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Whether you admit it or not, many of us are pretty addicted to smartphones. Technology companies also know that they are responsible for a significant part of the phenomenon, and have been trying for the past year to ride on a “digital quality of life” trend, with tools that should help all of us regain control of device use. One of the new and interesting attempts in the market is from Google, which releases its focus mode with quite a few accents. This is how it works.

New and required feature

Google’s Focus Mode is for those cases where you know you have a task, but you just can’t help but send your hand to the smartphone to check your Instagram feed, or to check from whom you received a message on WhatsApp or Slack. The first step in solving your problem is to identify it, and when using the focus mode you will have to choose the apps that are distracting to you and that bother you.

Once you have chosen which apps to add to the list, you can make them at the click of a button simply unavailable until you decide otherwise. Once you turn on focus mode, the icons of those apps will turn gray (a color that will probably make you want to even look at them), they will not send you alerts, and if you try to enter them, you will get a notification that focus mode is turned on, and you have to turn it off manually. A kind of reminder that you yourself did not want to get into them. Once you get out of focus, all the alerts you missed will be centralized for you, so God forbid you miss anything.

Google released the feature in beta as early as August, explaining that during this time it received quite a bit of feedback from the community and added a very desirable feature to the focus mode: timings. That is, instead of activating the focus mode regularly every time you return home to the family, you can schedule the focus mode in advance, just like an alarm clock for certain hours and days. Google has also added the option to request a “pause” mode of 5, 15 or 30 minutes, if you still need some quality time with your apps, but do not want to completely stop the focus mode at set times.

As part of the release of the accent feature, Google has announced that the focus mode will be available on all devices that include its Digital Wellbeing and Parental Control functions. That is, most Android 9 and 10 devices. You can find the new mode under the Digital Wellbeing app: inside the app, switch to “Focus Mode”, highlight your distracting apps, and click Turn On Now. If you want to make the feature even more accessible and convenient, you can add it as a shortcut to Quick Settings: open the notification drawer and expand it, click the Edit button (pencil-shaped) and drag the Focus Mode icon to the bottom of the screen. Quick Settings area.

Google’s Focus Mode is very similar to some other companies ‘features launched in recent months, such as Microsoft’s Focus Assist on Windows 10 and One Plus’ Zen Mode. Although “Do not disturb” options exist throughout the smartphone, these new options allow you to isolate the specific applications that are bothering you, and gain a little more control over your use of the smartphone.