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Apple introduced many features and improvements in iOS 17, one of which is the StandBy mode. So, what is it, and how does it work?

StandBy is a mode that allows iOS 17-capable iPhones to work like smart home displays. Once positioned horizontally, the units will enter the mode to display different details of your choosing. It could be a clock, a digital photo frame, or a screen of widgets. 

To start, do the following:

  1. First, make sure that your StandBy in iOS 17 is enabled. You can go to Settings > StandBy. Toggle the button on to activate the mode. Under the new iOS 17.1 beta, Apple has added more options you can use, including display light settings.
  2. Connect your iPhone to a wired or wireless charger and rest it on its side. Make sure that your Rotation Lock in the Control Center is not activated.
  3. Keep the iPhone in its stationary position and press the side button to lock the phone and initiate the mode.
  4. Once StandBy is activated, you can choose the details you want to be displayed on the screen. StandBy has three sections you can choose from: widgets, photos, and clocks. To access them, just swipe left or right.
  5. You can also activate the Night Mode for StandBy so it dims to red, and the display won’t be intrusive while you are sleeping.
  6. For newer iPhone models (iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max), there is an option to use the Always On display, so the screen will stay on while under StandBy mode.

Now that your StandBy is activated, you can edit the details you want to view in the specific section you’ve chosen.

Widget Page

  1. When you swipe up or down on the widget page, you can choose the widget you want to view.
  2. To edit the widgets, you can tap and hold on them. Doing so will bring you to a dedicated UI for editing the StandBy mode. There, you can swipe up or down to view the selections of widgets. You can also tap the + sign at the top left corner of the screen to view other Apple widget options, including the ones from third-party apps.
  3. You can interact directly on interactive widgets, but tapping some widgets will give you an expand button directing you to their respective apps. Also, it is important to note that StandBy supports Live Activities, Siri, Music, and more.

Photo Page

  1. Just tap and hold the screen to change the photo you want to display on the StandBy mode.
  2. It will open a UI where you can set the image or album you want to use.
  3. To access more albums, especially your personal albums, just tap the + sign at the top left corner of the screen.

Clock Page

  1. In the clock section of StandBy mode, you can access different clock designs by swiping up or down.
  2. To customize the appearance of the clock, tap and hold the clock’s screen and tap the circle button on the lower right part of the screen. It will show you selections of color themes you can apply for the clocks.


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