Skip to main content

Android’s distraction-killing Focus Mode is now available on Android 10

Focus Mode was conspicuously absent from the launch of Android 10, with only a beta version available for certain phones. Thankfully, that’s no longer true, and Android’s distraction-cutting Focus Mode is now available on a number of devices running Android 10 and Android 9.0 Pie.

A major new addition to Google’s Digital Wellbeing toolkit, Focus Mode seeks to limit the ways your phone can distract you when you’re looking to concentrate. Select a number of intrusive or particularly bothersome apps, and Focus Mode will pause those apps while the mode is active, stopping notifications from being sent. Furthermore, while the mode is active, those apps’ icons will appear grayed out, and for any of them, you’ll be notified that the app is currently locked down if you attempt to open it.

android 9 pie digital wellbeing
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It’s not as tyrannical as it sounds, and you’ll be able to access any of your apps if you really need to — but the idea is to remove the ease with which you’re able to distract yourself. By placing a barrier between you and the app, Focus Mode gives you the chance to back out of situations that distract you. Any notifications that come through while the app is paused will be sent to your phone after the mode is turned off — so there’s no need to worry you’ll overlook a message, or miss out on a points boost.

Of course, any apps not included on Focus Mode’s blacklist will send notifications as usual — so you won’t miss out on an important call or email.

Google has added more to Focus Mode since we last looked at it, including the ability to activate Focus Mode on a set schedule. For instance, if you’re working 9 to 5 (what a way to make a living) on weekdays, or if you like some screenless time before bed. Google also added the ability to take a short break, and if you’ve finished early, you can shut off a scheduled Focus Mode before the end time — and it’ll start again at the right time the next day.

Focus Mode is now available for a number of phones running Android 9.0 Pie and Android 10. Android 10 phones are more likely to get Focus Mode, as it’s only available on phones with Google’s Digital Wellbeing app. While Digital Wellbeing launched with Android 9.0 Pie, only a small amount of Pie-compatible phones saw fit to include Digital Wellbeing. That’s set to end with Android 10 though, as Google has laid down the law and declared all Android 10 phones must come with Digital Wellbeing. You can check out our full Focus Mode guide to learn how to use this powerful new feature.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
How to use Do Not Disturb mode in Android

Our smartphones command our attention many times throughout each day. Some people even check their phones in the middle of the night. Why do we allow this endless torrent of incoming notifications, which are often unimportant, or worse, email spam, to interrupt us? If you can’t resist that blinking LED or that buzzing in your pocket, then you need to get to grips with the Do Not Disturb mode in Android.

Don’t let your smartphone addiction win. Set some ground rules with your phone and ensure that it doesn’t bother you in meetings, at the theater, or when you’re sleeping. Let’s look at how to use Android’s Do Not Disturb mode.

Read more
The best Android 10 tips and tricks
android 10 logo

Google introduced Android 10 in September 2019. Now over a year later, manufacturers are still rolling it out, like Samsung's Galaxy Tab A on T-Mobile's network that didn't get Android 10 until October 2020. Android 11 may be the newest release, introduced in September 2020, but seeing it across most Android devices will involve a similarly long rollout.

That means, for now, Android 10 is likely the default version installed on modern Android devices. There's plenty to love with this release, like Focus Mode, which can make you more productive. Other features, such as Dark Mode, let you customize how your phone looks.

Read more
Android 11 is now rolling out to some Samsung Galaxy phones, if you’re lucky
Samsung Galaxy S20 range

Samsung users are set to finally get Android 11. Samsung has finally offered some information about its update rollout -- and as long as you have a recent Galaxy device, you may be able to get it relatively soon.

The first phones to get Android 11, which includes One UI 3.0, will be the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, minus the Galaxy S20 FE. In the U.S., South Korea, and most of Europe, Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra users should expect to get the update over the next few weeks, with some users set to get it right away. According to reports, however, it seems as though some UK Note 20 users have already gotten the update.

Read more