The iOS 16.2 beta allows you to significantly reduce it.
Apple’s iOS 16.2 beta three has added two new key toggles to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max’s always-on display (AOD) feature.
You can now disable the wallpaper and notifications from appearing on the screen by going into your AOD settings. This gives the Always-on display a more subtle appearance, which I find less distracting. To test these settings, you must be in the iOS beta or wait until the stable iOS 16.2 is released.
If those conditions are met, open the Settings app and navigate to Display & Brightness > Always On Display.
One feature I like about the AOD is that it keeps the custom font and color of your lock screen clock and widgets. It looks great, especially with some of the more unusual font choices. I wish Apple would create a more subtle way for notifications to appear, but for the time being, I keep them turned off because they are simply too distracting.
Perhaps linking the AOD to Focus modes would be cool, allowing you to specify which notification type or contact group should be allowed to pop through the always-on display. One feature I like about the AOD is the ability to see what is currently playing. It’s been greyed out a little to make it less distracting, but it’s always handy to have play/pause controls nearby.
Regardless, it’s great that Apple is listening to customer feedback and giving them more options to make the AOD less intrusive. Something that came up frequently during the phone’s review a few months ago.
It’s also worth noting that this display shouldn’t have a significant impact on battery life. According to Apple, the display turns off when it detects that it is face down, in a bag, is being used for something like a Continuity camera, or has a Sleep focus turned on. More information about the setting can be found on Apple’s support page.