I Really Like IOS 17’s StandBy, But I Won’t Use It


I Really Like IOS 17’s StandBy, But I Won’t Use It

I can’t figure out where this would be useful


Photo of iPhone on MagSafe charger in Standby Mode
Photo by author

When I first saw the StandBy mode in IOS 17, I thought it was a cool feature. While it may be too soon to say for sure, I am now unable to think of any use case at all. Of course that’s me, not necessarily you, but let’s spitball this and see what we come up with.

Wait, what is it?

You have to be kidding — didn’t you watch Apple’s 2023 Keynote? Okay, for the two people in the whole world who didn’t watch it, it’s a photo viewer on steroids. No, that’s not right. It’s a photo viewer during the day, but a clock at night.

Well no, because it can also show widgets and weather and automatically show you reminders and calendar events as they draw near. You can control it with Siri if she’s in a good mood.

See why I thought it was cool? So cool!

But it isn’t

First, StandBy only works at all while it is plugged in to a charger or on MagSafe. Second, it only works well when used with a phone that has an Always-On display mode.

That second limitation means that it will display StandBy when I first plug my old iPhone 11 in (or put it on Magsafe), but will go dark as soon as Auto Lock kicks in. I suppose I could set Auto Lock to Never, but if this were my daily use phone, I wouldn’t want that, would I? That wouldn’t be a factor with my iPhone 14 Pro, but it eliminates a whole pile of other iPhones from StandBy usefulness. Maybe that could be fixed with Focus modes?

I’ll use the 14 Pro. The 11 is only for beta testing and other abusive uses. So I’m okay even if a lot of other folks will not be and it is all about me, right? Yeah. Always about me. Thanks, Apple, I love me too!

But that charging thing? I get it, StandBy is going to draw some juice, so it needs to be plugged in. Sheesh, what am I supposed do, keep a MagSafe in every room and move my phone around the house?

You know what would be better?

StandBy is conceptually good. It works well on my Siri watch face now and the next WatchOS will be even better with scrollable widgets. I just don’t think it’s all that on a phone. Music player? I have HomePods. Night clock? I have that and my watch. Smart photo, weather, schedule display? Yes, yes, yes, but not on the phone.

No, give me something inexpensive that plugs in, is phone-sized, and gives me these features. Let it have intercom, room occupancy, and temperature sensing. Price it around $50 and I’ll buy several. Maybe make it a smart switch as well? Yeah, smart switch with a screen. Clock, alarm. time to leave warnings, all that. Super Siri in a Box, yes. Maybe even worth $100, maybe a little more.

Yeah, give me that, Apple. I want that.

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