Enable black-and-white always-on display mode

The iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display doesn’t work like most Android phones’ always-on display (consisting mostly of black pixels with an always-on clock). It works more like the Apple Watch, where the always-on mode is almost identical to the default lock screen – the same colorful wallpaper and information-rich widgets, just toned down.

Many people who got their hands on the new iPhones were surprised by this. In fact, some early reviews suggest turning off the always-on display feature entirely because it was too distracting. However, it turns out that there is a hidden way to try a black and white always-on screen on your iPhone…

The trick to getting a black and white always-on screen right now is to use a long focus mode setting called “Dim Lock Screen”. This has the effect of turning the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max completely darker in always-on mode.

How to always activate black and white lock screen

To enable this, navigate to Settings -> Focus -> [select focus mode] -> Settings -> Enable Mute lock screen. Now, when this focus mode is enabled, the Dim Lock Screen option will be in effect. When your iPhone 14 Pro goes into always-on display mode, the entire lock screen turns into a simple black and white mode.

In this mode, the always-on display shows the date and time in a white font (plus any widgets you’ve selected) … and nothing else. Any custom wallpaper or image on the lock screen will be completely blacked out. This is actually the “mostly off” always-on mode that many reviews asked for.

Unfortunately, enabling this setting has some drawbacks. For starters, it’s only available with a focus mode — you’ll need to be in a focus mode all day long if you want the black-and-white, always-on display permanently. The focus mode status sticker is then also visible at the bottom of the lock screen.

More significantly, enabling Dim Lock Screen also changes your lock screen while the iPhone is awake. It blurs and blurs your wallpaper. After all, the intended purpose of this Focus-related feature was to darken your lock screen and make your iPhone less appealing when you’re supposed to be concentrating on other things.

These drawbacks mean that recent feature requests asking Apple for always-on customization options are not irrelevant. Ultimately, what people want is a way to change the always-on lock screen without affecting their normal lock screen. However, this solution serves as a good proof of what the hypothetical function could look like.

If you want to turn off the always-on display completely, you can already do it: See this guide.

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William

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