The latest iOS 17 update brings a host of exciting enhancements to familiar features for iPhone users. However, it’s the introduction of StandBy mode that truly sets this update apart, granting your iPhone newfound capabilities as a smart screen while it rests.
StandBy mode comes to life when your iPhone is being charged, allowing you to check the time, browse through photos, and explore widgets from your lock or home screens.
The best part is, it’s incredibly simple to use and configure. Although StandBy mode is available on all iPhones running iOS 17, devices equipped with MagSafe and always-on displays will undoubtedly maximize its potential.
As a fortunate tester of the iOS 17 public beta, I had the opportunity to experience StandBy mode firsthand.
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In this comprehensive overview, I’ll walk you through the ins and outs of StandBy mode, including supported features and customization options.
How it Works in iOS 17?
One of the brilliant aspects of StandBy mode is that you don’t need to do anything beyond charging your iPhone and propping it up horizontally.
Once these conditions are met and your phone is connected to a power source or a wireless charging stand, StandBy mode automatically activates.
While it’s possible to lean your iPhone against a stack of books to activate StandBy mode, using a MagSafe stand offers a more secure and optimal experience, preventing any accidental tipping that could disrupt the mode.
To make the most of iOS 17’s StandBy feature, we’ve curated a selection of MagSafe chargers that are perfect companions for this mode.
How Can I Set Up StandBy?
StandBy is enabled by default, so you won’t need to take any additional steps to activate the feature.
However, if you wish to make adjustments, simply launch the Settings app and navigate to the StandBy section.
From there, you can choose whether to display notifications in StandBy mode and enable Night Mode, which adds a red tint for enhanced visibility during late-night hours.
Additionally, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max users can determine whether StandBy mode utilizes their devices’ Always On Display feature. If you find that StandBy mode isn’t your cup of tea, you can disable it entirely in the Settings menu.
For a comprehensive guide on how to set up StandBy, stay tuned. We’ll delve into the customization of individual screens as we explore the different modes available in StandBy.
What Are the Different Modes in StandBy?
StandBy mode offers three distinct views:
Widgets: This mode splits your iPhone display in half, showcasing two widgets side by side. By default, an analog clock and a monthly calendar highlighting the current date are displayed. However, as we’ll discuss later, you can select alternative widgets and swipe vertically to cycle through the ones visible in StandBy mode.
Clock: In this mode, a full-screen clock is presented, allowing you to choose from various designs according to your preference.
Photos: Displaying a rotating slideshow of images stored on your iPhone, this mode provides not only the time but also the location and date of each photo.
To switch between the different StandBy modes, simply swipe left or right on the screen.
What Widgets Are Available in StandBy’s Widget Screen?
Currently, StandBy mode widgets are limited to built-in iPhone apps. However, it is anticipated that app developers will have the opportunity to create their own StandBy mode widgets, similar to those available for the iPhone’s home screen.
Here are some of the apps featuring StandBy widgets:
- App Store: Get daily stories and app profiles that you can tap to read.
- Batteries: Monitor your iPhone’s charging percentage.
- Books: Access your current books and audiobooks.
- Calendar: Choose from various widgets displaying the day, month, and upcoming events.
- Clock: Select from five different clock styles.
- Contacts: Quickly access your favorite contacts.
- Find My: Opt to display the location of objects or people.
- Game Center: Stay updated on your friends’ recent gaming activity.
- Home: Control accessories or scenes associated with the Home app.
- Maps: Receive suggested destinations and track your estimated time of arrival when using StandBy mode in a vehicle.
- Music: View the currently playing song or recently listened-to tracks.
- News: Stay informed with headlines on top stories and your chosen topics.
- Notes: Access specific folders or notes or create a quick note.
- Photos: A thumbnail of a featured photo or album will be displayed.
- Podcasts: See your Up Next queue in StandBy mode.
- Reminders: Keep your tasks and to-dos within reach.
- Safari: Access your reading list.
- Screen Time: Track your daily screen activity.
- Stocks: Create a watchlist for companies or monitor specific stocks.
- Tips: Discover helpful tips and tricks for your Apple devices.
- TV: Stay updated on what’s next in your viewing queue.
- Wallet: Track orders or check your Apple Card balance.
- Weather: Receive a forecast widget displaying the current conditions in your location.
To adjust the widgets that appear, tap the desired half of the iPhone screen you wish to customize.
A “Plus” button located in the upper left corner allows you to browse and add widgets from the above list to a stack. You can also enable smart rotation for your selected widgets.
Additionally, iOS 17 introduces support for interactive widgets, extending to StandBy mode.
This means that if you have a widget such as Reminders displaying your current tasks, you can mark them as completed directly within the widget, causing them to disappear.
What Clocks Are Available in StandBy?
StandBy mode offers five distinctive clock styles:
- Analog Clock: Resembling a classic clock, it displays the numbers 3, 6, 9, and 12, along with hour, minute, and second hands. The date appears to the right of the clock’s center.
- Digital Clock: Provides a digital readout of the time, accompanied by the date and current temperature.
- World Clock: Highlights your current location alongside the corresponding time. It also showcases sunrise and sunset information from around the world.
- Solar Clock: Offers a unique visual effect with a solar flare-like design, available in various colors of your choosing.
- Float Clock: Boasting a distinctive appearance with cartoon-like digits, this clock adds a touch of whimsy to StandBy mode.
All clocks, excluding the World Clock, allow you to adjust the gradient color of the display. Simply tap and hold on the clock, then select a small circle on the right side of the screen to modify the color scheme.
How Can I Select Which Photos Appear in StandBy?
By default, StandBy mode retrieves images from the Featured album in your Photos app. Alternatively, you can opt for photos featuring nature, pets, cities, or people. These photos are automatically selected using advanced AI technology.
For more control over the images displayed, press and hold on the Photo screen, then tap the Plus button located in the upper left corner.
A strip of albums from your Photo library will appear, allowing you to select alternative albums.
Keep in mind that there may be a slight delay before the newly selected albums appear in StandBy mode, which is likely to be addressed in future beta updates.
Does Siri Function in StandBy?
Absolutely! With the introduction of iOS 17, a new feature enables you to activate Siri by simply saying “S
iri.” Apple’s digital assistant springs to life, ready to fulfill your commands. This is particularly convenient if you find yourself far from your iPhone, as Siri can still assist you from a distance.
Do I Need an iPhone with an Always-On Display for StandBy?
Technically, StandBy mode is accessible on any iPhone running iOS 17, as long as it’s in a horizontal position and charging.
However, the experience is undeniably enhanced with an always-on display. Without this feature, your phone will enter sleep mode after approximately 20 seconds, even when in StandBy mode.
As a result, you won’t be able to view your widgets or photo slideshow, depending on the selected mode.
What Other StandBy Features Should I Know About?
In addition to the previously mentioned setup options, StandBy mode offers several noteworthy features:
- Night Mode: StandBy can be configured to activate a night mode, tinting the display red when ambient lighting is dim. This red glow ensures optimal visibility while minimizing distractions, allowing for more restful sleep. StandBy mode also detects motion during the night, automatically waking up to display the time when you get out of bed.
- Live Activities: When engaging with Live Activities, they appear in full-screen mode, making them easily viewable from across the room.
- Incoming Calls: StandBy mode showcases the contact poster of incoming callers, taking advantage of yet another iOS 17 feature.
- Live Voicemails: If your iPhone is unlocked, StandBy mode displays Live Voicemails in real-time as they appear on your screen.
One of the most intriguing features of StandBy mode is the introduction of “MagSafe memory.”
When using a MagSafe charger, StandBy mode remembers the mode you last used in a particular location.
For example, if you have a MagSafe charging stand in your living room, you can set StandBy mode to default to the photos mode.
In case you have a second charger in your bedroom, you can customize it to display only the clock. StandBy mode will remember these preferences accordingly.
Although I currently possess only one MagSafe charger and cannot test this feature thoroughly, I look forward to exploring it further throughout the iOS 17 beta process.
StandBy Mode: A Promising Future
While iOS 17 is still in its beta phase, StandBy mode stands out as one of the update’s most refined features.
Moreover, its potential is fully realized when paired with an iPhone equipped with an always-on display.
Hopefully, Apple will extend this capability to a broader range of iPhones in the future, enhancing the user experience for all.