you currently find distracting (like social media or games) and if you try to open them, Focus mode will remind you that app is paused. Focus mode will also silence those apps’ notifications until you’re ready to switch out of the mode. This means you can use your phone without interruptions from apps you don’t need right away.”
Google says that feedback from those testing Focus mode helped it hone the feature.
“Our beta testers’ feedback inspired us to include a few new features with today’s launch,” Pais notes. “For example, we’ve added an option to automatically turn Focus mode on and off for the days and times that you choose. This is especially handy for setting daily schedules; you can minimize distractions during the hours you’re at work, school or home. We also added an option to take a break, which lets you step out of Focus mode to use certain apps and jump back in when you’re ready. And if you’ve completed your tasks early, you can simply turn off Focus mode and it’ll resume as scheduled the next day.”
To access Focus mode, you need an Android 9 or 10 handset that supports Google’s Digital Wellbeing & parental controls capabilities. (This includes all new phones that launch with Android 9 or 10.) To access this tool, navigate to Settings > Digital Wellbeing & parental controls > Focus mode. In the interface that appears, you can manually pause distracting apps when you need time to focus or set up a schedule by which these apps will be silenced.