Apple offers a different take on your Digital Wellbeing with ‘Focus’


One of the key announcements during today’s WWDC 2021 Keynote was the slew of changes to notifications on the iPhone and iPad. This includes an all-new Focus feature that allows you to filter different notifications, but more importantly, creating different ‘Focus Modes’.

With Android 12, Google’s Digital Wellbeing is seeing a bit of an overhaul with the improved Dashboard and even more fine-tuned controls. But Digital Wellbeing has been around for a couple of years at this point, making it extremely easy to step away from your phone when you need to either get some work done or just stop doom-scrolling Twitter.

iOS 15 is taking a different approach, as each Focus mode does things a little bit differently. There are four pre-installed Focus modes, including Do Not Disturb, Personal, Work, and Sleep. You can also create a custom Focus based on your needs if the other options don’t quite fit the bill.

Whenever a new Focus mode is created, you can set certain apps and widgets to appear based on what you use when in that mode. For example, your Personal Mode will have some social media apps, some games, and you’ll receive notifications from your friends and family. But when entering Work Mode, all of your work apps and widgets will appear, while your accompanying emails and messaging apps will send you notifications when needed.

Something else that is coming with iOS 15 and Focus is the ability for your friends to actually see that you’re unavailable with iMessage. Previously, notifications would just come through regardless, unless you turned on Do Not Disturb.

You could equate this to the built-in Work Profiles that are accessible on your Android phone. However, the difference here is that Apple is looking to make the creation and usefulness of these features a bit easier to create and activate compared to how it’s done on Android.

I’m currently installing both the iPadOS and iOS 15 betas on my respective devices, so expect to see more comparisons about how Apple’s new features stack up to Google’s changes in Android 12.


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