iPhone StandBy: Full screen function while charging in landscape mode

With standby it was switched off iOS 17 introduced a new way to access information quickly and easily from the lock screen while the device is charging. It is primarily advertised in conjunction with MagSafe accessories, but it can also be used when charging the iPhone via cable. The only important thing is that it is positioned horizontally. In addition to the large-scale display of the time, widgets, music playback, calendar information and appointments, app content and live activities can be displayed via standby on the Apple iPhone. Depending on the location – office, living room, bedroom, etc. – different content and settings are suitable.

Image source: Apple.com
Image source: Apple.com

Activate standby on the iPhone: This is how it works!

If you have updated your Apple iPhone to iOS 17 or newer, it is possible that the standby setup will be suggested to you directly. If you don't want to spend time on this for now, you can discard this option for now and set up StandBy in the settings later. And it goes like this:

  1. Opens the Settings on your Apple iPhone
  2. Choose the point in it standby from
  3. Activates the first one Switch next to “Standby”
There is a new menu item in the iOS settings on the Apple iPhone for standby.
There is a new menu item in the iOS settings on the Apple iPhone for standby.

As you can see in the screenshots, there are additional switches in the menu shown. You should activate “night mode” if you want to use standby on the bedside table. Thanks to it, the display is dimmed and displayed monochrome with red content on a black background. This way you won't be blinded when you check the time in the dark. I would deactivate the third switch for bedside use, because who wants to be disturbed by notifications at bedtime? The other way around, i.e. without night mode and with notifications, you could use StandBy e.g. B. use in the office or living room.

Try standby on the iPhone: charge it and put it on the side

Whether with a MagSafe accessory or with a cable, if you put your iPhone on its side while charging after activating the standby switch in the settings, the display will be filled accordingly. Depending on your iPhone, this may take a short time and the regular lock screen may be displayed beforehand. Especially if the iPhone doesn't have an always-on display (so far only on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max as well as at iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max available), switching from lock screen to standby display may take a while.

This is what the first standby screen can look like when you display the music and calendar widgets. Swipe left to view photos. Swipe left again to display a full-screen clock.
This is what the first standby screen can look like when you display the music and calendar widgets. Swipe left to view photos. Swipe left again to display a full-screen clock.

Problem: iPhone StandBy shows CUP as city and incorrect time

I noticed an error when I tried StandBy for the first time. Instead of the city I was actually in, it said CUP (short for Cupertino) and the corresponding California time are displayed. This problem had nothing to do with the iPhone's time zone settings, but rather with the clock widget on the standby screen. To customize, you have to hold your finger on the watch, tap the clock widget, change the city and confirm. The correct time will then be displayed. Here everything again as step-by-step instructions with screenshots: iPhone StandBy shows wrong time/city – here’s the solution!

Apparently not a rare problem: iPhone StandBy shows Cupertino (CUP) and the wrong time. You can set your own city and time zone by adjusting the clock widget.
Apparently not a rare problem: iPhone StandBy shows Cupertino (CUP) and the wrong time. You can set your own city and time zone by adjusting the clock widget.

Incidentally, the post was viewed more than 17.000 times within a week. So it seems to be a common problem. I don't know the reasons for the incorrect time being displayed. However, I have the following theories:

  • When programming the function, Cupertino was used to try it out and then forgotten to implement an option to automatically adjust the time.
  • The clock widget cannot access iPhone settings (location, time zone, etc.) because it is displayed above the lock screen. The device is therefore locked and therefore does not reveal the necessary data for the automatic adjustment.
  • But it could also be intentional in order to force the user to engage with the standby widgets (which I don't believe so much).

Customize the standby screen: This is how it works!

Let's move on from problems and their possible causes to the actual use of the new feature. As already shown, it can be used for different purposes. Apple has also stated that the iPhone can remember different MagSafe charging stations and their locations in order to automatically adjust the respective standby display - e.g. B. Clock and calendar widget for the bedside table, calendar and music widget for the office, smart home stuff for the living room and so on.

To make adjustments and personalize the standby screen to your needs, connect the iPhone to a charger and turn it to landscape format. Calls up the lock screen (e.g. deactivate the display using the side button and then activate it again) to call up the standby display. You can then place your finger on one of the display contents to call up the widget overview. To use this, you will probably need to unlock the device (via Face ID or the unlock code).

Here you can add widgets to the list (for swiping up and down) and remove others. Tap individual widgets in the list to customize them even further.
Here you can add widgets to the list (for swiping up and down) and remove others. Tap individual widgets in the list to customize them even further.

Now you can choose from a pre-made list of widgets or add additional content using the plus symbol (+) at the top left. You can remove them using the minus symbol (–) on the widgets in the list. Once you have added the required content to the list and removed the unneeded content, tap “Done” at the top right. On the standby screen you can then swipe up and down to switch between the widgets and app information.

If you remove widgets from the list, the associated apps remain untouched. The change only affects the display of information on the standby screen.
If you remove widgets from the list, the associated apps remain untouched. The change only affects the display of information on the standby screen.

As in the preview: Only show one clock via iPhone StandBy

Apple touted the standby function on the iPhone with various content during the iOS 17 presentation, among other things. Included was the full-screen display of the time, which also in the official instructions for the standby function is shown. If you want to use these instead of widgets and their numerous information as a simple representation of the current time, then swipe the display twice from right to left. Because StandBy consists of three separate displays:

  1. Widgets (as explained above) as the left screen
  2. Photos from the photo album as the middle screen
  3. Full screen clock as right screen
By default you will see widgets. But if you swipe to the left, you will see photos, and again to the right there is the full-screen clock. Their dial can be changed and customized.
By default you will see widgets. But if you swipe to the left, you will see photos, and again to the right there is the full-screen clock. Their dial can be changed and customized.

Interestingly, I am first asked for the unlock code for the second screen so that the photos can be accessed at all. This shows that privacy is taken into account here. But it also makes the feature a bit pointless. Regardless, I don't understand the random display of photos on the iPhone display anyway. So let's move on to the clock.

In order to view photos, access must first be permitted.
In order to view photos, access must first be permitted.

On the third standby screen (far right) you will finally find the full-screen clock. If you hold your finger on this again, you will come to the dial selection. In addition to the pointer clock and a few others, there is also a world display with the position of the sun and, as the last display option, the “floating”, bold and rounded numbers. These playful-looking numbers, like some of the other options, can be color-adjusted by tapping on the color wheel shown in the preview at the bottom right.

If you hold your finger on the third standby screen, you can choose your favorite watch face. Some can be visually customized.
If you hold your finger on the third standby screen, you can choose your favorite watch face. Some can be visually customized.
This dial is used to advertise Apple's iPhone StandBy. You can customize it with different colors and color combinations.
This dial is used to advertise Apple's iPhone StandBy. You can customize it with different colors and color combinations.

Standby on the iPhone: This can be done better

If you work a little and try things out, you'll eventually find the right widget selection and watch face display for iPhone StandBy. What I've always noticed negatively is the fact that the iPhone has to be unlocked to edit and view photos. So you have to rotate it to use Face ID. Or you have to enter the unlock code if the corresponding input field is displayed. This takes away the convenience aspect that it is supposed to offer.

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.

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