StandBy mode turns your iPhone into a customizable display clock with iOS 17

Sometimes less is more, and that may be what Apple was thinking when they came up with the StandBy feature in iOS 17.

It turns your iPhone into a clock.

Yes, you read that correctly. A clock.

While there is a perfectly accurate clock on your lock screen, this one is akin to the bedside clocks of yore and brings easier-to-read clocks to any room where your phone is plugged in.

As an alternative, it also includes non-clock options you can use as a display. You can opt for a full-screen photo or a split-screen displaying widgets.

The new display options are customizable, and it has a night mode to use comfortably in a dark room, without disrupting sleep.

Watch this video to see how simple it is to use standby mode.

iOS 17 Sideways clock

To activate StandBy mode, plug in your iPhone and turn it on its side.

That’s it!

It might take a moment, but it will automatically transition into a clock.

You can customize it by swiping up or down to change the look and style of the clock.

If display clocks aren’t your thing, there are options!

Swipe sideways for full-screen photos and to see what widget options are available.

Once you land on your preference, swipe up and down to toggle between even more options.

If you have the iPhone 14 Pro or later, the screen will stay on if you use the Always On display setting. For other devices, it will go to sleep but can be awoken by tapping the screen or jiggling the surface it’s sitting on.

To turn the StandBy feature on or off,

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Tap Standby

  3. Toggle on or off

This is also where you'll find the option to toggle night mode.

To use this feature, your iPhone must be running iOS 17 or later.

How to change the StandBy clock

The displays in StandBy mode can easily be customized.

To change the color of a clock, long press on it, then tap the white dot.

This will show you the color combinations available.

You can change as many of the clock faces as you want by swiping up and down before tapping Done.

Long pressing on the full-screen photo option or widgets lets you choose which photos are (or aren’t) used and the widgets you do or don’t want.

Your device may require the passcodes before any changes can be made.

How to download iOS 17?

To download the new software, click on the Settings icon on your phone.

Tap General, then tap Software Update. This should show you any available updates that your phone has.

If the update won’t install, it could be due to your phone not having enough space.

Check how much storage your phone has by tapping on iPhone Storage in the General menu.

This will also provide suggestions for places you can clean out to make room, like emptying your recently deleted pictures folder.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: iOS 17 StandBy mode turns your iPhone into a clock