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iOS 17: How to Use iPhone’s New StandBy Mode

by Kyle Meranda

StandBy: A New Lock Screen Mode in iOS 17

Apple’s iOS 17 introduces a new feature called StandBy, which is a lock screen mode that activates when an iPhone is charging and positioned on its side. This article will provide you with everything you need to know to get started using this feature.

StandBy can be thought of as a smart display for your iPhone that offers fast access to different screens of glanceable information, which can be useful when your device is charging on a kitchen counter, desk, or nightstand. For those who charge their iPhones at night, StandBy adapts to low light and takes on a red tone.

While StandBy mode is available on all iPhone models that support iOS 17, the ability to use StandBy mode’s always-on feature is limited to iPhone 14 Pro models. To activate StandBy, your iPhone needs to be locked and charging on a MagSafe or Qi-based wireless charger, or a Lightning charger. Remember that the iPhone needs to be fixed in a stationary horizontal position and positioned at an angle, so a charging stand is usually necessary.

StandBy is enabled by default, but you can enable or disable it manually by going to Settings -> StandBy and toggling the StandBy switch.

StandBy is composed of three screens that can be accessed by swiping horizontally on your iPhone’s display. The first screen displays interactive widgets, the second showcases individual photos from your Photos library, and the third is a large clock.

The widgets screen consists of two interactive widget stacks displayed side by side that you can swipe through independently. These stacks resemble blown-up versions of Home Screen widget stacks and include options such as Smart Rotate and Widget Suggestions. Many widgets have interactive elements, allowing you to perform tasks like ticking off to-do items in a Reminders list. Tapping on a non-interactive widget, such as the Calendar, will display an arrow indicator that takes you to the associated app when tapped, preventing accidental launches.

To customize a widget stack, long-press on it. After Face ID has unlocked your iPhone, the stack will center on the screen in jiggle mode. You can add widgets to the stack using the + button in the top left and enable or disable Smart Rotate and Widget Suggestions using the buttons on the right.

StandBy’s photos screen is also interactive and customizable. Tapping the location/date of a photo activates Face ID and takes you to the image in your Photo Library. By default, StandBy displays featured photos and memories from your library. However, a long press on a photo and Face ID unlock allows you to swipe between specific themes, such as Nature, Pets, Cities, and People. You can also add specific albums to be displayed and hide themes that you don’t like.

The third screen of StandBy shows the time and date in various themes that you can swipe through vertically. Some themes also display additional information such as the temperature or your next alarm. Pressing and holding on a clock allows you to switch between different themes, including Digital, Analog, World, Solar, and Float. Each theme offers unique design elements and customizable options.

Incoming notifications, live activities, and Siri results are all displayed in full-screen mode while your iPhone is in StandBy mode. For example, if you receive an iMessage, it will pop up with the name of the person and the Messages icon to notify you. However, content that would not typically appear in a notification will only display if you are nearby and have unlocked your device with Touch ID or Face ID.

Additionally, StandBy includes a MagSafe-related feature that allows your iPhone to remember your preferred screen and widget configuration based on the location of your charger. For example, you might prefer to use the widgets screen in the office and the clock screen on your nightstand. However, this feature is not yet functional in the latest iOS 17 beta, but Apple plans to release updates that address this issue in the future.

In conclusion, StandBy is an exciting new feature in iOS 17 that enhances the lock screen experience when your iPhone is charging. With its convenient access to glanceable information, interactive widgets, customizable photos display, and various clock themes, StandBy adds value to your iPhone usage.

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