Always-on display references found in iOS 16, feature could come to iPhone 14 Pro

iOS 16 was unveiled yesterday at WWDC 2022 with a huge redesign for the Lock Screen. Apple has given the Lock Screen a complete revamp allowing users to customize it to their liking by adding different widgets, changing the font, dynamic wallpapers, and more. That does not seem to be all. New references to an always-on display have recently been discovered in iOS 16 suggesting the feature could come to the iPhone 14 Pro.

iOS 16 lock screen

iOS 16 contains new frameworks related to an always-on display

Prior to Apple’s WWDC 22 keynote, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the tech giant is working on an always-on display that will show information on the screen when it is locked, similar to the Apple Watch and Android smartphones. This glanceable information can include new emails, messages, or calendar information. Unfortunately, the functionality will be restricted to the iPhone 14 Pro models.

As discovered by 9to5Mac, there are multiple references in iOS 16 that confirm the existence of support for an always-on display. The publication reports, “Within iOS 16, there are three new frameworks that have been added that relate to backlight management of the iPhone’s display.” Backlight management is a significant element of making an always-on feature work.

iOS 16 always-on display

While it could be argued that the references relate to the always-on display of the Apple Watch, 9to5Mac reports that is not the case as it specifically references components of iOS.

All of the frameworks discovered by 9to5Mac are used by different components of iOS, including the Lock Screen. Additionally, and most notably, there are multiple references to an always-on display within the Springboard — which is what manages the Lock Screen (and home screen) of iPhone. Apple Watch does not use Springboard.

Lastly, there are also hidden flags within the code of iOS 16 which could allow Apple engineers to test the functionality on unsupported devices i.e. the iPhone 13 Pro since the iPhone 14 Pro models are currently under production.

The software update will be released to the general public in the fall alongside the iPhone 14 lineup. The first developer beta of iOS 16 has been released for developers and a public beta will become available in July.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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