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How to Avoid Disturbances on Your iPhone 5

The Do Not Disturb feature on your iPhone 5 is new to iOS 6. In the middle of the night — or the middle of the day when you’re playing hooky — the last thing you want is to be bothered by a phone call. Apple had such potential disturbances in mind when it devised the Do Not Disturb feature.

When you turn on the feature in Settings, your incoming calls and alerts will be silenced. A moon icon, um, rises to the top of the status bar to remind you when Do Not Disturb is enabled.

Of course, you may be reluctant to turn on the feature, fretting perhaps about missing emergency calls or calls from family members or important associates. You need exceptions, right?

Right. Here’s how to address those situations when Do Not Disturb is enabled. From the Home screen, tap Settings→Notifications→Do Not Disturb. Tap the Allow Calls From option and choose whether to allow calls from your Favorites, Everyone (kind of defeats the purpose of Do Not Disturb, eh?), No One, All Contacts, or a particular Group Name from Contacts.

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You can also take advantage of the Repeated Calls option. When Repeated Calls is turned on, a second call from the same person within three minutes will not be silenced. The rationale is if somebody is trying to reach you that badly, it must be important.

Finally, you can also schedule when Do Not Disturb is on. Tap Settings→Scheduled; then tap the From To time field and choose a quiet time.

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