Recently, a reputable leaker claimed that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would likely have an always-on display, and now Apple has accidentally confirmed this.
You see, during WWDC 2022, the company unveiled iOS 16 and even released a beta version of the software for developers, and while no mention of an always-on display was made, several mentions were found by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) in the beta version code.
The site claims that three new frameworks have been added to iOS 16, each related to backlight management and each mentioning an always-on screen. There are also apparently several mentions of the feature in Springboard, which is software that manages the lock screen and home screen.
Now, some Apple Watch models already have an always-on display, so there could be an outside chance that these mentions are a reference to the feature there and not the iPhone, except that – as 9to5Mac points out – the Apple Watch doesn’t use Springboard. , so it looks like this should be an upcoming iPhone feature.
More specifically, it’s likely a feature of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max – not one that’s coming to the standard iPhone 14 or older models.
At least, that’s what the previous rumor claimed, and that’s because upcoming Pro models may have a variable refresh rate that can range from 120Hz to 1Hz – with that super-low refresh rate being ideal for an always-on display.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max, meanwhile, can only drop 10Hz like the iPhone 13 Pro range, which would mean battery life could suffer a lot with an always-on display.
That said, there’s apparently evidence in the iOS 16 code that Apple is at least testing the feature on older phones, so there’s an outside chance of seeing it on them – although more likely that was just so the engineers didn’t have to. of a working iPhone 14 Pro to develop and test the feature.
Review: The benefits of an always-on display
An always-on display is a feature that many Android phones have had for a long time, so Apple is behind in that regard and it’s a beneficial feature for a phone to offer.
This essentially means that when you turn the screen off, some content remains on it, so you can still see things like the time and notifications.
There are typically no animations or interactive elements, so the refresh rate can be as low as 1 Hz, which means the impact on battery life is as low as possible. Most of the screen also remains dark for the same reason.
But that means you can view key information at a glance, at any time, without having to wake up your phone – an action that takes an extra step and – if done often enough – can use more battery than an always-on display.