In a few days, Apple’s WWDC 2022 event will reveal the majority of the new iOS 16 features. However, don’t anticipate Apple to show off any of the iPhone 14-specific features that the company is including in the next mobile operating system. Apple may add an always-on display capability to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple Watch flagships already have always-on capability, while Android smartphones have had it for years. Always-on displays often display the time and date, as well as other items such as alerts. The iPhone, on the other hand, does not support an always-on display. The capability isn’t even required with the iPhone 14 Pro. Because the iPhone has a distinct edge over Android, always-on screens might become obsolete.
iOS 16 features an always-on display mode for the Lock Screen,
The Lock Screen on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max might include an always-on setting.
Gurman detailed some of the improvements coming to iOS 16, iPad OS 16, watchOS 9, tvOS 16, and macOS 13 in his weekly “Power On” email. An improved Lock Screen with “wallpapers with widget-like capabilities” is one of the new features reported for iOS 16. Future features, like an “always-on” setting, are said to have been paved over by the Lock Screen upgrades. Indeed, according to Gurman, iOS 16 offers “future support” for a lock screen that is constantly on.
Last year, an always-on display was speculated for the iPhone 13 Pro models. Still, the feature was apparently dropped before the handsets’ September 2021 release.
Rumors about an always-on display on the next iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
Apple will not offer always-on display capability to all iPhone 14 models a year later. Instead, the capability will be limited to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This isn’t only so Apple can explain the iPhone 14 Pro models’ projected price jump.
Always-on screens need a hardware component that will be available exclusively on the iPhone 14 Pro variants. The phones will have OLED screens with refresh rates of up to 120Hz. It’s referred to as “ProMotion” by Apple, and it’s a feature that contributes to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s long battery life.
Throughout the day, the screen does not maintain a 120Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate of the iPhone 13 Pro display varies between 10Hz and 120Hz. Lower refresh rates will be required for always-on features. According to Gurman, the iPhone 14 Pro will have to “substantially reduce the frame rate on the lock screen.”
While the always-on function is engaged, the Apple Watch’s refresh rate drops to 1 Hz. It’s uncertain whether the iPhone 14 Pro’s display will be that thin. The larger the power savings, however, the lower the refresh rate when the screen is switched on to show static content.
The Benefits of Always-On Displays
Additionally, if you have an Apple Watch, you will get all of your alerts on your watch. In this situation, an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max’s always-on display isn’t required.
With that in mind, having always-on display capability on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max isn’t a must. Apple may implement the feature if ProMotion is reduced to 1Hz on the upcoming LTPO OLED displays. One of the reasons for doing so is to mirror the Android functionality. And it’s something that iPhone users could anticipate if they move from Android.
The only true advantage of an always-on display is that it allows you to see whether you’ve received any alerts on your iPhone from afar. However, it prevents Face ID unlocking. It was as if the phone were on a desk or charging wirelessly. Yet, what if it’s a life-or-death situation? Then, you’ll be checking your iPhone to see whether you’ve gotten the call or message you’ve been expecting.
If the iPhone 14 Pro models acquire always-on display capability, don’t anticipate the functionality to be available on previous devices. The iPhone 13 Pros might be the lone exception, as long as the functionality does not require 1Hz refresh rates.