That’s why I don’t use Standby mode in iOS 17

Standby mode is one of the most important features introduced in iOS 17. For those unfamiliar with it, this addition allows you to turn your iPhone into a kind of smart display when you load it in landscape mode. So, for example, when you place your iPhone 14 sideways on a MagSafe charging stand, it’ll display a large clock, calendar, weather forecast, and other widgets you can customize. It can also surface photos, live activity, the Now Playing screen, and more. Despite being a worthwhile offer, though, I’ve stopped using it on my iPhone 14 Pro.


The landscape controls on iOS are awkward

iOS 17 standby mode

Standby mode was designed for when you put your iPhone aside and leave it charging. It also has a night mode which is based on more subdued colors for when your room is dark during the night hours. So technically you shouldn’t be using your phone when Standby mode is on. And that’s exactly my problem with it.

I’ve tried using Standby mode a few nights in a row, while leaving my iPhone on the nightstand to charge every night. But that wasn’t working for me as I often reply to last minute messages or check my notifications while falling asleep. Using my iPhone in landscape orientation is awkward because the display is quite tall and the OS wasn’t designed for primarily landscape use.

iphone 14 pro max always-on display

Plus, the always-on display shows the time, date, weather, and other lock screen widgets at all times, and because it’s in portrait orientation, I can easily check notifications and reply to messages while my iPhone is charging . And when I randomly wake up during the night, I can more easily see and identify what kind of notifications I have.

Standby mode, in my opinion, enlarges the lock screen of the always-on display and makes it less practical. Users who don’t often check their phones as they charge will probably appreciate the bigger fonts, clearer graphics, and richer widgets, but it won’t work for everyone.

Standby makes more sense on iPadOS

the 2021 12.9-inch iPad Pro on a Magic Keyboard with the Apple Pencil on a table.

The iPad is a different story, however, especially the iPad Pro models with larger displays. Unlike iOS, iPadOS is comfortable to use in landscape orientation. Not only does the screen have a more suitable aspect ratio, but the entire operating system works better in landscape. That’s why many users leave their iPads on stands horizontally or use them in that orientation with a keyboard accessory or case.

Unlike my iPhone, the iPad isn’t my primary device, so if it’s in Standby mode, I probably won’t feel the need to use it. And even if I did decide to use it, I wouldn’t have to unplug it or flip it to portrait orientation to use it since the OS works well sideways. Not to mention that Standby on an iPad would fit more widgets and support larger fonts due to the extra display space. After all, smart displays are usually closer in size to tablets than smartphones. Unfortunately, iPadOS 17 does not support standby.

Maybe next year?

iOS 17 standby mode at night

In recent years, Apple has introduced some iPhone-exclusive features that only come to the iPad a year or more later. These include the customizable lock screen, app library, home screen widgets, and the Health app. So while the iPad doesn’t support MagSafe, Apple could potentially introduce Standby mode in iPadOS 18 when the tablet is charging over a wired connection in landscape orientation. While I’m sure many iOS users will appreciate and use this feature on their iPhones, some others, including me, would prefer to stick with the always-on display.

What do you think of Standby mode in iOS 17? Are you going to use it? Let us know in the comments.

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