iPhone 14 Pro to Gain Major Apple Watch Feature
In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman outlined some of the changes set to come to iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, tvOS 16, and macOS 13 at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year. Among the new capabilities rumored for iOS 16 is an enhanced Lock Screen with "wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities." The Lock Screen improvements reportedly set the groundwork for future features, including an "always-on" mode. Indeed, Gurman said that iOS 16 actively includes "future support" for an always-on Lock Screen.
The iPhone 13 Pro models were rumored to feature an always-on display mode like the Apple Watch last year, but the feature was seemingly scrapped before the devices launched in September 2021. Last year, leaker Max Weinbach said that the iPhone 13 would include an always-on display mode that looked like a "toned down Lock screen," where the clock and battery charge level remain visible, and notifications are shown through "a bar and icons."
Gurman claims that Apple has continued to work on the feature and an "always-on mode" is now in development for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, providing "quickly glanceable information — similar to newer Apple Watches." The Apple Watch Series 5, Series 6, and Series 7 have displays that can remain on at a lower brightness and refresh rate, allowing wearers to see their watch face and complications at all times. Similar functionality on the iPhone 13 could allow users to see information such as the time, date, and notifications at all times.
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max were the first iPhones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, enabled by the adoption of LTPO panel technology with variable refresh rates. The iPhone's current ProMotion displays are limited to screen refresh rates between 10Hz and 120Hz. On the other hand, LPTO panels used by the likes of Oppo and Samsung can drop to as low as 1Hz when viewing a static image or when the device is inactive.
Well-connected display analyst Ross Young recently said that he is "expecting" the ProMotion displays used in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to be capable of dropping to the same low of 1Hz, effectively removing the hardware limitation that prevents Apple from offering an always-on mode on the iPhone 13 Pro models. Nevertheless, Gurman caveated that the feature may not make the final cut by the time the iPhone 14 lineup is announced in September.