Focus Mode Comes Out of Beta on Android

Taking a break on Focus Mode

This past August, Digital Wellbeing beta testers were treated to a new feature called "Focus mode" - allowing you to pause specific apps/games to help keep you, well, focused.

The new mode is part of Google's Digital Wellbeing tool on Android and created to help you remove some of the many distractions phones often provide so you can focus on what you need to get done. Focus Mode was first announced at Google's I/O developer conference this May, and has been in beta testing until now, Google says. With the feature enabled, you can select the apps that you find the most distracting such as a social media app, video app or games. In addition, this feature will also silence those apps' notifications.

Android's Digital Wellbeing service can be updated independently of the OS, since it's distributed through the Play Store, so Google can add new features outside of major Android releases.

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There's also a new option to take a break from Focus Mode, which allows you to use to use the blocked apps for a time, then return to Focus Mode without entirely disabling it to do so.

To access Focus mode, you need an Android 9 or 10 handset that supports Google's Digital Wellbeing & parental controls capabilities.

Elsewhere across Google's product line it has developed settings and controls devoted to wellbeing, like YouTube's reminders to "take a break", automations for Gmail, downtime settings for Google Home, and more. After a few months of polishing everything up and adding some new features, Google's now rolling Focus mode out to everyone.

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