It looks like iOS 17’s StandBy mode might not need a MagSafe charger after all

iPhone on MagSafe charger showing off StandBy mode with iOS 17.
(Image credit: Apple)

Out of all the new features that Apple showed off for this fall's iOS 17 update, nothing grabbed our attention as much as the new StandBy Mode coming to the iPhone. In particular, during the WWDC 2023 keynote, we noticed the StandBy demo seemed to infer that the feature could only be accessed when the iPhone is on a MagSafe charger and positioned horizontally. Well, it looks like that may not be the case.

iOS 17 beta testers who've grabbed the developer beta of the software update indicate that StandBy doesn’t require MagSafe charging. Instead, all that’s necessary to get into this mode is to charge the iPhone and position it in landscape. 

The feature apparently works with wired charging, too, using the Lightning port, which would be good news for everyone — especially anyone who don’t own a MagSafe charger.

Interestingly, Apple’s own press release on iOS 17 seems to validate this interesting tidbit we heard from beta testers. It reads as the following: "iOS 17 introduces StandBy, giving users a full-screen experience with glanceable information designed to be viewed from a distance when iPhone is on its side and charging."

WWDC 2023

(Image credit: Apple)

Considering the amount of times we saw the iPhone on a MagSafe charger during the brief StandBy demo at WWDC 2023, the takeaway assumption was that it would  be exclusive to MagSafe. That  may not be the case but there does seem to be one featured tied to MagSafe — "When charging with MagSafe, StandBy remembers a user’s preferred view," Apple's press release says. Apple executive Craig Federighi also mentioned that during his iOS 17 presentation.

This apparently will be the only exclusive for those using MagSafe chargers. Besides that, beta testers also have told us that the iPhone needs to be propped in landscape at no less than a 45-degree angle to initiate StandBy; the feature won’t work if you place the iPhone in landscape and lay it flat on a surface.

With the iOS 17 public beta expected in July, we’re really hoping that accessing remains the same. It means you won’t have to fork the money to buy a new MagSafe charger. Rather, you can use your usual Lighting cable and somehow prop your iPhone at enough of an angle to activate StandBy.

The StandBy feature is just one of the additions Apple has shown off in iOS 17. Other iOS 17 features include new capabilities in the Phone, Messages and FaceTime apps, interactive widgets, a new Journal app and new ways to access Siri.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.

  • david.vh
    What is the name of the MagSafe charge stand in Apple's promotional picture?

  • david.vh
    Twelve South Forté for MagSafe Charger
    I imagined the $39.95 stand to be silver aluminum. Instead, it's white with a grey post.

    The detachable Apple MagSafe Charger is great - at an additional $39. I wish the cord didn't enter from the bottom, leaving it visible while an iPhone is in landscape mode.