iOS 15 gives you better tools to fight the firehose of notifications — with a catch

From The Verge: Apple’s iOS 15 preview earlier this week gave us a look at an important new feature coming to your iPhone’s notifications: help. A few new tools may act as a life preserver for those of us up to our eyeballs in a sea of notifications every day, regulating which apps and people are allowed to bug us, and when. But on the flip side, app developers get some additional tools for getting your attention, too, and could very well start sending you even more notifications — albeit in a less disruptive way.

First, the good news: the new notification features in iOS 15 look genuinely good and useful. There’s a new feature called Focus that allows you to choose which people and apps you’d like to see notifications from at a given time. It’s like Do Not Disturb but with much more customization than simply turning off every possible disruption. You can set up modes for work, sleep, personal time, and other scenarios like workouts.

When setting up a new Focus mode, Siri can scan your outgoing messages and calls and automatically suggest allowing notifications from the people you talk to most. There’s a neat trick here too: communications from the people you approve can come from other apps, like Facebook Messenger, not just from iMessage or texts. When you get that Facebook Messenger message in iOS 15, you may see prompts to associate that person in that app with a matching person in your contacts list, too. Once you’ve done this, communications from that person in a third-party app will be allowed to interrupt your Focus mode, provided that you approved them to do so.

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