Apple recently announced its new iPhone software, iOS 16, during its developers conference. The new lock screen customization options suggest that at least one of this year’s new iPhones will get a feature Android phones have had for years: an always-on display.
Apple’s latest iOS 16 software hints that the iPhone 14 will include an always-on display. You can now add widgets to your lock screen for fast views at the weather, your AirPods battery, and more. If Apple includes an always-on display in its next iPhone, you’ll be able to gaze over at your phone’s new lock screen while it’s sitting on your desk.
Apple’s iOS 16 software, which is in beta and will release to everyone this fall, lets you add all sorts of things to the lock screen. So, you can quickly view the weather, the battery status of your AirPods, upcoming calendar events and more. On a current iPhone, though, you still have to tap the power button to turn on the screen.
The Apple Watch Series 5 and newer models offer always-on displays, and they work well. On the watch, you can look down and see the time, temperature, and certain applications, like maps, even when the screen isn’t fully on, or brightened. It sits in a dim state so you can still use the watch without having to flick your wrist to wake it up. A new iPhone might work the same way, showing key information that you’ve chosen to put on the lock screen, without requiring you to wake up the phone to its full brightness.
But, if Apple adds an always-on display to its next iPhone, it will allow you to just glance over at your new lock screen on your phone while it’s sitting on your desk. That’s something Samsung, Google and other Android phone makers have been including for years. Apple has been resistant to adding that option, perhaps to instead focus on longer battery life. An always-on display can slowly sap battery, even if the screen is much dimmer.
Bloomberg said it’s a feature Apple is already planning to add to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the higher-end models that are expected this fall. That means it might not be available on the regular iPhone 14. But it could be an attractive enough feature that people will want to spend more on the Pro models.