Focus and "Do Not Disturb" when screen is locked

iOS and iPadOS

I have tried to set up the "Do Not Disturb" mode in the Settings / Focus dialog so that I do not receive notifications when using the Bard Mobile app. I added this app to the list of apps in the "Do Not Disturb" dialog.

Unfortunately I often listen to BARD books using my Airpods with the phone locked and notifications seem to break through and interrupt me anyway.

Is there a trick to doing this or is this a bug that automaticaly turning on "do Not Disturb" for certain apps does not work?

I am using iOS 15.1 on an iPhone XR.





Submitted by Cobbler on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

My experience and understanding is that Focus modes triggered by your use of an app only work whilst the app in question is in the foreground (so, not when your device is asleep or on the Lock Screen).

My expectation is that your desired Focus mode will be turned on when you open Bard to start playback, but will then turn itself off once your device goes to sleep. If you were to then wake your device and Bard was to still be in the foreground, the Focus mode would turn itself back on.

This has been my experience with other apps set to turn on a Focus mode.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Sane with any other app. Be it music and audible. If you go to home to do something else while using the apps, focus does no longer work. What is the point of having it if the screen lock and focus does not work! Also if you use mute button to not get any notification does not work. VO still reads them to you. Turn do not disturb on to not get any notification just those in your focus list.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

It's the thing that really annoys me about this app. I don't know why it behaves like this, and Apple doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Maybe it's because sighted people probably don't read with their phones in sleep mode, but it sure would work for music. Oh yeah, sighted people apparently can't listen to music without a display.

Submitted by peter on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Thanks everyone for confirming that this auto do not disturb feature doesn't seem to work on the locked screen. Too bad because it would be nice to automatically silence such notifications when the screen is locked.

I guess we can always do that manually, but that is an extra step and makes the new Focus settings feature almost useless.


Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, November 16, 2021

I am to the point that I will take it off. If does not work with VO what is the point. Is this a bug or something apple did not even think about it. Going back to old way. No focus. Why did the applevis did not mention this? If they know how to make it work they should let us know.

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Unfortunately, when iOS says "while using app" it means that quite literally, the app is in the foreground and the device isn't locked, and no, for most people this wouldn't be considered a bug, I don't think.

There are a few solutions I can think of to do what you want. the easiest, obviously, is just to turn the focus on when you want it in the control panel. At that point, it works the way Do not Disturb used to, except you can have multiple focus modes, so different configurations.

If you want to go further, you need to create a one action Shortcut. The only action you need is "set focus". Create a new shortcut, go into the action search box and search for set focus. Double tap on it and you've added it. To configure the action, you just need to swipe down on it. What it should say when you add it is "turn do not disturb off" Swipe down and it'll say "do not disturb" if you double tap on this you can change the focus mode it'll toggle, for example to Reading, if you've configured that. Swipe down again and double tap and it turns off to on. At this point it should say "turn on do not disturb until turned off". That's pretty much all you should need. if you swipe down again, you can double tap and tell it when it should turn off the focus mode if you don't want to do it manually.

Anyway, call the shortcut whatever you like, and you're done.

now that you have this, you've got a couple of options. The first is to create an automation which will run the shortcut automatically when you open one or more apps. Go into the automations tab in Shortcuts and tap add. Tap personal automation and swipe past a bunch of options until it says "app", double tap that. What you want should already be selected, when app is open. double tap choose, and select the apps you want this to apply to and tap done. Tap next, and you've got a miniature version of the shortcuts interface. The action you want here is "run shortcut". Search for that and double tap to add it. Swipe down on it and double tap, and then find the shortcut you just made and double tap on it. Tap next, and you'll see the option "ask before running". Turn this off if you don't want it to ask you every time you run the app, and tap done.

At this point, you're done, and it works the way you want the built in app focus modes to work. It sounds complicated, but it's not as bad as it sounds.

The final option I can think of would be to assign the Shortcut you created to a voiceover gesture, Which you do in the commands section of voiceover settings. Go into commands, "All commands" and choose shortcuts. Choose the one you created and then you can give it a gesture. Obviously, if you do this, you want to pick a VO gesture that either isn't used, and there aren't many, or one you don't use yourself. With this option, you could even create a second shortcut and assign another gesture to turn the focus mode off as well.

No, none of this is as easy as it could be, but it can be done.

Is not worth the headache for us. No to it. Also if you have it on that means you have to turn of lock to make sure is does not go on. Reducing your battery.

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Wednesday, November 17, 2021

It might not be worth the trouble, although to be fare I did the whole thing in about 5 minutes while testing it, but the battery argument isn't true. Using the method I suggested, you don't have to leave it unlocked or in the app etc. It's on until you turn it off.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, November 19, 2021

I use audible for ours and if the screen is lock, it will affect battery. This is a fact. Same with music.