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‘Focus Mode’ lets you pause distracting apps in latest Digital Wellbeing beta

Back at I/O 2019, Google unveiled a handful of upcoming features for Digital Wellbeing, including Focus Mode which pauses “distracting” apps and Family Link support. With the latest beta update, version 1.0.26, Focus Mode is now available in Digital Wellbeing.

Over the past year, Google has been rolling out a variety of improvements to their Digital Wellbeing app, including per-day Wind Down scheduling, website timers, and support for more devices. One of the most hotly anticipated features from Google I/O has been Focus Mode for Digital Wellbeing.

This morning, the Digital Wellbeing beta received an app update. When you first open the app after the update, you may not see anything new. When you come back to it later, however, Focus Mode settings should appear within Digital Wellbeing. We’re not entirely sure yet what triggers the setting to appear.

On the landing page for Focus Mode, you’re greeted with a list of your applications, roughly sorted by your use time. From here, you’ll be able to select which of apps are most likely to distract you from getting work done and should therefore be disabled in Focus Mode.

This same page also allows you to toggle Focus Mode on and off from within the app, but this is a bit of an inconvenient location. To help with that, the update also includes a Quick Settings toggle for Focus Mode.

Once Focus Mode is enabled, icons for “distracting” apps are grayed out, which signals that it’s been paused and also helps the icon itself be potentially less distracting. Attempting to open a paused app anyway brings you to a dialog reminding you that Digital Wellbeing’s Focus Mode is enabled, and suggests changing your settings.

You can sign-up for Digital Wellbeing’s beta program here or by heading to the Play Store listing on Android and scrolling to the bottom. The latest beta version of Digital Wellbeing is usually rolled out by Google as soon as it’s available.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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