Something we often hear from users considering using PrayerMate to help them pray is a concern that if they were to have their phone out during their prayer time then they would find this distracting. You can imagine the scene, as you are trying to focus on God and then an email or a WhatsApp message or a calendar appointment pops up, taking your attention away from prayer towards something else.
Thankfully, in iOS 15, Apple has introduced a fantastic new feature called "Focus" that allows you to create custom 'focus' settings to disable various different kinds of interruptions, and you can even configure these focus modes to be triggered automatically when you launch a particular app - including PrayerMate. So now you can make sure that whenever PrayerMate is open, you won't receive any notifications from apps or people that you don't want to.
Here's a little step by step guide - but please note that this functionality is only available for users running iOS 15. You can which version of iOS your Apple device is running by opening the main "Settings" app and choosing "General" > "About" > "Software Version".
Step 1. Creating a Focus Mode
iOS 15 ships with some standard "Focus Modes" out of the box, or you can easily create your own. We recommend creating a custom "Praying" focus mode. To do this, go to the main iOS "Settings" app and find the option for "Focus" (with an icon like a white moon on a purple background). There it will list the existing Focus Modes, or you can press the "+" button in the top right, and pick "Custom". We named ours "Praying" and gave it an orange colour to match PrayerMate. You can also give it a little icon like a leaf or a smiley face.
iOS will talk you through the various settings. You can pick whose notifications will be allowed through - personally we left this blank, although we allowed "calls from favourites" in case of urgent phone calls. You can then pick which apps are allowed to still send you notifications whilst in this focus mode - we left this blank, although you may or may not want to enable "Time sensitive" notifications (which would include things like calendar events). Please note that this only affects times when this focus mode is active - you're not saying that you'll never receive notifications ever again, don't worry!
Step 2. Automatically Enable Focus Mode Whilst Praying
The next step is to set up an "Automation" so that this new focus mode automatically turns on whilst using PrayerMate. Whilst managing your new Focus Mode in the settings app, find the section that says "Turn on Automatically" and "Add Schedule or Automation". One of the options that should come up is "App (e.g. when I open Books)" - tap this and pick "PrayerMate" from the list.
That's it! Now whenever you launch PrayerMate you should get a box pop up at the top to tell you that your "Praying" focus mode is active, and now you will be able to get on and pray free from distracting notifications.