What is Standby mode in iOS 17: iPhone smart display feature explained

Apple has announced a new StandBy mode for iOS 17, which will show users various pieces of information when the device is docked in landscape mode.

The brand new display mode can effectively be a nightstand mode or just a way to see snapshots of info while the phone is docked on their desk. Effectively it’s much like the Apple Watch’s nightstand mode, with a lot more at the user’s disposal on the larger iPhone display.

It is designed to act like a smart display, showing the time and date, as well as the temperature and any alarms you may have set. Notifications and widgets, for example from the Calendar app or smart home devices, are also integrated.

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However, there’ll also be updates from your live activities, like timers you may have set, deliveries you’re expecting or sports scores you’re keeping tabs on.

It’ll also incorporate contextual Siri suggestions based upon your regular activity. There’ll also be the opportunity to customise the style of the experience and which apps and notifications you’d like to see within StandBy mode.

Announcing the feature on stage at WWDC 2023, Apple software chief Craig Federighi said the glanceable mode is designed to be viewed from a distance.

Judging by the video demonstrations from Apple during the WWDC keynote, it also appears there’ll be a special MagSafe-compatible dock stand. We’re assuming that Apple will announce the price and release date of this dock in due course, but it doesn’t appear to be entirely necessary. The StandBy mode experience looks like it can be displayed when the device is plugged in and in landscape mode.

Elsewhere in iOS 17, Apple announced a rare of new calling, FaceTime and messaging features, as well as a brand new Journal app. The operating system will be available this autumn, but betas will be available through the summer.

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