Many potential new iPhone 14 changes have already been leaked, such as a new front-facing camera or a higher-resolution main camera, and now reports point to a popular Android phone feature making its way to Apple’s smartphones.
As part of his weekly Power On newsletter (opens in new tab)popular Apple analyst and leaker Mark Gurman has suggested a new iOS 16 feature that could bring big changes, starting with the iPhone 14.
According to Gurman, iOS 16 will “build in future support for an always-on lock screen” — this is a feature common on Android phones, where it’s called an Always-On Display, and it means when your phone isn’t on. , you can still see some information on the display, such as the time and your notifications. Newer Apple Watch devices already support this feature.
Apparently the iPhone 13 was meant to have this screen trick but didn’t, and recent iPhone 14 leaks explain why. While the iPhone 13 had a variable refresh rate between 10 Hz and 120 Hz (allowing it to refresh as fast as 120 times per second or as slow as 10 times per second), the iPhone 14s will apparently be as low as 1 Hz – these lower refresh rates are preferable for always-on screens, as it means the panel only refreshes once per second, which is all you need for a screen you only look at once in a while.
So it looks like older iPhones won’t get Always-On modes even if they’re compatible with iOS 16, because their displays don’t have low enough refresh rates.
Unfortunately, Gurman makes it sound like this mode will only come to iPhone 14 Pro phones, adding to the feeling that the non-Pro phones won’t bring much change from their predecessors.
While the Always-On Display sounds exclusive to the Pro phones, other changes to the lock screen don’t: Gurman also suggests that with iOS 16, the lock screen will get new wallpapers and widgets to slightly improve its functionality.
Analysis: Always-On Display Could Be a Winner
Android and iOS devices regularly pick up on each other’s features, making the two operating systems more and more indistinguishable every year, and this Always-On Display news is more of the same.
The screen function is super useful for letting you collect the time, your phone’s battery and any notifications, without burning the battery by constantly turning the screen on.
Well, if Apple does it the same way all Android makers do – we’ll have to see. We may not have long to wait, because while the iPhone 14 is expected to debut in September, iOS 16 will likely be shown at Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote on June 6.
As you can imagine, TechRadar (a tech website) will be on hand to cover WWDC (a tech conference), so check back later to hear more about iOS 16 and other software announcements from Apple.