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Focus mode comes to Android to limit distracting apps

Daniel Cooper
Senior Editor
Google

The big problem with owning a smartphone is that every temptation is just a finger tap away -- ooh, Twitter! -- making it hard to knuckle down on a single task. Earlier this year, Google promised to remedy this with "Focus mode," a new tool that stops you -- ooh, YouTube! -- opening apps that could distract you. You just select which apps like -- ooh, better check Facebook -- you find distracting, and lock them down until you choose to release them.

Focus mode was first announced at Google's developer conference in the summer as part of Android Q / 10. It is now out of beta, and Google says that the extended testing period has helped tweak the offering to make it more useful for busy folks. Such as being able to set a regular timer to block out apps when you're meant to be working, say, from 9am to 5pm, Monday through -- ooh, let's read Engadget -- Friday. If you have an Android 9 or 10 device with Digital Wellbeing tools, then you'll be able to access Focus mode from today. And if you don't, then there's always ActionDash.