StandBy mode is iOS 17's best forgotten feature, and it works great with this bedside Qi2 stand by ESR

ESR iPhone Charging Stand
(Image credit: Future)
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Rise and shine! What usually happens when you wake up first thing in the morning? An alarm? Is there a pet waiting to be fed? Or a child wanting to watch more Bluey episodes? For me, it’s waking up and looking at my iPhone in Standby mode — a forgotten feature from iOS 17.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing what this feature is — WWDC 2023 was mostly about Apple’s Vision Pro headset. But when iOS 17 was announced at the same keynote last year, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Craig Federighi, made a big deal about how your iPhone could be used as a souped-up alarm clock that could also show your Calendar, your Photos, and the Weather, all from StandBy mode.

To enable it, you have to put an iPhone running iOS 17 in landscape mode and then plug it into a charger. This can be done either with a wired connection or through its MagSafe charging feature at the back, then iOS will suddenly change the iPhone’s display into something that looks like an enlarged widget.

I’ll admit — I forgot about this feature for a while. It wasn’t until I attached my iPhone to Anker’s MagGo PowerBank in landscape mode last week that the feature suddenly jumped out at me. Good timing too, as this was around when ESR sent me a QI2 3-in-1 charging stand. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to see how StandBy could improve my iPhone’s bedside manner.

The Big Breakfast Wakeup Call

ESR iPhone Charging Stand

(Image credit: Future)

Before using this stand, I’d use a USB-C cable to charge my iPhone 15 Pro Max while I fell asleep, just so it was fully charged by the time I’d be up the next morning. This method worked, but I couldn’t charge my AirPods Pro 2 — nor could I quickly glance at my iPhone without using Face ID to unlock the iPhone’s display.

This all changed once I started using ESR’s 3-in-1 Wireless Charging stand. When I snapped my iPhone to its MagSafe charger, StandBy mode instantly appeared on my iPhone and I had a souped-up bedside display.

The Photos app showed me photos of my son, and the Calendar app helpfully surfaced upcoming events. As a bonus, with this stand, I’d watch YouTube videos as the iPhone was attached to the stand, so I didn’t have to keep holding my iPhone in my hand as before.

The stand also has a feature that lines up well with my dissolution with the Apple Watch. In May, I’d simply had enough of the wearable. watchOS 10 was a terrible update in regards to functionality — moving Control Center to a physical button was its worst feature in my opinion. But above all, I was just sick of the constant taps I’d get on my wrist from Slack, WhatsApp, and Stand Goals from Apple’s Fitness app. ESR’s stand has a detachable Apple Watch charger, I can pretend that Apple’s wearable doesn’t exist even more thanks to this feature.

Apple, can you please remember StandBy?

iOS 17 image showing StandBy

(Image credit: Apple)

It’s thanks to both Anker’s MagGo PowerBank and ESR’s Qi2 charging stand that I can now appreciate how useful StandBy can be for my iPhone.

I’d love to have seen some improvements to StandBy in iOS 18, such as Live Photos that could play during a slideshow and more customization options to change up the look of StandBy displays, similar to what’s being offered on the Home Screen in iOS 18.

Regardless, I’m happy to bear the lack of improvements for this year. StandBy with ESR’s charging stand is a fantastic combination, and I’m going to make sure that the stand comes with me if I stay in a hotel in the future, just so I can have StandBy wherever I sleep.

ESR Qi2 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station | $89.99$59.99 at Amazon

ESR Qi2 3-in-1 Wireless Charging Station | $89.99 $59.99 at Amazon

A fantastic stand that can charge up to three of your Apple devices, and can switch on Standby mode with your iPhone, as long as it has iOS 17 and above.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use every day to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. His second book, '50 Years of Boss Fights', came out in June 2024, and has a monthly newsletter called 'Springboard'. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64, and Daily Star.