The Do Not Disturb setting is an iPhone option that allows users to disconnect -- or at least partially disconnect -- from the world when desired. An iPhone in Do Not Disturb mode will generally be silent, allowing the phone owner to sleep, work, or pursue their lives undisturbed by the ringing of the phone or the pinging of incoming emails and text messages.
Do Not Disturb in iOS 7
The Do Not Disturb mode in iOS 7 is slightly different from previous versions. In iOS 7, users have the option of making the phone completely silent, or only partially silent, while in Do Not Disturb mode. Once the iPhone is set to Do Not Disturb, it will automatically silence all the incoming calls and alerts. However, it will only do so while the phone's owner is not actively using the iPhone. If the iPhone is unlocked and the screen is on, all those calls and alerts will continue to sound. With the introduction of iOS 7, a new Do Not Disturb option is available: Under the "Silence" option in the Do Not Disturb menu, users can now select "Always" rather than "Only When iPhone is Locked" to insure that the iPhone will stay silent at all times.
Do Not Disturb in iOS 6 and Earlier
In iOS 6 and earlier versions, the Do Not Disturb mode, once enabled, only worked when the iPhone was locked and not in use. The Do Not Disturb mode would completely silence the phone; however, anytime that the phone was in use, or anytime that the phone was unlocked -- even if not in use -- incoming texts and calls would not be silenced.