The iPhone 15 announcement this week will undoubtedly come with some displays of technological wizardry from Apple’s engineers. Most such enhancements improve the overall experience and aren’t something that you can choose to use. However, last year’s release of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max did bring one such feature: the Always-On display.
When it’s turned on in Settings > Display & Brightness > Always On Display, as it is by default, the Lock Screen is dimmed but not turned off, and the time, widgets, and notifications remain visible. Some people may want to turn the Always-On display off to avoid the distraction of looking at the screen when the phone isn’t in use, to prevent others from seeing items on the Lock Screen (though there are other controls for Lock Screen privacy), or to eliminate it as a possible battery drain (though it’s supposed to be extremely minimal).
So, for this week’s poll question, I’m asking iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max users, do you keep the Always-On display enabled or disabled for everyday use? What do you like or dislike about it, and if you turn it off, why? For those who don’t have an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, please do not respond to the poll, but you’re welcome to participate in the discussion.
I’m sure there will be those who toggle it on or off for specific purposes—answer the poll with the state that it’s in most of the time, and then tell us in the comments why you change your setting occasionally.
On your iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max, do you keep the Always-On display enabled or disabled for everyday use?
After using the Always-On display for some time, I ended up turning it off because I find that if my iPhone is on the table or desk in front of me and I can see the Lock Screen, I’m much more likely to get distracted and pick it up randomly. Having the screen remain black prevents that.
As I’ve realized, however, I’m utterly incapable of not reading things within my field of view, so people who are less laser-focused on text might not find something to read in front of them as distracting.
I don’t have an iPhone 14, so I can’t legitimately answer this survey, but my Android phone (an old Galaxy S7) offers an always-on display. I have always disabled the feature. Mostly because I don’t want my phone wasting my battery by keeping a screen lit when I’m not looking at it. It may not be a lot of power, but waste is waste, and as the phone’s battery gets older, that waste will become significant - affecting the amount of time I can go between charges.
I have it enabled, but the battery life on the 14 Pro is so bad, its always in low power mode (which also turns off the always on display). So, effectively, I never use it (since my iPhone battery is so bad, I MUST use low power mode)
I have it enabled, why not when the phone is mostly on the charger during the day when I am working and in its holster when I am out and about, I do not pay much attention to it though. That said, my iPadPro is sitting right between my two MacBookPros (work and home) and I find I am almost always letting myself be distracted by the notifications that pop up regularly.
I have it on. I would rather have the phone provide me with glanceable information—time, date, weather, battery life, etc.—than to require me to pick it up and touch it to find that information. It would be like having a calendar or clock on the wall always being blank. That said, now that you bring it to my attention, I notice Always On isn’t Always On, in fact, it’s kind of Rarely On, because it isn’t present when the phone is in Lower Power Mode. And mine is in that mode frequently, so it often looks back at me blankly.
I leave it off most of the time, but turn it on at times when I need to have a clock handy at a distance (primarily when I’m in the shower). What’s annoying is that this setting is buried in the Settings app. I ended up writing a Shortcut to toggle the setting on/off; it sits on my Home screen for easy access. I’m not quite ready to share it, as I haven’t yet figured out how to provide an indication that the setting is switched on or off.
When I got my 14 pro I thought I’d be turning off this feature, but it stayed on because I began to realize just how often I would tap my phone screen just to see the time. Now, I don’t have to because it’s always there.
Can’t respond to the poll (with iPhone 11 in hand), but wondered for those of you who have the feature: can the “Always On” display be customized distinctly from the Lock Screen? (That is, can you have essential info like time and weather on Always On, but Lock Screen notifications when the phone is fully powered?) Asking for a friend who is wondering if I, I mean they, should upgrade.
I have Always on when I am using the iPhone as my camera and doing a concentrated period of shooting say in crowds, on streets, etc. Having on saves delays in taking shots. I also have it on when I am uploading files to Dropbox.
Otherwise I set to 4 minutes as I have found setting tomAlways On does drain the battery.
I have it turned on, but ignore it. The phone is in the Apple wireless charger when not in use, so I don’t care.
I used to have it on but turned it off. It seemed like it was draining the battery a little too quickly but it could have been my imagination.
Lock Screen can be on REALLY all the time?
Now I do have Auto Lock turned off (I use the phone as a bedside clock), and use the phone’s side button to force sleep before dropping it into my pocket. When I do so, I see the Lock Screen, but only for a few minutes.
Then whatever the phone is set for, the screen goes black
I love always on. Now I can use my iPhone as a clock when I’m doing something else on my iPad (like reading a book). I’ve no issues with battery life while using always on. Plus, my screen is a black & white of my wife. An extra bonus.
If your battery is bad, you should replace it under warranty. The 14 Pro is less than a year old, so the warranty will cover it.
I haven’t noticed any power drain with the always-on display.
There could be some app that is draining power. An app that “phones home” over cellular would be a likely suspect. (Even if you have “unlimited” cellular service, the transmitter takes power.)
Initially I thought I have not much use for an always-on display, but it did turn out to be useful on some occasions:
- Tracking progress of delivery/ride request via widgets (e.g. Uber)
- Checking the timer and the time
When I do not need to use the display, then the phone is either facing down or in my pocket. In both cases, the display turns off. (How would I know, though?) The battery life is excellent, and far exceeds that of my iPhone 11 Pro.
p/s: I mentioned that I would not be upgrading my iPhone 11 Pro, only to do so not long after as my mother’s iPhone 6 Plus was a bit long in the tooth…
I turned it off after about two days - didn’t really see the point, though ymmv.
I’m surprised at the negativity. I love Always-On. It’s great for checking the time, the weather, battery of my various devices, timers and other background tasks, all on the Lock Screen without having to touch my phone. I’ve noticed zero battery hit to having it on, so why not?
This sounds like just an eye-candy “feature”. Maybe when Apple can have an iPhone battery hold a charge for several weeks it might become useful, but with the abysmal battery life of Apple’s iPhones, iPads, Watches, etc, it is a down right stupid “feature” to have.
Originally on, but switched off bc of battery and distractions. I turned it on after reading this. It’s nice to look at bc I have a photo shuffle as my wallpaper.