I’m annoyed at how much I love iOS 17’s StandBy mode — here’s why

iOS 17
(Image credit: Future)

iOS 17 is soon to launch following iPhone 15’s announcement later today, and there’s one feature that I feel a little embarrassed to say is my absolute favorite.

You see, among the many new additions that enrich the whole experience, it’s probably one of the more gimmicky features to be introduced — StandBy Mode. Let me tell you a little bit about my experience that quickly converted me from a skeptic to a lover of this full blown nightstand mode.

Life on StandBy

Belkin Charger and iOS 17 Standby Mode

(Image credit: Future)

For the uninitiated, StandBy Mode gives you a full-screen nightstand-esque experience. Simply slap your phone on a MagSafe charger and turn it sideways and you’ll be presented with a full screen set of widgets — from a simple clock to Live Activities, favorite photos or even Smart Stacks to get access to a whole host of information at once.

In a sea of new features from iOS 17, this has quickly stood out as my most used thanks to my charging stands in the kitchen, bedroom, and on my desk. While I can talk about some functional reasons why, such as its ease of use and presentation, the key reason why I love it comes down to removing a distraction.

Now I’m just being honest here, people, and if my manager reads this, I’m sorry. But with my phone placed on my desk, it becomes all too easy to grab it and check notifications — resulting in yet another TikTok wormhole. However, with the screen being used in StandBy mode showing me what notifications come in as I go, I find it so much easier to just glance and carry on with my work.

Simple yet effective

StandBy Mode is another one of those features where Android devices brought it to the table, before Apple swooped in and made it work oh so smoothly. It’s also a little frustrating because there’s so much more good stuff going on in iOS 17.

Live Voicemail is great for avoiding people you don’t like, creating personalized contact posters is a lot of fun, and the changes to AirDrop make it a game changer. But yet, out of everything I use, StandBy mode is probably my most used (and favorite) feature of the bunch — even though it is one of the smaller additions.

Jason England
Content Editor

Jason brought a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a writer at Laptop Mag, and he is now the Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He takes a particular interest in writing articles and creating videos about laptops, headphones and games. He has previously written for Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.