What Is Share Focus Status on an iPhone

Smartphones have forever changed how we keep in touch and communicate with each other, and while our 24/7 availability is sure useful at times, there are also instances when we’d rather keep distractions away. Once, simply turning our phones off was the solution, but that’s hardly socially acceptable today. After all, what happens if an important message cannot reach you while your notifications are silenced?

What Is Share Focus Status on an iPhone

Today, there are more sophisticated solutions than Do Not Disturb (DnD) modes and auto-reply messages. Sharing your Focus Status on iOS is one of them. Here’s what it means to share your Focus Status and how to do it.

What Is Focus Mode on iOS?

Focus Mode is a relatively recent iOS feature introduced for iOS on Sept. 15, 2021. Its primary purpose is to allow you to curb distractions. The feature is perfect for when you need to concentrate on work, are busy driving, or want to have a quiet night’s sleep. Turn this feature on and prevent notifications from distracting or disturbing you.

There are various Focus Modes, including Sleep, Work, Personal, and the classic Do Not Disturb, but you can also create your own custom Focus Mode.

Focus mode offers a lot of flexibility. It allows you to pick which apps and contacts will still be able to send you notifications during your focus time. Time-sensitive and emergency notifications, as well as important calls, will also be able to reach you. You can schedule and even automate your Focus Modes and share them across your iOS devices.

What Is Share Focus Status?

Share Focus Status is a great iOS Focus Mode feature. Without sharing your Focus Status, your contacts won’t know why you are not replying to them. They may try contacting you persistently to no avail.

On the other hand, your contacts will know that you cannot come to your phone with Share Focus Status. Whenever someone tries to message you, a note will let them know that you have Focus Mode on. They will be presented with the option to notify you anyway or simply wait for you to get back to them. That means that they will still be able to reach you in an emergency.

Why You Should Share Your Focus Status

Silencing notifications without letting the other party know can lead to misunderstandings. Sharing your Focus Status can save you from these unpleasant situations. By sharing your status, your contacts will know that you are not ignoring them intentionally, but you are simply busy.

In general, sharing your Focus Status and using the Focus Mode is also healthy. They allow you to focus or relax without the nagging of unimportant notifications. With the help of Share Focus Status, you can put some distance between yourself and your phone without compromising your relationships.

How to Share Your Focus Status

Sharing your Focus Status is quick and easy. Take a look at the steps below:

  1. Open your Settings and look for the Focus option signified by a moon symbol.
  2. Select the Focus Mode of your choice (Sleep, Work, etc.)
  3. Find Focus Status under the options.
  4. Tap Focus Status and turn on the feature. Now, whenever you turn this Focus Mode on, those trying to contact you will know you are away.
    Tip: You might find that Focus Status is already on. This feature is on by default unless you’ve turned it off in the past. In that case, you can still tap it to learn additional information about this feature on the next screen.
  5. Repeat these steps for all the different Focus Modes you want to share with your contacts.

How to Turn Off Share Focus Status

Sharing your Focus Status is the default on your iOS 15 device. While the transparency is great, you might not want to keep everyone in the know. You can use Focus Mode privately by simply turning off your Focus Status. To do that, access your Focus Status settings:

  1. Tap on Focus in your Settings app.
  2. Choose the Focus Mode you want to stop sharing.
  3. Tap on Focus Status under the options and toggle the switch. Now, your contacts will not be notified of your Focus Status when using this Focus Mode.
  4. Repeat these steps for the rest of the Focus Modes you don’t want to share.

How to Share Focus Status With Only Select Contacts

You might not want everyone to know you are in Focus Mode, but turning the feature off will also keep your important contacts in the dark. The solution to this is to share your Focus Status selectively. If you want to hide your Focus Status from a few individuals, you can turn off sharing directly on their profiles.

  1. Go to your Messages app.
  2. Open your chat with the contact you want to silence.
  3. Press their profile and toggle Share Focus Status so that it’s off. These contacts will then be unable to bypass the restriction as they will not see the Notify Anyway option.

You can also enable Focus Status sharing for select contacts in the same way.

Troubleshooting: If you cannot turn on Share Focus Status for a contact, make sure that they are also using the latest version of iOS.

Tip: Remember that you can also customize your Focus Modes to allow notifications from specific contacts only.

Additional FAQs

What’s the difference between Focus Mode and Do Not Disturb?

Focus Mode is a more advanced and flexible version of its predecessor, Do Not Disturb. As opposed to the latter, Focus Mode lets you choose which apps and contacts to mute and which ones to allow notifications. In addition, Focus Mode comes with Share Focus Status that gives contacts the option to bypass restrictions. In iOS 15, Do Not Disturb is one of the Focus Modes you can turn on.

Does Focus Status work with third-party apps?

Being a relatively new feature, Focus Status still has some limits. Generally, third-party apps will not be able to share your Focus Status. Nevertheless, some third-party apps, such as Slack, were quick to integrate Focus Mode, so stay on the lookout.

Will I still get notifications in an emergency with Share Focus Status?

Yes. By sharing your Focus Status, the other party will know that you have silenced your notifications. In case of an emergency, they will be able to tap “Notify Anyway” and get a hold of you.

Does Focus Status share the name of my Focus Mode?

You can set up multiple focus modes on your iOS and give different names to each. This is more for the sake of organization than anything else. As you will see when you turn on Share Focus Status, the name of your Focus Mode will never be shared. Contacts will simply see that your notifications are silenced, but not the reason why.

Does Focus Mode block incoming calls?

When you are setting up your Focus Mode, you will be able to decide whether you want to receive calls. You can also customize who is allowed to call you in this mode. Share Focus Status does not have any effect on this.

Don’t Let Notifications Be a Distraction

Too often, it feels like our phones and constant notifications control our lives. However, putting the whole world on mute without letting your contacts know can be rude. Sharing your Focus Status allows you to have your cake and eat it, too. Be the one who decides who gets access to your time and attention by turning this feature on for select individuals and customizing your Focus settings.

What do you think about this iOS feature? Have you used it before? Share your experience in the comments!

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