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Apple’s latest iOS beta gives you more control over the iPhone’s always-on display

Apple’s latest iOS beta gives you more control over the iPhone’s always-on display


You can turn off the wallpaper and notifications if you find them distracting.

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iPhone 14 Pro models side by side showcasing Apple’s new always-on display mode
The current version of the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display can be a bit... distracting.
Image: Apple

iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max owners could be getting more control over their phone’s always-on display. The latest public and developer betas for the upcoming iOS 16.2 includes toggles that let you hide the wallpaper and notifications while using the feature, according to reports from MacRumors and 9to5Mac.

Turning off both with always-on activated will make it so you just see a clock and your lockscreen widgets when your phone is locked, according to an image tweeted by 9to5Mac editor Chance Miller. On the currently shipping version of iOS, it’s all or nothing; you can have the always-on display that’ll show a wallpaper and notifications, or you can turn it off, leaving your phone’s screen blank when it’s locked and asleep, the way iPhones always have worked.

Since its launch, the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display has struck some as a little odd. While there are surely some people that enjoy having their wallpaper always glowing at them (with accurate colors, despite the dimmed appearance), a lot of reviewers found it to be a bit distracting. “I would prefer a Pixel-style black and white clock to something that sort of looks like my phone is awake all the time,” said The Verge’s Nilay Patel in his review. “I hope we see some customization options here in the future.”

It seems like Apple’s heard that feedback and is working on making that a reality, though it is worth noting that a feature showing up in a beta isn’t 100 percent confirmation that it’ll ship in the final OS. Fingers crossed that it does, though, and that the next feature on Apple’s to-do list is an option to switch the tap / long-press behavior for apps in the Dynamic Island.

If you want to try out the always-on display controls for yourself, you can sign up for the public beta following this guide here — though of course your millage may vary when running an unreleased version of the OS.

Update November 16th, 2:52PM ET: Updated to reflect that the always-on display options are now available in the public beta.