With iOS 16, Apple introduced a whole new look to the lock screen complete with widgets and customization, and in iOS 17, the lock screen is getting even more refinements. Widgets are more useful, and there’s a new mode that turns your iPhone into an information hub when it’s not in use.
This guide highlights all the new features of the lock screen in iOS 17.
StandBy is a screen lock mode that activates when an iPhone is connected to a charger and positioned horizontally (or landscape). It works with a MagSafe charger, which is probably the most convenient way to use it, but it also works with a Qi-based wireless charger or Lightning charger.
If you have an Apple Watch, it’s similar to Nightstand mode, but it does more than Nightstand mode is capable of.
There are several StandBy screens you can choose from, some of which are customizable and some of which require your iPhone to be unlocked.
- Double stacks of widgets – With this StandBy screen, you can cycle through the widgets of your choice. You can set up two separate widget stacks with multiple home screen widgets, displaying two sets of information side-by-side. You can customize the widgets in each stack and swipe individually on each side to edit them.
- Photos – One of the Standby screens shows the contents of your Photo Library, with the current time superimposed on the top right corner. You can see the photo’s date and location if you tap, and using this requires the iPhone to be unlocked so that no one can see your images without your permission. You can swipe to switch between themes like Favorites, Nature, Pets, Cities, and People. You can hide the themes you don’t like and add more albums.
- Time – Time standby screen shows the time and information such as current time, date or when the next alarm is set. Digital or analog time can be selected, and four digital themes are available including standard digital, world, solar, and floating. Float shows the time in large bubble numbers in customizable colors, Solar has more than a standard font with a sun flare design in different colors, and World shows the time with a world map and your current location highlighted. Analog theme has customizable accent colors and Digital has bold numbers with different color options.
With all these StandBy screens, you can swipe left or right to switch between three view options, then swipe up and down to choose what to display. So if you’ve set up several time displays, for example, you can swipe to switch between digital and analog.
Incoming notifications will be displayed in full screen when your iPhone is in StandBy mode. So if you receive an iMessage, for example, it will appear with the person’s name and a Messages icon to let you know you have a message.
Content that wouldn’t normally show in a notification won’t appear in Standby mode unless you’re nearby and have unlocked your device with Touch ID or Face ID.
In any of the StandBy screens, you can long press to open options to customize what you see. Long press on one of the widgets on the widget screen, for example, and you can choose the widgets you want to see.
There are customization options for just about every StandBy display option, and it’s worth scrolling and long-pressing where applicable to change the setup to suit your needs.
Standby always active
With iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max (and future iPhones), StandBy is more useful thanks to the always-on display. StandBy content is always on and active on these devices, without the need to interact with the iPhone.
On iPhones without always-on display technology, you need to tap the screen to activate it because it turns off after a short time. You can use StandBy with all iPhones, but it’s a better experience with the always-on display.
Lock screen widgets were introduced with iOS 16, but in iOS 17 they are interactive, which makes them much more useful. On iOS 16, tapping a Lock Screen widget launches the companion app, but this step isn’t necessary for some widgets that have tasks you can complete without an app.
For example, you can check off a task directly in the Reminders widget or use the Home widget to control a smart home device without opening the Home app. Apple apps have interactive features and third party developers also have an API to adopt interactivity.
Interactive widgets are available on your lock screen and Home screen, so they can do more wherever you’re using them.
to know more
Learn more about the new features in iOS 17 in our iOS 17 roundup.
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