Standby Mode on the iPhone 14 Professional changed my Google Nest Hub | Digital Noch

Standby Mode on the iPhone 14 Professional changed my Google Nest Hub | Digital Noch

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

I’ve spent the previous few years assembling my supreme good dwelling. Extra importantly, I’ve invested a lot money and time to make sure that most of my dwelling automations run with out consumer intervention. However there are nonetheless some cases, like once I’m sitting at my desk, the place having a management floor turns out to be useful.

Whereas the Raspberry Pi powering my House Assistant backend sits tucked away in my server closet, I’ve obtained a Google Nest Hub that occupies prime actual property on my desk and acts as a management heart for controlling good lights, followers, music, and podcast playback, all whereas serving up pictures from my Google Images library.

Google's second-generation Nest Hub displaying photo wallpaper.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Nevertheless, a lot as I like my Nest Hub, it has been fairly clear to me for some time that it’s beginning to present its age. The lagging software program and really iffy voice management have been a continuing stress level recently. Moreover, Google’s fixed elimination of options has me involved about shifting priorities throughout the firm. Lastly, the Nest Hub occupies a sizeable chunk of desk actual property for the restricted quantity of use it will get.

I’ve been on the lookout for an answer that might assist me streamline my setup with out dropping performance. When Apple launched Standby Mode on iOS 17, it instantly struck me as a possible resolution for my good dwelling dilemma. Recently, I’ve been all in regards to the minimal life. I need to maximize what I do with my current devices as a substitute of gathering toys that not often get used, and Standby Mode on the iPhone 14 Professional might doubtlessly assist me get there. Might Apple’s always-on standby mode actually change a devoted gadget? There was just one option to discover out.

Would you change your good show with a Standby Mode-like possibility on a telephone?

108 votes

Standby Mode’s steep worth of entry

iPhone 14 Pro standby mode widget selection

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

I’m often cautious about switching out tech that already works for me, however within the case of Standby Mode, I made a decision to leap off the deep finish. Contemplating my iPhone 14 Professional sits on a MagSafe charger all day, I had nothing to lose. After all, I used to be below no delusion that Standby Mode can be a drop-in alternative for an inexpensive Nest Hub. The truth is, the steep $ 1,000 price of entry to even get entry to the function places this squarely within the realm of nice-to-have addons for current customers.

I used to be below no delusion {that a} $1000 telephone is supposed to interchange an affordable Nest Hub, however might it’s a profitable alternative for present house owners?

However since I had an iPhone 14 Professional working the iOS 17 beta and a spare MagSafe charger available, I did the apparent factor — disconnected my Nest Hub, propped up my iPhone on an affordable desk stand, and began my little experiment.

Restricted, however purposeful performance

Let me preface this by saying that Standby Mode on iOS 17 is extraordinarily restricted by design. I’m not making an attempt to justify its limitations, however Apple clearly doesn’t need you to assume that its software program is something greater than a widget hub. The onboarding course of consists of choosing a number of widgets, and that’s about so far as you may customise issues. You received’t be manipulating recurring alarms or swiping throughout a number of UI parts right here. Clearly, it could possibly’t be used as an Airplay goal, both. For my use, these limitations didn’t matter as a lot. I’ve spent years within the good dwelling sport, and my use circumstances have developed to cowl simply the necessities. So long as it could possibly show pictures and management my music and my good dwelling, it’s adequate for me.

Standby Mode takes Apple’s typical walled-garden strategy to ambient mode widgets, and is extraordinarily restricted by design.

Apple’s strategy presents you with a number of preselected eventualities that the corporate thinks would possibly swimsuit a quick-access show surroundings. This consists of a two-widget desktop pane the place you may have numerous clock choices or most first-party widgets. I used to be shocked by the dearth of assist for third-party widgets, as that might’ve drastically opened up the capabilities of Standby Mode.

In the meantime, the opposite half of the pane could be configured to put a calendar, climate, reminders, or your to-do record. Apple’s good solutions are additionally applied right here, and so they can helpfully toggle the widget relying on the time of day or an upcoming appointment. I desire to swipe by means of related widgets manually.

In comparison with my Nest Hub, this two-pane dwelling display screen setup has confirmed rather more helpful to me. I reside my life by means of to-do lists that get synced to my calendar, and having glanceable entry to that info was precisely what I wanted.

iPhone 14 Pro showing featured photos widget in Standby Mode

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Subsequent, a swipe to the suitable provides me entry to a rolling number of pics from my photograph library. My main telephone tends to be an Android gadget, and Google Images is my central repository of pictures, so I undoubtedly miss the higher number of photographs accessible on my Nest Hub.

Apple’s tackle the photograph body function provides you a number of completely different choices to mess around with. A people-centric tile pulls up photographs of your most popular contacts. Different choices embrace cityscapes out of your pictures, nature, and eventually featured photographs out of your native photograph library. It’s a far cry from Google’s album-based strategy on the Nest Hub, nevertheless it comes with the territory given Apple’s local-first strategy.

Siri telling a joke on iOS 17 Standby Mode

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Thus far, so good. Placing the good within the good hub is the voice assistant factor, after all. Let me be clear: I’m a Google Assistant religious, and I not often, if ever, use Siri. Nevertheless, this experiment necessitated utilizing voice controls, and I’m somewhat shocked by how nicely Apple’s much-maligned voice assistant labored. It’s actually not going to interchange Google Assistant’s smarts, however Siri has been completely able to pulling up related info like climate forecasts, controlling music, opening up apps, and, sure, even telling me the customary joke — all throughout the Standby Mode interface.

Music player controls on iPhone Standby Mode

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Nevertheless, my favourite function, which I exploit essentially the most, is the music playback interface. The Nest Hub, by design, can solely management music enjoying again on the hub’s inside speaker or different Nest audio system in a bunch.

Standby Mode affords the perfect implementation of ambient music controls throughout good dwelling ecosystems, and it is not even making an attempt to interchange them.

On the iPhone, nevertheless, I can use Spotify Hook up with launch playback on my Alexa-enabled amplifier or bed room soundbar and management it instantly from the Standby Mode interface. It shouldn’t be all that shocking because it’s simply utilizing the put in Spotify app for the function, nevertheless it’s a marked step up for my use case. Be it enjoying again a podcast on the iPhone’s speaker, utilizing Airplay to forged to my soundbar, controlling an Alexa speaker, and, by means of a little bit of a workaround, even a Google Nest speaker — Standby Mode turns the iPhone 14 Professional into essentially the most complete music management hub available on the market, with out even making an attempt to be one.

I even examined out Netflix playback from the ambient mode interface utilizing Siri. Apple clearly didn’t design the interface for such use circumstances, however Siri dropped me proper into the Netflix app, and I might simply faucet and launch the most recent blockbuster. It’s not all that completely different from the way you’d run Netflix on an Amazon Echo Present.

As for good dwelling controls, that’s the place issues get difficult. If you happen to’ve obtained a Homekit-enabled good dwelling, it’s doable so as to add Apple’s House widget to the desktop, supplying you with quick-tap entry to all of the necessities. If you happen to desire voice management, it’s also possible to use Siri to manage all of your good dwelling devices.

Full management over good dwelling tools requires entry to a Homekit hub like an Apple TV or Homepod speaker.

Sadly, nearly none of my good dwelling gear is Homekit-enabled. I exploit Homebridge to parse my good dwelling gear into Apple’s House app and assumed that Apple’s House widget would populate all my good dwelling equipment. Nevertheless, that’s not the case. The widget requires an official Homekit hub like an Apple TV or Homepod for full performance. So, for those who use a DIY resolution and like a touch-based interface to manage electronics, Standby Mode may not be an optimum match. For my use, although, Siri’s voice management might simply connect with my lights, followers, and thermostats over the Homekit bridge, and I didn’t discover the dearth of widget assist notably limiting.

An nearly supreme alternative — with caveats

iOS 17 iPhone standby feature

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

A few weeks of use later, it’s clear to me that, like all issues, Standby Mode’s utility comes all the way down to what you employ your good dwelling hub for. Apple’s number of use circumstances covers most issues I do with my Nest Hub, and I’m not planning to plug the latter again in. The comfort of propping up my iPhone in panorama mode on a wi-fi charger and dropping straight right into a standby display screen with a few widgets is precisely what I want for my desk setup.

I see Standby Mode on the iPhone 14 Professional as a handy addon for an workplace desk or nightstand the place you may not need one other gadget hogging desk house. In its present state, the function is already adequate to cowl a variety of floor, however I can see Apple progressively plugging away at it and including extra performance or increasing it to extra gadgets.

Standby Mode in iOS 17 is not a full-blown good show alternative, nevertheless it makes for a superb ambient show in your desk.

That mentioned, it needs to be fairly apparent that your telephone isn’t going to interchange an always-on ambient hub — particularly in a shared-use surroundings. Battery issues are additionally one thing to remember. Holding your telephone perpetually linked to a wi-fi charger can’t be nice for battery well being. After which there’s the matter of display screen actual property. The 6.1-inch display screen on my iPhone 14 Professional is serviceable once I’m sitting at my desk, nevertheless it undoubtedly isn’t seen from throughout the room. The identical interface, or higher, would make much more sense on an iPad. We’ve already seen the Pixel Pill doubling up as a Nest Hub, and I can see Apple engaged on the function as soon as it rolls out OLED-equipped iPads.

For essentially the most half, although, I’d name my experiment successful. Barring a number of hiccups with getting my good dwelling gear working, I’ve had no points utilizing Standby Mode as a Google Nest Hub alternative. The truth is, I desire the cleaner, smoother, and, dare I say, extra sophisticated-looking interface over Google’s good show. Would I like to recommend others to chuck their Nest Hub and splurge on an iPhone for the function? After all not. However for those who’ve already invested within the newest iPhone or are contemplating the iPhone 15 collection, Apple’s surprisingly forward-looking function is certainly price trying out.

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