iOS 17 introduced a new standby mode Without Charging feature that turns your iPhone into a smart display when placed on its side and connected to a charger. Standby mode shows glanceable information like weather, calendar events, notifications, and more. However, some users may want to use standby mode without having their iPhone plugged in. Here’s what you need to know about activating standby on iOS 17 without a charger.
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When iOS 17 standby mode was first announced, it was presented as a charging-only feature – your iPhone would need to be connected to a lightning cable, MagSafe charger, or Qi wireless charger to activate.
The idea is that when your iPhone is charging on your desk or nightstand, it can serve as a helpful smart display, letting you quickly check information with just a glance.
However, for some users, having to plug in their iPhone every time they want to use standby mode is an inconvenience. The question is – can you activate standby on iOS 17 without connecting a charger?
Attempting to Activate Standby Mode Without Charging
When you first try to activate iOS 17’s standby mode without connecting a charger, you’ll find that it simply doesn’t turn on. Placing your iPhone on its side does nothing. There is no setting to enable a battery-powered standby.
I attempted to activate standby with the iPhone off the charger and had the following results:
- Placing iPhone on side: No standby mode
- Force pressing power button: No standby mode
- Adjusting Settings: No setting to enable non-charging standby
It appears the current standby mode is hardcoded to require power from the lightning port, MagSafe, or Qi charging. Without providing one of those charging connections, standby will not activate.
Could a Jailbreak Enable Battery-Only Standby?
Jailbreaking an iPhone gives full access to the iOS file system and settings, allowing users to deeply customize their devices. Could a jailbreak tweak enable using iOS 17’s standby mode without the charger?
Currently, there are no iOS 17 jailbreaks available to the public. iOS jailbreaking has become increasingly difficult in recent years as Apple tightens security. At some point we may see an iOS 17 jailbreak, but it’s unlikely in the near future.
If an iOS 17 jailbreak is eventually released, developers would likely investigate hooks to activate standby mode without charging. However, it may prove complicated since standby relies on a persistent charging connection to display always-on content. Battery limitations could lead to very short standby times.
For now, there is no publicly available jailbreak that could enable a battery-powered standby mode on iOS 17. But customization of system features is one benefit of jailbreaking, should one release in the future.
Alternative Standby Mode Options
Since iOS 17 does not currently allow using standby mode without the charger connected, what are some alternatives to get standby-like functionality? Here are a few options:
Access Siri Suggestions
When your iPhone is locked, you can access Siri App Suggestions by swiping from one edge of the Lock screen. This shows predictive content from apps like weather, maps, calendar, and more.
While not a full standby mode, Siri Suggestions provide quick glimpses of relevant data without unlocking your phone. Enable Lock Screen Siri Suggestions in Settings for glanceable info without charging.
Set Up Always-On Display
The Always-On Display debuted on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, showing basic lock screen content at all times. This provides standby-like visibility into date, widgets, wallpaper and notifications.
While limited to the iPhone 14 Pro series for now, Always-On Display offers a way to see key data without charging your iPhone. Expect the feature to expand to more models eventually.
Use a Dedicated Smart Display
If you like the idea of a smart display for quick info, consider purchasing a device dedicated for that purpose, like an Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub. These work great as bedside docks and don’t rely on your iPhone.
Setting up a standalone smart display ensures access to glanceable info without worrying about your iPhone’s battery life or position. It also keeps notifications private and doesn’t disturb your phone.
As it stands currently, there is no method to activate iOS 17’s convenient Standby Mode without connecting your iPhone to a charger. For full standby functionality, you’ll need to have your iPhone positioned on its side and powered via lightning, MagSafe, or Qi wireless charging.
Until Apple potentially expands standby capabilities down the line, your alternatives for quick info without charging include using Siri Suggestions, iPhone models with Always-On Display, or purchasing a dedicated smart display.
While charging standby mode may seem limiting compared to an always-on, battery-powered version, there are some benefits. Requiring a charger connection encourages keeping your iPhone docked and charged when not actively using it. This can actually improve overall user experience.
In the future, we may see tweaks enabling limited standby functionality on battery alone. But for now, the streams of glanceable data will flow only when juice flows into your iPhone as well.
Comparison of Standby Activation Methods
|iOS 17 Standby Mode
|Yes, when charging
|No, shows when swiping Lock Screen
|Always-On Display (iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max)
|Yes, limited content
|Smart Display (Echo Show, Nest Hub, etc)
|No, separate device with own battery