Thanks to our smartphones, we're connected to our friends, family, and the rest of the world practically anywhere we are. But this can pose some problems: what happens when you don't want to be connected? Sure, you can turn your phone off, but being totally disconnected means no one can reach you in an emergency or that you can't choose to only hear from a select group of people you're really interested in being in contact with.
Or at least it used to mean that. Thanks to the introduction of a feature called Do Not Disturb in iOS 6, you now have much greater control over who can contact you and when. This feature lets you set periods of time in which you won't be notified of phone calls, text messages, and app alerts--except those coming from people on a list you create that lets them through. This way you can still hear from work, your partner, or family, but not be bothered by anything else.
To use Do Not Disturb, you need:
- An iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch capable of running iOS 6 or higher
- iOS 6 or higher installed on the device.
Enabling Do Not Disturb
To turn Do Not Disturb on, do the following:
- Tap the Settings app
- In iOS 6, move the Do Not Disturb slider to On
- In iOS 7, tap Do Not Disturb, move the Manual slider to green
This technique simply lets you turn the feature on at that moment. It doesn't allow the most useful feature: scheduling at what time it turns on and off. To do that, you need to let how to use the feature.
Using Do Not Disturb
To schedule Do Not Disturb and to control its settings:
- Tap the Settings app
- In iOS 6, tap Notifications. In iOS 7, you can skip this step
- Tap Do Not Disturb. This is the screen that lets you schedule and configure the feature.
- In iOS 6, move the slider to On. In iOS 7, move the Scheduled slider to green.
- Tap the From/To box and move the wheels to set the time during which you want the feature turned on and when you want it to turn off
- To let some calls through during this time, tap Allow Calls From. On this screen, you can choose which groups of contacts you'll accept calls from. The simplest option is choosing Favorites, but you can also choose any other contacts group in your address book. Remember, contact groups can't be created on the iPhone, so if you want to create a custom contact group for Do Not Disturb, you'll need to create it on your desktop address book program (such as Address Book on Mac or Outlook on Windows) and then sync it to your iPhone. Tap the contact group you want to allow calls and texts from.
- In case of an emergency, you wouldn't want your settings to block someone from reaching you just because they aren't on your allowed calls list. That's what the Repeated Calls feature ensures. Slide that to On and when the same number calls twice in three minutes, the call will come through, regardless of whether the person is on your allowed list.
- In iOS 7, you can choose in what situation Do Not Disturb enforces silence. Choose either Always or Only while iPhone is locked.