iOS 16.4’s new Focus Filter lets you turn the iPhone’s Always-On display on or off

A new Focus Filter in iOS 16.4 allows you to automatically turn the Always-On display setting on or off when using a specific focus, like Driving, to avoid distractions.

iPhone screenshots showcasing a new Focus filter in iOS 16.4 for toggling the Always-On display feature
iOS 16.4’s Always-On display Focus Filter | Image: Federico Viticci/Mastodon
  • What’s happening? iOS 16.4 brings a new Focus Filter for automatically turning off the iPhone’s Always-On display when using a specific focus.
  • Why care? Now your Work focus, Driving focus, or any other focus mode you create can be set to automatically toggle your iPhone’s Always-On display.
  • What to do? Install the iOS 16.4 beta now to try out the new Focus Filter or, preferably, wait until the update is publicly released in a few weeks.

iOS 16.4’s Focus Filter lets you toggle Always-On display

The Always-On display feature on the iPhone 14 Pros dims your Lock Screen wallpaper and lowers the refresh rate to just 1 Hertz to use minimal power.

iOS will automatically turn off the Always-On display when certain conditions have been met, like when a Sleep focus is active or an iPhone is lying facedown.

Before iOS 16.4, you couldn’t automatically toggle the Always-On display via the Focus Filters feature. iOS 16.4 makes this possible by adding an Always-On display toggle to the list of available Focus Filters. For those wondering, the Focus Filters feature makes it possible to automatically configure compatible apps or toggle certain device features, such as Dark Mode, whenever a specific focus is active.

How to use the Always-On display Focus Filter

If you have the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max with iOS 16.4, be sure to make use of the new Always-On display action in your Focus Filter settings.

  1. Open the Setting app on your iPhone.
  2. Choose Focus from the root menu.
  3. Select the desired Focus to add a filter to.
  4. Scroll down to the Focus Filters section, then hit Add Filter.
  5. Touch Always-On Display in the System Filters section.
  6. Select whether your iPhone’s Always-On display will be enabled or disabled while using this particular focus, then hit Add in the top-right corner.

Feel free to assign this filter to your Driving focus to minimize distractions while behind the wheel. Or, you could add it to your Work focus to boost your productivity.

Other Always-On display perks in iOS 16.4

Not everyone likes to have an Always-On display on all the time. With the new Focus filter in iOS 16.4, you can now tie the Always-On feature to a specific focus.

Another new feature in iOS 16.4 makes it easy to toggle the Always-On display setting when triggered by a specific event or location—as iDB reported earlier, iOS 16.4, iPadOS 16.4 and macOS Ventura 13.3 finally enable you to turn the Always-On display option on and off in your Shortcuts automations.

Also, iOS 16.4’s battery settings might show how much battery the Always-On display consumes, per code hints discovered by 9to5Mac.