How to automate iPhone always-on display

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How to automate iPhone always-on display


After debuting with the iPhone 14 Pro last fall, Apple continues to improve its always-on screen with software updates. The latest capability is the option to automate iPhone’s always-on display with iOS 16.4 that’s now available for all users.

After launching without much flexibility, Apple released the first always-on display customizations with iOS 16.2 in December. That allowed users to turn off colored wallpapers and notifications from the always-on screen.

Now with iOS 16.4, Apple has made it possible to schedule/automate when iPhone always-on is enabled via Focus Filters.

How to automate iPhone always-on display with Focus Filters

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max running iOS 16.4
  2. Choose Focus > pick an existing Focus or create a new one
  3. Swipe down and under Focus Filters tap Add Filter
  4. At the bottom choose the new “Always On Display”
  5. The default will be to turn it on, tap Add in the top right corner
  6. To automate this, make sure you have either Smart Activation on or a schedule set for the Focus you’ve added always-on to (just above Focus Filters)
  • You can also tie the always-on on/off filter to different Lock Screens by linking them with a Focus mode (long-press on your Lock Screen > tap Focus)
  • Jump into another Focus mode and set always-on to off to automate the feature
automate iPhone always-on display 1

Always-on display Shortcuts

You can also set up control of the always-on display in the Shortcuts app – which offers Siri support:

  • Open the Shortcuts app
  • Tap the + in the top right corner
  • Choose Add Action
  • Use the search bar to find “Set Always On Display”
  • Tap the blue Turn or On buttons to customize what will happen when you run the Shortcut
  • Tap Done in the top right corner to add your new Shortcut

Thanks for checking out our guide on how to automate iPhone always-on display! Does this make the feature more appealing to you? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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