How to Change Watch Faces Automatically with Focus

 

When you combine Focus Modes on iOS 15 with the Shortcuts app, there are some truly incredible things that you can make happen.

For example in this #QuickTips video I’m going to teach you how you can automatically change your Watch Face when your Focus Modes go on and off.

Here’s how it works.

We’re going to do this entirely on the iPhone, but obviously you’re going to wear the Apple Watch at the same time so it’s connected.

So in the Watch App on the iPhone at the top there you can see my Watch Faces and when I go on there and scroll around I’ve currently got 18 different Watch Faces.

However, I want to start using some of these Watch Faces at home and at work.

As you can see on my Watch onscreen there at the moment I’ve got a lovely Portrait Watch Face featuring my cat Mr Tibbs.

But really when I go to work I want to use the Infograph watch face to have my Calendar appointments my To-Do list and more.

Also at the Gym it would be great to have my Activity Rings and the Workout app front-and-centre.

So what we’re going to do is we’re going to use the Shortcuts app to customise what our Watch does and when it does it.

Now as soon as we open the Shortcuts App, at the bottom, we have a tab bar.

We’re going to tap onto the Automation tab.

From here you may see I’ve already got a couple of different automations that are triggered when my Focus Mode changes – for example when I arrive home I can then have my Home Focus Wallpaper changing.

We’re going to create a new Automation for this first one, although you could add this step into your existing Automations and I’ll show you that in a second.

Okay let’s press the Plus button in the top corner and we’re going to create a new Personal Automation.

From here we’re going to scroll down the list of triggers until we get to our Focus Modes and I’m going to choose when Work Focus is turned on.

So tap onto Work Focus and then you can choose when turned on.

That means that our Watch Face will change when we arrive at Work and our Work Focus is activated.

Press Next in the top corner and now we get to the screen where we can start adding our actions.

But before we add the actions of the Shortcut, I just want to really quickly ask you that perhaps if you’re enjoying this video and you’re perhaps finding it interesting please do consider Subscribing down below.

That will really help me grow my Channel and share my videos with more people and it will help you get all of my latest iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch #QuickTips videos as and when they’re released each week.

Okay enough of that, let’s add the action!

The action we want is simply called Set Watch Face.

I’m going to search for the word “Watch” and, there you go, it’s popped up straight away.

When I tap on that it will add my action to my Shortcut, and then if I tap on the word ‘Face’ I can choose which of my Watch Faces I showed you earlier should be changed.

At this point I’m going to go for my Infograph Modular because that’s the one I’ve configured for Work, and when I’ve chosen that Watch Face I can then press Next in the top corner.

That’s right, there’s only one action in this Shortcut!

That’s all we need.

Now on this next screen we have a prompt to Ask Before Running.

We’re going to turn that off we want this to happen silently in the background without push notifications.

Then we’re going to press Done and on your list of Automations you should now have a brand new Automation for when the Work Focus is turned on.

Now the more eagle-eyed amongst you will notice I’ve already got a Shortcut for when work is turned on, so I’ve actually got two Shortcuts that will run at the same time.

Whilst you can do this it’s a little bit untidy and over time it could get a bit confusing, so what I’m going to do is I’m going to tap onto one of my existing Shortcuts for Personal and Gym and add the Watch Face action to that existing Shortcut – just like this.

The only complicating factor here is when we add that Set Watch Face action it’s going to try and inherit a variable from earlier on in the Shortcut.

In this case the Photos variable I used for my wallpaper.

Now I don’t want that as a Watch Face – in fact it isn’t a Watch Face.

So if I tap on the word Photos I can then press ‘Clear Variable’.

Now I’ve got my Shortcut action back again and I can tap on Face and choose the Watch Face I want for the Gym.

I can press the Back button in the top left corner to update my action, and then press Done.

And that’s my new automation updated.

Finally I’ll go on to my Personal Focus and I want to make sure my lovely picture of Mr Tibbs comes back whenever I’m on my Personal Focus mode.

Again, we’re going to press Add Action and we’re going to choose Set Watch Face.

From here though you’re going to take off that variable of Photos by tapping on it and pressing Clear Variable.

Then you can tap on Face and choose the Watch Face you want.

Lastly we’ll press the Back button in the top corner and then press Done to update that Automation.

And now on my Automation Screen I’ve got the four that I’ve set up – two for Work, one for Gym and one for Personal.

All of which will now change my Watch Faces.

So time to jump into Control Center and see if it works.

I’m going to tap onto Focus Modes and I’m going to choose my Work Focus first of all.

Of course if you’re doing this on a location basis or by time of day it’ll happen automatically (you haven’t got to go into Control Center each time).

So I’m going to tap onto Work and just like that my Watch Face has changed.

I’ve now got my Calendar, my To-Do list – everything that I need.

Let’s go on to the Gym Focus and again almost immediately my Apple Watch has changed to my Gym Focus.

You can see the little Focus icon at the top of each Watch Face.

And of course if I go back to Personal we get the lovely Mr Tibbs coming back again.

There are tons of things that you can do with Focus Modes – from custom icons and wallpapers to custom home screens on your devices, and now custom watch faces as well!

Make sure you Subscribe to my channel down below, there are loads more #QuickTips for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch just waiting for you there.

See you next time.

How to Change App Icons with Focus

 

I’ve had a ton of comments on my previous Focus videos asking how we use Custom Icons with different Focus Modes.

Well you’re in luck!

Here’s a #QuickTips video to show you how to do just that!

Now as you can see straight away I’ve got a Home Screen built here using some Custom Icons based around a sort of chalkboard theme.

We’ll come back to that in just a moment, but first you may be thinking: “Well, where do I get these custom icons from?”

And it’s actually really simple.

You can find hundreds (if not thousands) of different packs of Custom Icons on the Internet.

If I jump onto Safari now, this is a pack that I’ve found that I want to use for my Gym Focus called ‘CMYKcons’.

There are loads of different options out there and any custom icons are basically images.

And those images will all work with the process I’ll show you now.

So when you’ve downloaded your Custom Icons you want to get them either into Photos in an Album or into the Files App in a Folder.

I’ve gone for Files because there’s lots of different icons here to choose from – and you can see I’ve got my Gym Mode folder set up with all those new CMYKcons in.

And if I go back I’ve got a folder for Work Icons as well with my Chalkboard Icons in.

I’ll try and put a link in the description below if you want to grab these chalk icons yourself as well.

So now you’ve got your icons ready to go it’s time to start looking at how we can replace our existing App Icons with these custom pictures.

Again if you’ve done this before you can jump ahead in the video a little bit, but for a lot of people this is a really helpful tip.

On the Home Screen that I’m currently building here I’ve chosen the Wallpaper so I can make sure my icons fit nicely with that image.

But at the bottom you’ll see I’ve got Safari and I’ve got Shortcuts and these are still the traditional Icons – so I’m going to try and change these now into my new chalkboard style.

So I’ll jump into the Shortcuts App.

When you’ve opened up Shortcuts you may see on my iPhone I’ve got quite a few set up ready to go already for the current App Icons that I’ve changed.

I’ve also made some for the Gym Mode using the Icons I showed you earlier (and we’ll have a look at that later in the video).

When you’re ready, press the Plus button in the top corner to create a brand new Shortcut.

Let’s give our new Shortcut a name so we don’t get confused later on.

I’ll just call this one ‘Safari – Work’.
Bear in mind if you’re going to have different icons for different Focus Modes you might want to include the name of the Focus Mode in the name of the Shortcut as well.

Then we’re going to Add An Action – and we’re going to search for the action called Open App.

When you search for that, tap on there to add it to your Shortcut, and then you can tap on the word App to choose the App that you want to open.

For me I’ll search for Safari and we’ll choose the Safari App to open when the Shortcut is run.

And that’s the only action you need to add to your Shortcut.

Next up you’re going to press the Options Button in the top right corner of your screen.

From here all we’re going to do is tap ‘Add To Home Screen’ and what that will do is it’ll bring up a new page of options where you can choose the Icon and the name for your Shortcut.

We’ll tap onto the Icon field there and then I’m going to go straight into Files and I’m going to choose my chalkboard style Safari Icon.

Then when that’s done we can rename the Shortcut as well at the top of your screen you’ll see a preview.

Right now it says ‘Safari – Work’, so let’s get rid of that work part at the end and it will just say Safari.

Now as soon as you press Done in the top corner you’ll go straight back to your Home Screen and your new App Icon will be there waiting.

Tap-and-hold to go into Jiggle Mode and then you can position it wherever you want and remove the old icon.

Don’t forget that with the App Library the App Icon hasn’t been deleted – it’s just gone to the App Library instead.

Then when we tap on our new Safari App it’ll go straight into the browser and…

Oh look at that, what an amazing looking YouTube channel!

I tell you what, if you’re watching this and you haven’t Subscribed, maybe you might like to press that button now.

It would actually really help me as well as I want to share my videos with many people as possible and the more Likes and Subscribe, the more YouTube will help push these videos out to others.

Okay enough of that.

Let’s go back to our Home Screen and then go back into the Shortcuts App.

Now weirdly we’re still in the middle of where we were earlier with those different Shortcut options, but we can press Done in the top corner and that will take us back to the Shortcuts Home Screen.

Now we’re going to create one more Shortcut, so again we’ll press that Plus button and then we’re going to type in a name for our Shortcut.

This time I’m going to replace my podcast player Overcast with the nice chalkboard icon, so I’ll call this one Overcast – Work.

Then we’re going to add our first and only action, which is called Open App.

From here tap on the App, choose Overcast from the search results, and then we’re going to press the Options button in the top right corner again.

When I’ve pressed add to Home Screen again I can rename the name of my Shortcut and just call it Overcast.

And then we’re going to tap on the Icon and choose the image from my Files Library.

Then when I press Done in the corner it will add that icon of the Home Screen, and just like before I can rearrange it by tapping and holding.

What I want to do now is get rid of the Shortcuts Icon completely, so I’ll tap-and-hold on there and then press Remove App.

Now I’ve got a Home Screen set up with all my Chalkboard Icons and it looks absolutely great in my opinion.

All I really want to do now is have that working with Focus Modes, so let’s have a look at how that works.

As well as having my chalkboard Home Screen, if I swipe sideways one page I’ve also got my slightly more neon themed Activity Page which is going to be part of my Gym Focus.

You’ll see here I’ve also changed those icons into some custom images and then if I scroll right back to my first Home Screen these are the pages that will come up for my Personal Focus – in fact I’ve got two for that Focus.

Now what I need to do is jump into the Settings App and from here we’ll go straight on to Focus.

I’ll do my Work Focus initially, so I’ll tap onto Work and then we’re going to choose Home Screen.

Here we’re going to turn on Custom Pages and this will bring up a new screen where I can tap to select or deselect the Home Screens I want to appear or not appear for this Focus.

I’m going to tap onto my chalkboard Home Screen and then when I press Done that is the only Home Screen that will show up on that Focus.

You’ll notice that I’ve also got that lovely chalkboard Wallpaper.

Now at the moment that’s the Wallpaper my device is running for everything, but if you follow my Using Wallpapers with Focus tutorial (I’ll link at the end of the video and in the description) you can have a different Wallpaper for each Focus that works hand in hand with the different Home Screens.

So check out that tutorial after this one and you’ll get your own Wallpapers for each Focus mode as well.

Okay, let’s come back out of the Work Focus and this time we’ll go into the Gym Focus mode.

So just like before I’m going to go into Home Screens and I’m going to turn on Custom Pages.

Then I’m going to find my neon activity themed Home Screen and we’re going to select that as the Home Screen that shows up on the Gym Focus.

Then we’ll come out of there and we’ll do the same on the Personal Focus.

This time I’ve got the two Home Screens to select, so I’ll tap on both of those and then press Done to save.

Now that’s all configured let’s come out of Settings completely and start changing our Focus Mode.

I’ll do this through Control Centre, but obviously you could do it by location or time or however else your Focus Mode changes automatically – this will work in the same way.

I’ll pull down to Control Centre and I’m going to switch on my Work Focus first of all.

And as soon as I tap that and then come out of Control Centre you should see that all my icons are now there in my Work Mode with my chalkboard – and that’s only one page of apps.

The other pages are no longer visible.

Now I’ll pull down the Control Centre again and this time I’m going to choose my Gym Focus and you’ll see, even through Control Centre, that the Wallpaper and the Icons have changed just like that.

If I come out of Control Centre you’ll now see those lovely neon artwork icons and a really cool Activity Ring style background as well.

The great thing is not only have the apps changed and the icons, but also the Widgets have changed as well because the Widgets were different on each Home Screen.

There are so many ways you can customise Focus using this method – it really is very, very powerful!

Finally let’s go on to the Personal Focus.

So again into Control Centre and now I’ve got my first two pages of apps with a nice blue background.

And just to be really clear the Wallpaper is changing because of a different Shortcut that I set up previously – you can find information on that and loads and loads of other iPhone and iPad #QuickTips on my YouTube channel which is linked down below.

While you’re there please do Subscribe, that will really help me grow and share my videos with more and more people.

I’ll see you next time!

How to Automatically Change your Wallpaper with Focus Modes

 
Here’s another #QuickTip to help you make the most out of Focus on iOS 15.

This is a quick guide to how you can set your Wallpaper to change automatically when your Focus mode goes on or off.

Right so there are two parts this tutorial – the first half is going to be in the Photos App where we’re going to choose the pictures we want to use as our Wallpaper then we’re going to jump into Shortcuts and create some automations to make those Wallpapers change when our Focus mode changes.

Don’t be scared by Shortcuts, it’s really simple and I’ll guide you through it step-by-step.

So first of all let’s go into the Photos App and here you’ll see I’ve got a few different images that I want to use as my Wallpapers.

You can probably see that I’ve got the iPhone 13 Wallpapers here, but you can use any images you want – Photos from your camera roll or Wallpapers you found online.

When you’ve chosen the first Wallpaper you want to use for a particular Focus mode you need to press the Share button and then press Add To Album create a new album.

Here you give it a name that you can find easily later, so for me with my Gym Wallpaper I’m calling the album Gym Focus.

When you’ve done this go onto the next Wallpaper you want to use and again you’re going to press Share, Add To Album and create New Album.

You may have Work Focus, or Personal Focus, or Driving Focus – whatever album name you want to use, create all the albums you need now so when we get into Shortcuts they’re ready to use.

I’m going to have three for now: Work, Personal and Gym.

And now let’s have a look at making those Wallpapers change automatically.

All right I’m going to open up the Shortcuts App on my iPhone and then we’ll go to the bottom to where it says Automation on that tab bar.

Now at this point, a little cheeky reminder that if you haven’t Subscribed to my Channel already maybe you might consider doing that to help me out.

I really want to grow and share my #QuickTips with as large an audience as possible so your Subscribe or your Like on this video could make all the difference.

Right. enough of that!

Let’s press the Plus button in the top corner to create a new Automation.

At this point we want to make a Personal Automation which means that that Automation will be triggered by something happening on your device.

In fact those triggers come up on the next screen, and if we scroll right down to the bottom you should see all of your different Focus modes are listed there as different triggers.

I’ll go onto the Gym one first.

When I’ve chosen that Gym Focus mode in Shortcuts I then have the option of enabling my Automation to run when the Focus mode is turned on or when the Focus mode is turned off.

With this you can add loads of customisation but to make it simple I’m going to go for when Gym is turned on.

Then on the next screen we can add the Actions we want to apply when Gym mode is enabled.

With Shortcuts you can add thousands of different actions here and your phone can do some really clever things as soon as you enable that Focus mode.

Let’s keep it simple for today and we’re going to find the photo that we saved in that album earlier.

So the first action you want is called Find Photos.

Type that in and then tap on it to add to your Shortcut.

From here you have a few different options, so we want to tap on to Add Filter and then rather than choosing all of our Photos in the Recents category we’re going to tap on there and we’re going to choose the album that we created earlier.

I’ve got lots of albums so I can search at the top for Gym Focus and then when I’ve selected that album Shortcuts will look for pictures in that album for me to use.

There’s only one there so it’s obvious what the Wallpaper choice will be.

Next up is our second and final action for this particular Shortcut.

Tap on the Add Action button and this time you’re looking for Set Wallpaper.

Now Set Wallpaper will automatically take the picture that you found in the action above and then we have a few options on how we’re going to display it as our Wallpaper.

For example I’m going to turn the Preview off so it won’t come up on the screen and I’m going to turn Perspective Zoom on to give it that slight depth effect.

I would definitely suggest you turn Show Preview off as well but Perspective Zoom is really up to your taste.

When you’ve added that Action press Next in the top corner.

On this screen you get a summary of your Shortcut and you’ll notice at the bottom there’s a new switch that says Ask Before Running.

Now if you have this on you’ll get a little banner notification each time you change Focus mode asking if you want to run this Shortcut.

I don’t want that – I want it to happen in the background seamlessly so I’ll turn that off and then I’ll confirm that choice.

Then when I press Done my Shortcut is saved and active.

We can check this immediately by returning to the Home Screen and then pulling down from the top right corner to Control Centre and turning on my Gym Focus.

And you’ll see even on the Control Centre that that Wallpaper has now changed to that yellow-y orange image.

But we haven’t set up Personal and Work yet!

So I’ll jump back into Shortcuts, go back onto the Automation tab, remind you once more to Subscribe, and then we’re going to create a New Action in the top corner.

Once again I’m going to create a Personal Automation that runs on the device, and as I scroll down my list of triggers and get the Focus modes I can choose Personal Focus.

From here again I can choose to have the trigger enabled when Focus is turned on or off and just like before I’ll make sure my Personal Focus is turned on.

This Shortcut will run our first action just like before – the one called Find Photos.

You’re going to tap onto Add Filter and you’re going to find the album for whatever Focus group you want next.

For me this is the Personal Focus, and that’s going to be the teal-blue Wallpaper.

Then when I’ve selected that picture I’m going to go to add a New Action and I’m going to choose Set Wallpaper.

Just like before I’ll turn off Show Preview and as per my taste I’ll turn on Perspective Zoom.

Then tap Next in the top corner and once more you want to turn off Ask Before Running.

When you press Done that automation will be saved and you’ll see it on the Automation screen.

And then guess what – we’re doing it a third time!

I won’t show you the process again (you can easily go back and re-watch the video if you need to) but what I will show you now is if I go up to the Home Screen by swiping up from the bottom and then pulling down Control Centre, every time I change my Focus Mode between Work, Personal and Gym the Wallpaper on my iPhone changes seamlessly, automatically in the background.

No notifications, no pop-ups, no confirmation – it just works!

And whilst I’m changing my Focus mode using Control Centre this will of course work just as well if you’re using a location based trigger or a time based trigger or however else you switch between your Focus modes.

Your Wallpaper will change when you’re in that mode no questions asked.

Okay, and that’s it for today’s #QuickTip!

I really hope you found this video helpful – there are dozens and dozens more iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 videos on my YouTube channel down below so please head there now check them out and maybe Subscribe too.

I’ll see you next time.

How to Automatically Switch Home Screens with Focus

 

With Focus on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 you can customise the Home Screens of your devices based on where you are at that current time.

So here’s how it works.

On my iPhone I’ve made a new page of Apps and on here I’ve put a few Widgets there already.

And this is going to be the screen that I want on my phone when I arrive at work.

I don’t want all of my Social Media Apps on there or my games because that’s going to be distracting, so what I’m going to do is I’m going to add some Apps to this new Home Screen.

And the great thing in iOS 15 is that you can have multiple versions of Apps on your Home Screen.

That means you could have the App for Twitter on three different screens and show them at different times and places.

I can add an App by simply pulling down in the middle of my Home Screen and using the Spotlight Search to find the App I want.

So I’m going to add Showbie because that’s one I use all the time at school.

When I’ve found that App icon I’m going to use one finger to tap and hold it and with the other finger I’m going to press Cancel on my search in the corner.

Then I can drag-and-drop that App icon and put it on my new Home Screen.

I’ll do this again for another App that I use quite regularly.

But the really clever thing is you can drag-and-drop App icons from other places as well – like the App Library.

So if I swipe sideways to get the App Library and then find another App that I want to use at school (for example my school email client) I can then drag-and-drop the App straight from the App library onto that new Home Screen.

Okay let’s whizz forward a minute or two.

Now I’ve now got a completed Home Screen that looks like this – and you can see at the moment I’ve got three different pages of Apps on my iPhone.

I can swipe between them just like I would do normally, but I don’t want those first two pages to be there when I get to school – I just want that third page.

So I’m going to go into Settings and I’m going to go on to Focus.

From here I’m going to go into my work Focus and then I’m going to choose the option for my Home Screen.

There’s a handy toggle here to actually hide the Notification Dadges on the Apps (which is good if you’re trying to Focus on something in particular and you don’t want distractions).

I’m going to turn that on but then I’m also going to choose some custom Home Screens.

From here you’re going to get a new window coming up with all of your different Home Screens on there – and you’ll notice I’ve got more than three because I’ve set this up already for different Focus Modes.

So I’ll locate the Home Screen that I want to use and then I’ll tap on the Tick in the corner to select that as my Home Screen.

You can choose as many or as few as you want here.

Then let’s come out to the Settings App and go back to my iPhone Home Screen.

Now at the moment I’m not in Work Mode so I can see all of my Home Screens, but if I pull down to Control Centre and then tap and hold on Focus to activate Work Mode you’ll then see that I’ve only got that one page of Apps.

I can swipe sideways but there’s no more Apps there!

If I’ve set my Focus to change automatically at a location then this will happen as soon as I arrive at school, and it will change back when I leave after work.

However if I go to Control Centre now and switch that Focus Mode off you’ll notice that I’ve still got three pages of Apps – my two main pages and that third page.

Well really I don’t want that third page at home so I’m going to tap and hold to go into Jiggle Mode, and I’m going to press the Page Indicator dots at the bottom above the dock.

From here I have the option to show or hide any of the Home Screens that I’ve made already.

So I’m going to un-tick that last work Home Screen.

Then my phone looks just like I did before with my two Home Screens for use at home and, when I go to work and change that Focus Mode, I should get my new work Home Screen.

I think this is a really great feature and it will really help me stay more Focused and more organised whether I’m at work, at home making videos, or out traveling.

Check out my other video on using Focus Modes and maybe as well you might like to check out my video on changing your Wallpaper when you get to a certain location – because imagine combining Focus Modes with custom Home Screens and a custom Wallpaper when you arrive somewhere!

There’s so much customisation you can do on your iPhone with iOS 15.

Don’t forget there are loads more iOS and iPadOS 15 videos just waiting for you on my Channel, so make sure you Subscribe and you won’t miss anything!