The iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display is finally usable

The iOS 16.2 beta lets you scale it back substantially

Apple’s iOS 16.2 beta three has added two new key toggles to the always-on display (AOD) feature that’s available on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Now when you dive into your AOD settings, you can disable the wallpaper and notifications from appearing on the screen. This makes the Always-on display look more subtle, which I find less distracting. To test these settings yourself, you need to be in the iOS beta or wait until the stable iOS 16.2 drops.

If those conditions are met, jump into the Settings app > Display & Brightness > Always On Display.

One thing I enjoy about the AOD is it maintains the custom font and colour of your lock screen clock and widgets. It looks really nice, especially with some of the more ‘out there’ font choices. I do wish Apple would develop a more subtle way for notifications to roll through, but for now, I keep them turned off since they’re just too distracting.

Perhaps linking the AOD to Focus modes would be cool so you could set a notification type or contact group to be allowed to pop through the always-on display. One feature I do like on the AOD is the ability to see the now-playing information. It’s greyed out a bit to be less distracting, but it’s nice to always have play/pause controls handy.

Regardless, it’s nice that Apple is listening to feedback and providing people with more options to make the AOD less intrusive. Something that came up a lot when the phone was reviewed a few months ago.

It’s also worth noting this display shouldn’t impact battery life substantially. Apple says that it turns off the display when it detects its face down, in a bag, or when it’s being used for something like Continuity camera or has a Sleep focus turned on. You can read more about the setting on Apple’s support page.