Do Not Disturb iconWhile many people have only recently purchased their first iPhone, or have been reluctant to finally upgrade from iOS 5 to iOS 6 (maybe because of the Apple Maps fiasco!), I am still continually surprised at how many iPhone users don’t actually know about this particular app tactic.  It is a way of setting your iPhone into a Do Not Disturb mode, and ever since I learned about it, I use it all the time!

Technically, this is a new feature introduced in iOS 6, not an ability provided by a dedicated app from the App Store.  Regardless, once you start to use it, I’m confident that you will use make use of this setting just as frequently you would with some of your other apps.

The information on your iOS device explains this as: “When Do Not Disturb is enabled calls and alerts that arrive while locked will be silenced, and a moon icon will appear in the status bar.”  Basically, if you have your iPhone locked and screen is off, it will not wake the screen or beep to notify you of anything.  This is a fantastic feature to enable just before going into church or a meeting at work, for example.  If you’ve never had your phone ring or alert you to something in the middle of a quiet time, you are lucky!

Setup of this feature is simple.  Putting your iPhone into Do Not Disturb mode can actually be done both manually or automatically.  To set your phone to not interrupt you “right now” you do this in the Settings app.  You will see a new icon of a crescent moon on a dark blue background, which says “Do Not Disturb” next to it and has an On/Off toggle.  Simply slide the toggle to On to enter this mode.  That is all there is to it, and luckily it is not a setting that is buried behind several page levels.  You can still of course use your iPhone as you normally would, and it will behave normally while it is awake and active, with the only exception that next to the clock at the top of the screen will appear that same crescent moon shape as in the icon.  It will only remain silent when the screen is locked, until you go back to the Setting app and slide the toggle back to Off to disable the mode.

An additional excellent feature of this setting is its automatic mode.  You access it also through the Settings app, though it is through the Notifications button beneath the last one I talked about.  By entering the Notifications page, you will see right at the top the familiar moon icon and label, which you can tap to enter into additional settings for its automatic mode.  Here, you can toggle On/Off the automatic Scheduled Do Not Disturb mode, and specify the precise times that you don’t want to be called or notified.  There are also a few more settings that you can modify on this screen.  This includes an opportunity to allow phone calls from your Favorite contacts (such as your Mom and Dad), or to tell the phone to notify you if someone calls a second time right away.  These are great peace of mind options that mean that in the case of an emergency, you will still be reachable.  Overall, automatic is a perfect mode to have enabled for the hours that you sleep at night.  You don’t have to set it each night like an alarm.  You just set it once for the hours you’d like, and then every night it will let you sleep quietly without interruption.  No more bells and no more bright screens turning on in the middle of the night!  It’s one of the best parts of this new feature!

The iPhone’s Do Not Disturb silent mode is a wonderful addition found in iOS 6.  Now that you know where to find it and how to use it, spread the word so that everyone can make use of this great new app tactic!

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