Apple finally brought AOD technology to the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, but it's not as good as it should be. Here's how you can make it better.

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

Sorry, but I don’t think Apple’s new always-on display for the iPhone 14 Pro series is very good.

The feature was just introduced this year to the iPhone, but always-on display technology has been around for years on Android devices.

On the Samsung Galaxy S22, for example, AOD exists as an entity separate from your usual lock screen, showing you limited information, such as the date and time, while your phone is still asleep. It works almost like a productivity feature, allowing you to quickly glance at your phone for what’s important, without sucking you in.

And that’s what an always-on display should be, in my opinion.

However, on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple has redesigned what the always-on display is supposed to be, for better or worse, depending on who you ask. 

In Apple’s iOS 16 envisioning, the always-on display is essentially a dimmed version of your lock screen: The date and time are illuminated, but you can also still see notifications pile up at the bottom of the screen and your wallpaper a tiny bit.

For some people, that sort of always-on display feature might be perfect. It lets you see what’s going on, without having to tap your screen or wake your phone up.

But here’s the big “but” for me. If you look at the always-on display as more of a productivity feature, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max miss the mark. To me, it’s a bit too distracting, with all of the notifications that pile up and wake up the screen, and simply too damn bright, which is a problem if you have your iPhone on your nightstand while you’re trying to sleep.

Fortunately, you can fix both of these issues by toggling on a certain feature, which not only makes most of your display completely black, but it also stops all notifications from distracting you — and it’s more obvious than you think.

How to make your iPhone’s always-on display darker on iOS 16

In order to make your always-on display darker and less distracting, we’ll be using Focus, which helps to reduce distractions by silencing most notifications on your iPhone, like Do Not Disturb, while allowing separate profiles and customization.

In the Settings application, go to Focus and then choose a profile: Do Not Disturb is the easiest option, but you may also select Personal, Sleep or Work. In whatever Focus profile you choose, hit Options and then toggle on Dim Lock Screen. Whenever this specific profile is enabled, your lock screen will be dimmed at a level that’s darker than usual.

You can choose Do Not Disturb or any other Focus profile. Nelson Aguilar/CNET

To turn on your Focus profile, swipe down from the top-right of your screen to bring down the Control Center, and then either tap on Do Not Disturb (if you used that profile) or hold your finger down on Do Not Disturb to bring up your other Focus profiles. 

After picking the proper Focus profile, your iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max’s always-on display should now be entirely black, showing you only the date, time and Do Not Disturb icon.

If you want to learn more about the iPhone 14, check out our review of the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max and a cheat sheet for everything you need to know about the iPhone 14 series.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature in iPhone 14 Saves a Stranded Man’s Life

Emergency SOS via Satellite connectivity is exclusive to the iPhone 14 series.

View more: Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature in iPhone 14 Saves a Stranded Man’s Life

iPhone 15 to use a significantly better camera sensor

Over the past few weeks, there have been several reports regarding the iPhone 15 series. This series is so popular because it will come with a lot of “new” features and designs. According to recent reports, the next-gen iPhone will have a much better camera sensor. The rumour alleges that ...

View more: iPhone 15 to use a significantly better camera sensor

Top 8 Ways to Fix Outlook App Not Syncing Emails on iPhone

Microsoft Outlook provides an excellent email experience even on mobile devices. However, like any other app, Outlook has its fair share of problems. One of them is when Outlook fails to sync emails on your iPhone. The Outlook app may fail to sync data for various reasons, but the good ...

View more: Top 8 Ways to Fix Outlook App Not Syncing Emails on iPhone

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Shortage: Shipments Likely To Be 15-20 Million Less During Holiday Shopping

Apple iPhone 14 Pro series, which sports the new Dynamic Island design, continues to face a massive shortage. And this time, it has gotten worse than it initially seemed. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo disclosed that the high-end iPhone might see lesser shipments than earlier expected this coming holiday season. (Photo ...

View more: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Shortage: Shipments Likely To Be 15-20 Million Less During Holiday Shopping

Manpower woes at Foxconn’s ‘iPhone City’ may cut shipments of Apple’s handsets by a fifth this holiday quarter

Apple could ship 20 per cent fewer smartphones this holiday quarter than previously expected, as the world’s largest iPhone factory, operated by Foxconn Technology Group in the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou, struggles to keep up with production under a Covid-19 outbreak. Despite the company’s efforts to keep assembly ...

View more: Manpower woes at Foxconn’s ‘iPhone City’ may cut shipments of Apple’s handsets by a fifth this holiday quarter

This is the only way to get an iPhone 14 for Christmas

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are impossible Christmas gifts at this point. You’ll have a hard time getting one of the two devices in time for December 25th. And if you do, then you might compromise on the color, storage, or both. But the iPhone 14 and iPhone ...

View more: This is the only way to get an iPhone 14 for Christmas

Apple Highlights Accessibility Features on iPhone, Mac, and More in New Ad

Apple today shared a new ad titled “The Greatest” that highlights accessibility features available on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. Namely, the ad demonstrates the Door Detection, Sound Recognition, and Voice Control features on these devices. “At Apple, we believe accessibility is a human right,” the video ...

View more: Apple Highlights Accessibility Features on iPhone, Mac, and More in New Ad

Apple Will Ship Fewer iPhone 14 Pro Devices than Expected

Disruptions in Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro production mean the company will ship fewer units in Q4 than first predicted.

View more: Apple Will Ship Fewer iPhone 14 Pro Devices than Expected

How to prevent the iPhone sleep & wake button from ending calls

Bethesda Is Working On Another Mobile Game

Chrome on iPhone and iPad Has a New Incognito Mode Feature

Instructions on how to listen to music on Youtube when the screen is off on Iphone, Android smartphones

iPhone City Lockdown Is Over: Foxconn Woes Reportedly Cost Apple $1 Billion per Week

Instructions for 3+ ways to make videos as iPhone and Android phone wallpapers

Apex Legends Mobile Named as iPhone Game of the Year at 2022 App Store Awards

Streets of Rage Composer is Making a Brand-New Game... for the Sega Genesis

These Are the Most Annoying Things About Your iPhone (and How to Fix Them)

iOS 16.1.2 Update for iPhone Released with Improved Cellular Carrier Compatibility

How to Turn Off VPN on iPhone

Apple iOS 16.1.2 Update Optimizes Car Crash Detection for iPhone 14 Pro Models

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News