It was a feature many iPhone users had been asking for forever since Apple started using OLED displays on the device. This year, Apple delivered what they had been asking for. But not many are pleased about it. We are talking about the “always on display” on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iphone always on display

The always on display feature has been available on Android devices for quite a while now. As its name indicates, it is a display that never actually turns off as long as the phone is switched on. Unlike many displays that go totally blank when they are switched off or inactive for a while, an always on display will keep showing you some information – be it the time or notifications. This feature is seen particularly in devices with OLED or AMOLED displays as each pixel on these displays can be controlled, thus ensuring that an always on display does not drain too much battery despite always being on. Wherever you see a phone that’s totally dark except for the time being shown on it, it is a fair chance that you are seeing an always on display or an AOD as some refer to it.

However, Apple’s implementation of this feature has led to mixed reactions. That’s because AOD on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max (the only phones to get the feature) is different from other brands. Apple, as usual, thought differently, and instead of showing just the time and some notifications on a jet black background, it actually made the time more prominent while dimming out the lock screen. The result is a very different AOD and one that is dividing opinion. Some like it, but many find it distracting and actually more like a slightly dimmed-out version of their normal lock screen, rather than a typical AOD screen with just the time and odd notification on it.

How to Fix iPhone 14 Pro Always on Display

The good thing is that with a few tweaks, you can get your “normal” AOD display on an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is what you need to do:

Step 1: Go to Settings, get some Focus

step 1

As with so many “how to” journeys, this one also starts from the Settings on your iPhone. Go to Settings, and once there, choose Focus.

Step 2: Get some profiling

step 2

Once in Focus, you will see different profiles like Do Not Disturb, Sleep, Personal, and Work. Pick anyone you want. We have gone with Do Not Disturb because it is the most popular. Once there, choose Options.

Step 3: Let there be darkness…or well, dimness anyway

step 3

You will now be in the Notification Options section. And the second option, Dim Lock Screen, is the one that will solve your AOD blues or blacks, whatever you choose to call them. Choose this option, and your iPhone 14 Pro (Max) will switch to a more conventional black and white look whenever the display is inactive for a while, provided the Focus profile you have chosen is active!

This is not a perfect solution, of course. It also results in a slightly dimmer lock screen and is active only when the Focus profile you have chosen is active. But as of now, it works.

Just make the lock screen jet black

Yes, there is a level of duhness about this, but you know what? It just works and is the simplest way of handling this for us. Just make the lock screen on the iPhone black, so even when it dims, it stays back! This is how you do it:

Step 1: Forget the settings, just press the lock screen and press

No need to mess with the Settings (you can if you wish, but we love simplicity). Go to the lock screen on your iPhone and press down on it.

Step 2: Customise and be positive

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Long pressing on the lock screen will show you a number of wallpaper and lock screen options that are available by default and some that you might have used. Do not worry about them. At the base of the display will be an option called Customise with a + sign next to it. Be positive and hit the + sign.

Step 3: Add new wallpaper, and get colorful

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You will now find yourself in the Add New Wallpaper zone. Scroll across the options at the very top and choose Color.

Step 4: Choose…darkness!

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You will now see a color palette on the lower part of the display. Be like Henry Ford and choose any color…as long as it is black. It will be the dot on the extreme right of the last row. When you choose it, you will see a scroll bar indicating the level of darkness you want. Yank it all the way to the right for most darkness. You will now come to a screen that shows different levels of black. Pick Solid. And then tap on Add.

Step 5: Darkness descends on AOD

step 5

You will get a chance to use this dark shade as both your homescreen and lock screen. If you are such a fan of the dark side, then choose Set As Wallpaper Pair. If, however, you want the homescreen wallpaper on your iPhone to have some more color, choose Customise Home Screen and tweak matters to your taste, and tap Done. In either case, you will have a black AOD with just the time in white on it.

The price you pay for this move is losing out on a more distinct lock screen, but then with great darkness comes…compromise!

Begone, AOD: how to turn off AOD altogether

If you find the AOD on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max too distracting in their normal state and are not in the mood to tweak Focus or tweak your lock screen, then perhaps it would be simpler to switch off the feature altogether. Once again, the process is simple:

Step 1: Get Settings, Go (to Display and Brightness)

As almost always, it starts with Settings. But this time, head to Display and Brightness.

Step 2: To be Always On or not is the question

step 2

In the Display and Brightness section, just scroll down until you see the option saying Always On. Turn it off. That’s it.

And that’s how you can tackle the AOD issues on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max at the moment. We so hope Apple will make it a whole lot easier with a software update in the coming days – maybe just make it black and white by default!

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