What is the StandyBy or Nightstand Mode on iPhone?

The StandBy mode (or Nightstand Mode) transforms your iPhone into an intelligent display suitable for use as a nightstand. Among the notable features introduced with iOS 17 are an enhanced Phone app featuring Contact Posters and Live Voicemail, a fresh NameDrop functionality in AirDrop facilitating easy exchange of contact information, and a brand-new Journal app simplifying on-device journaling with personalized suggestions based on recent user activity.

 

How to Enable StandBy mode/Nightstand Mode

To enable StandBy on your iPhone running iOS 17, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings: Locate and tap the Settings app icon on your Home Screen to open the Settings menu.
  2. Navigate to StandBy: Within the Settings menu, scroll down and tap on the StandBy entry.
  3. Turn on StandBy: On the StandBy screen, you’ll find a toggle switch next to StandBy. Slide the switch to the right to turn on this feature. Beneath the switch, iOS 17 provides a brief description of what StandBy does: “StandBy will turn on when iPhone is placed on its side while charging to show information like widgets, photo frames, or clocks.”
  4. Customize StandBy Settings: Additionally, the StandBy page in Settings offers customization options:
    • Night Mode: Enable Night Mode to have StandBy change colors using a red tint in low ambient light conditions. This can help prevent disruption from the StandBy feature while you’re sleeping.
    • Show Notifications: Choose whether StandBy should display notifications you receive on your iPhone.
    • Show Preview on Tap Only: By default, notification previews are visible. However, you can opt to hide their content and only view it when you tap on them.

By following these steps, you can ensure that StandBy is enabled on your iPhone, allowing you to take advantage of its convenient features and customization options.

 

Usage and Functionality

The StandBy mode/Nightstand Mode activates automatically when the iPhone is charging and positioned in landscape orientation. It facilitates convenient viewing of information on the iPhone’s screen, including time, calendar, widgets, and even photos, tailored to the user’s preferred settings. While available on any iPhone compatible with iOS 17, the iPhone 14 Pro models offer an additional benefit with their always-on display, ensuring StandBy remains visible on the screen and automatically dims to red at night to avoid disturbing the user’s sleep. On other iPhone models, users must tap the screen to access the StandBy mode.

While numerous third-party nightstand apps on the App Store display a clock on the screen, StandBy enhances the experience by offering additional useful options. Depending on the location, users may opt to display only the time in various aesthetic styles on a nightstand, or incorporate features like calendar, weather, or a slideshow of favorite photos when placed on a desk or kitchen counter.

StandBy also serves as a full-screen music player, showcasing the currently playing track and album artwork. Although the music player isn’t among the StandBy views, users can access it by tapping the three dots at the top of the screen to play music from their preferred app. Additionally, StandBy supports Siri, Live Activities, and incoming calls, with widgets on the screen supporting Smart Stacks, ensuring relevant widgets are displayed at the appropriate time of day.

It’s important to note that StandBy will not function if the iPhone is laid flat or positioned vertically while charging. When using a MagSafe charger, StandBy will remember the user’s preferred view and display accordingly. Unfortunately, StandBy is not available for the iPad, despite the larger screen potentially offering a superior smart display experience.

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