Standby mode on the iPhone 14 Professional has changed the Google Nest Hub

Dhruv Bhutanese / Android Authority

I’ve spent the previous few years placing collectively my excellent sensible dwelling. Most significantly, I’ve invested numerous money and time in making certain that almost all of my dwelling automation runs with out person interplay. However there are nonetheless some circumstances, like after I’m sitting at my desk, the place having a management floor is useful.

Whereas the Raspberry Pi powering the house assistant backend is tucked away in my server closet, I’ve acquired a Google Nest Hub that occupies a central location on my desk and serves as a command middle for controlling sensible lights, followers, music and podcast playback, all whereas delivering Footage from my Google Photographs library.

Google's second-generation Nest Hub displays background images.

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Physique

Nonetheless, as a lot as I really like my Nest Hub, it has been very obvious to me for some time now that it is beginning to present its age. Lagging software program and really unstable voice management have been a continuing stress level recently. Moreover, Google’s continued elimination of options has me involved about altering priorities inside the firm. Lastly, the Nest Hub takes up a very good chunk of desktop actual property for the restricted quantity of use it will get.

I have been on the lookout for an answer that may assist me simplify the setup course of with out dropping performance. When Apple launched Standby Mode on iOS 17, it instantly struck me as a possible resolution to my sensible dwelling dilemma. These days, I’ve been occupied with minimal life. I need to maximize what I do with my current instruments somewhat than gathering not often used video games, and iPhone 14 Professional standby mode will doubtless assist me obtain that. Might Apple’s At all times On Standby actually exchange a devoted machine? There was just one technique to discover out.

Are you able to exchange your sensible show with a phone-like standby choice?

1 votes

Sharp entry worth in standby mode

iPhone 14 Pro standby tool selection

Dhruv Bhutanese / Android Authority

I am often cautious about swapping out expertise that truly works for me, however on standby I made a decision to leap in from the deep finish. Since my iPhone 14 Professional stays related to the MagSafe charger all day, I had nothing to lose. After all, I wasn’t below the impression that Standby can be such a straightforward different to a budget Nest Hub. In reality, the hefty $1,000 entry price to have the ability to entry the function places this squarely within the realm of good extras for current customers.

I used to be below no illusions that the $1,000 telephone was meant to exchange a budget Nest Hub, however might it’s a viable different for current house owners?

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

Restricted however significant performance

Let me preface this by saying that standby mode on iOS 17 may be very restricted by way of design. I am not attempting to rationalize its limitations, however Apple clearly would not need you to suppose its software program is greater than a widget middle. The setup course of consists of selecting just a few instruments, and that is so far as you’ll be able to customise issues. You will not be capable to fiddle with recurring alarms or scroll by way of a number of widgets right here. Clearly, it might probably’t be used as an Airplay goal both. For my use, these limitations weren’t of a lot significance. I’ve spent years within the sensible dwelling recreation, and my use circumstances have advanced to incorporate simply the fundamentals. And so long as it might probably show images, management music, and my sensible dwelling, that is ok for me.

Standby mode takes Apple’s typical walled-garden strategy to ambient mode instruments, and may be very restricted by design.

Apple’s strategy presents you with just a few pre-selected situations that the corporate believes may go well with the Fast Entry show atmosphere. This consists of a two-component desktop pane the place you may get numerous choices for the clock or most first-party widgets. I used to be shocked by the shortage of help for third-party instruments, as that may have opened up the standby capabilities vastly.

In the meantime, the opposite half of the pane will be configured to position your calendar, climate, reminders, or to-do listing. Apple’s sensible ideas are additionally applied right here, and may helpfully change the widget relying on the time of day or upcoming appointment. I favor scrolling by way of associated widgets manually.

In comparison with my Nest Hub, the two-pane dwelling display setup proved extra helpful to me. I stay my life with to-do lists that sync to my calendar, and fast entry to that info was precisely what I wanted.

iPhone 14 Pro showing the featured photo widget in standby mode

Dhruv Bhutanese / Android Authority

Then, swiping to the best offers me entry to a collection of images from my photograph library. My major telephone tends to be an Android machine, and Google Photographs is my central repository for images, so I positively miss the higher assortment of images accessible on the Nest Hub.

Apple’s Image Body function offers you just a few totally different choices to play with. Individuals-focused tiles pull up images of your favourite contacts. Different choices embrace cityscapes out of your images, nature, and eventually, featured images out of your native photograph library. It is a far cry from Google’s album-based strategy to the Nest Hub, nevertheless it comes with territory because of Apple’s home-first strategy.

Siri tells a joke on iOS 17 standby

Dhruv Bhutanese / Android Authority

To this point, so good. Placing sensible gadgets into the sensible hub is, after all, the element of the voice assistant. Let me be clear: I am a Google Assistant, and I not often use Siri. Nonetheless, this expertise necessitated the usage of voice controls, and I am considerably shocked at how effectively Apple’s voice assistant works. It definitely will not exchange Google Assistant intelligence, however Siri was completely able to pulling up related info just like the climate forecast, controlling music, opening apps, and sure, even telling me the same old joke—all inside a standby interface.

iPhone standby music player controls

Dhruv Bhutanese / Android Authority

Nonetheless, my favourite function, and one which I take advantage of loads, is the music playback interface. By design, the Nest Hub can solely management music playback on the hub’s inner speaker or different Nest audio system within the group.

Standby mode offers the most effective implementation of ambient music controls throughout sensible dwelling techniques, and it would not even attempt to exchange them.

On the iPhone, nevertheless, I can use Spotify Join to start out playback on my Alexa-enabled speaker or bed room speaker and management it proper from the standby interface. It should not come as a shock because it solely makes use of the Spotify installer for this function, nevertheless it’s a notable step for my use case. Whether or not it is enjoying a podcast in your iPhone speaker, utilizing Airplay to forged to my speaker, controlling your Alexa speaker, and with just a little workaround, even a Google Nest speaker — standby turns iPhone 14 Professional into probably the most all-in-one machine The music management middle in the marketplace, with out even attempting to be one.

I even examined enjoying Netflix from the Ambient Mode interface utilizing Siri. Clearly, Apple did not design the interface for these use circumstances, however Siri acquired me straight into the Netflix app, and I might simply faucet and play the most recent films. It isn’t fairly the identical as the way you play Netflix in your Amazon Echo Present.

As for controlling the sensible dwelling, that is the place issues get difficult. When you’ve got a Homekit-enabled sensible dwelling, it is attainable so as to add the Apple Residence widget to your desktop, providing you with fast entry to all of the necessities. If you happen to favor voice management, it’s also possible to use Siri to regulate all your sensible dwelling devices.

Full management of your sensible dwelling gear requires entry to a Homekit hub such because the Apple TV or Homepod speaker.

Sadly, nearly none of my sensible dwelling gear is Homekit-enabled. I take advantage of Homebridge to research my sensible dwelling gear in Apple’s Residence app and assumed that Apple’s Residence widget would populate all of my sensible dwelling equipment. Nonetheless, this isn’t the case. The software requires an official Homekit hub similar to Apple TV or Homepod for full performance. So, when you’re right into a DIY resolution and like a touchscreen interface to regulate your electronics, Standby won’t be fairly the best match. For my use, although, Siri voice management can simply hook up with lights, followers, and thermostats through the Homekit bridge, and I did not discover the shortage of gadget help significantly limiting.

An nearly excellent different – with caveats

iOS 17 get ready feature on iPhone

Dhruv Bhutanese / Android Authority

After a few weeks of use, it grew to become clear to me that the usefulness of standby mode, like all issues, comes all the way down to what you utilize your sensible dwelling hub for. Apple’s alternative of use circumstances covers a lot of the issues I do with the Nest Hub, and I do not plan to reconnect the latter. The comfort of propping my iPhone up in panorama mode on a wi-fi charger and dropping it proper into the standby display with a pair of widgets is strictly what I want for my workplace setup.

I see standby mode on the iPhone 14 Professional as a handy accent for a desk or nightstand the place you won’t need to burn up numerous desk area on one other machine. In its present state, this function is already ok to cowl numerous floor, however I might see Apple phasing it out and including extra performance or increasing it to extra gadgets.

Standby Mode in iOS 17 is not a whole Sensible Show substitute, nevertheless it does present a superb encompass display in your desk.

Nonetheless, it must be fairly clear that your telephone is not going to exchange an always-on peripheral hub – particularly in a shared use atmosphere. Battery considerations are additionally one thing to think about. Holding your telephone completely related to a wi-fi charger can’t be good for battery well being. Then there may be the problem of display actual property. The iPhone 14 Professional’s 6.1-inch display is serviceable after I’m sitting at my desk, nevertheless it’s positively not seen from throughout the room. The identical interface, or higher, would make extra sense on an iPad. We have already seen the Pixel Pill double up as a Nest Hub, and I might see Apple engaged on this function as quickly because it rolls out its OLED-equipped iPads.

Nonetheless, for probably the most half, I think about my expertise successful. Barring just a few hiccups whereas powering up my sensible dwelling gear, I’ve had no points utilizing standby as a Google Nest Hub substitute. In reality, I favor the cleaner, smoother, and extra subtle interface on Google Sensible Show. Would I counsel others to throw of their Nest Hub and splurge on an iPhone to get the function? after all not. However when you’ve already invested within the newest iPhone or are contemplating the iPhone 15 sequence, Apple’s surprisingly forward-looking function is unquestionably value testing.

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