Announced in May, Focus Mode is the latest Android feature that brushes aside distracting apps like Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, while users mentally dive into what they need to do, by setting up a timer that keeps them away from accessing certain apps for a certain time. When the time’s up, Google will un-pause the app.
Focus Mode is Google’s latest feature intended to promote something called digital health. It builds off Wind Down mode, a part of Android’s Digital Wellbeing feature set that turns the screen to grayscale if one schedule it to each night or manually turn it on. The aim is to make the screen less compelling to look at while also counteracting the blue light that’s believed to disrupt sleep patterns and keep people awake longer.
According to Google, the app timers, like those in Focus Mode, help people keep from overusing apps more than 90% of the time. One can choose which apps you’d like to pause, like Facebook and Instagram, which tend to interrupt them with notifications. But they can also keep some messaging apps open for emergencies.
It’s available for the Android 10 (formerly Android Q) beta, but if one is unable to see it yet, updating to the latest version will prove to be useful.
How to use Focus Mode for Android:
1. Open your Digital Wellbeing app.
2. On the dashboard and select Focus Mode.
3. Tap on the box to the right of each app that you wish to disable. In case they are not visible, you may have to select Show all apps.
4. Tap Turn on now.
5. You’ll observe that all of your paused apps are greyed out. If you try to open the app, there would be a pop-up saying Focus Mode is on. You can either select Settings to make changes or tap OK to leave the app disabled.
6. When you’re ready to stop pausing your apps, go back into the Focus Mode settings and tap Turn off now.