The iPhone’s Focus mode (almost) kept me off my phone on vacation

Help with my assignment!
Focus can help you tame notifications — but not much else yet. | Image: Apple

Two Fridays ago, just before I left for a week-long vacation to Florida, I went through my pretrip digital routine. I set my Slack status to “Vacationing” with a palm tree emoji and paused notifications until further notice. I turned on Gmail’s auto-responder. I deleted a bunch of apps from my phone that would only serve to distract me from poolside bliss.

The last thing I did was pick up my iPhone and create a new Focus mode. Focus, in case you didn’t know, is a new-ish iOS feature designed to let you quickly switch your phone from one context to another. You can set it to shut up your work apps on the weekends, turn off notifications while you’re reading or sleeping, or only alert you to new emails from 9AM to 5PM and not a moment…

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