While last night’s software-focused WWDC didn’t get the same hype as Apple’s hardware events, the company did drop an array of exciting new features. My favorite? Well, that’d be the improvements to Do Not Disturb and the new Focus mode.
I’d assume you’re one of two people: you’re either fist-pumping at this news, or you’ve never used Do Not Disturb on an iPhone. To put it bluntly, this feature is a fucking mess.
Do Not Disturb should be the easiest thing to get right: the feature should block everything but pre-defined contacts from getting through to you.
But it doesn’t work on the iPhone. Not even close. WhatsApp in particular seems to bypass Do Not Disturb on iOS, meaning whenever I want to get away from my device, I’m still subjected to notifications.
Things are looking up though, friends. These days may soon be over — and that’s all thanks to Apple refreshing the way it deals with notifications in iOS 15.
Let’s talk about this redesign.
First up, Apple has graphically overhauled its notification system. This includes adding people’s photos and resizing app icons. But the more interesting update is the introduction of notification summaries.
Effectively, this feature groups together specific notifications it deems unimportant and then delivers them to you at a set time during the day. This means you won’t be awash with boring updates that constantly distract you.
On top of that, iOS 15 will also allow you to easily and tempoarily pause notifications for specific apps or threads.
But this improvement of the iPhone’s Do Not Disturb functionality doesn’t stop here. Let’s talk about Focus.
Basically, this allows iOS 15 users to specifically define what notifications they get at specific times. Think of a “Work” profile that allows calls and messages, but stops social media apps buzzing you, for example.
While this has a gamut of uses, I’m only interested in one: a pure Do Not Disturb mode on the iPhone.
Focus should allow me to completely block every single notification, while still allowing me internet access. This means on quiet evenings or times when I’m feeling anxious, I can use my iPhone without worrying that someone’s gonna want something from me.
Really, a proper Do Not Disturb feature on the iPhone should’ve rolled out years ago. It’s utterly ridiculous that it’s taken this long. But… better late than never? Or something? I’m just happy I’ll be able to block you all properly again.
Want more information about the things announced at WWDC 2021? Then go and have a look here.