Google is adding a new feature to its suite of "Digital Wellbeing" tools for Android devices, the focus mode that is being introduced today. This feature allows users to turn off distractions – such as social media updates or email notifications – for a period of time so you can do their jobs without interruption. Focus mode was first announced at the Google I / O Developer Conference in May and, according to Google, is only in beta for muting certain apps.
In Digital Wellbeing settings, users choose which apps they most want to distract them – like Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, games, or anything else that steals their attention. These apps can be temporarily suspended, which stops the notifications of these apps. When you try to open the app, focus mode reminds you that it has been paused.
During the beta test, feedback from the tester led to the development of a new focus mode enhancement: the ability to set a schedule for your app pauses. This will allow you to continuously block app notifications for the days and times you have selected, such as: For your working hours from 9:00 to 17:00.
There's also a new option that allows you to pause the focus mode and lock the locked apps for a while, then return to focus mode without completely disabling it. If you finish your work or other tasks one day early, you can now disable focus mode for that day without leaving the current weekly schedule.
The focus mode feature is one of many investments that Google has put into focus mode, the comprehensive Digital Wellbeing feature set originally introduced on Google I / O 2018, but initially only on Pixel devices. Since then, Google has expanded access to the features of Digital Wellbeing and integrated its features – including the Family Link parent control app – into the Android operating system.
In addition, Google has also developed digital well-being apps outside the operating system, the core product of Digital Wellbeing, with the launch of a handful of well-being experiments in October. These apps included a notification mailbox, an unlock clock, and even an easy way to print important information about your phone so you do not have to check your device all day.
Elsewhere across Google's product line Settings and controls dedicated to well-being, such as YouTube's reminder of a break, Gmail automations, Google Home downtime settings, and more.
According to Google, the new version of Focus Mode will end today's beta test on all devices that support digital wellbeing and parental controls, including Android 9 and 10 phones.