After being first introduced to the iPhone and iPadApple has introduced Focus mode on Macs with macOS Monterey.

Based on the company’s previous Do Not Disturb feature, Focus allows you to adjust notifications based on the time of day or what you’re doing. Here we explain how to use Focus mode on your Mac.

What is the Concentration mode (Focus) on the Mac?

As the name suggests, the new Focus feature lets you stay in the moment to focus or spend time away from your devices. You can adjust it, allowing you to choose which apps and people you will receive alerts from, or decide which ones will be saved for later. It is also possible to notify people and applications that they are not accepting notifications at the moment.

You can use any of the predefined spotlights or create your own. The defaults are Do Not Disturb, Drive, Fitness, Sleep, Work, and Personal.

How to get started with Apple Focus on Mac

To get started with Focus on Mac, you must activate at least one Focus group. For it:

  1. Click on the app Settings from your Mac.
  2. Please select Notifications and Concentration.
  3. Choose the tab Concentration on top.
  4. Select one of the Concentration Groups defaults on the left side. Later you will learn to create a new Focus group.
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How to understand and program Apple Focus Groups

There are several options available for each Focus Group. These include:

  • Activation / deactivation: When active, the focus group is on. Otherwise, the group is deactivated. Additionally, you can manually enable / disable the focus group or set an automatic schedule (see below).
  • Notifications allowed: You can choose which people can leave calls and which applications can send alerts when a focus group is active.
  • State of Concentration: When enabled, this setting will share its status with anyone or app that has notifications muted.
  • Starting screen: When pressed, notifications and badges can be hidden on the home screen. You can also determine which splash screens will be displayed when Concentration is on (if any).
  • Lock screen: You can dim the lock screen and show muted notifications on the same screen when selected.
  • Smart activation: When activated, the device will automatically turn on Focus at relevant times throughout the day, based on cues such as location, app usage, etc.
  • Add schedule or automation: The days and hours for the Focus Group are added here. You can also set Focus to turn on when you arrive at a location or use an app. When these thresholds are met, Concentration is activated automatically.
  • Clear Concentration: Choose when you no longer need a Focus Group.

Creation of a new Apple Concentration Group

You can use the default Concentration Groups or create ones from scratch. To create one:

  1. Click on the app Settings from your Mac.
  2. Please select Notifications and Concentration.
  3. Choose the tab Concentration on top.
  4. Choose the + (plus icon) In the bottom left.
  5. Select one of the options. Will see Personalized and a list of predetermined Concentration Groups that are not currently in use.
    • In the example below are Personalized, Play, Mindfulness, Personal and Reading. The list you see may be different depending on the Focus Groups that have already been selected.
  6. After choosing Personalized as the new focus group, enter the Name of your group in the box.
  7. Choose a colour and a icon to represent your group.
  8. Please select Add.
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From there, you will need to customize the options for your new Focus Group, which is automatically activated once you are done creating it.

How to find the active group

You can tell if there is an active Focus Group by looking at the Control Panel, which is where you can turn it off (or turn it on).

Synchronization of groups between devices

If you have more than one Apple device, you can sync your Focus Groups to turn on and off simultaneously. In this way, the schedules are the same on all devices.

To sync Focus Groups with iPhone and iPad devices:

  1. Click on the app Settings from your Mac.
  2. Please select Notifications and Concentration.
  3. Choose the tab Concentration on top.
  4. Check the box Share between devices In the bottom left.

Should you use Apple’s Focus tool on the Mac?

Apple’s new Focus feature has been designed with customization in mind. However, while eliminating notifications and calls during work or sleep hours has its advantages, taking it further could be taken as an exaggeration by some.

For example, is it necessary to create separate Focus Groups so that they are activated whenever we are in the gym or playing a game? Probably not. Still, it’s nice to know that Apple has made it possible to do that in just a few steps, giving you (the user) the flexibility to decide for yourself.

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