iOS 15.4 allows third-party apps to fully utilize 120Hz ProMotion display on iPhone 13 Pro

With iOS 15.4, third-party apps can take full advantage of the 120Hz ProMotion display on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Previously, third-party apps were mostly limited to 60Hz, which was attributed to a bug in Core Animation by Apple, back in September 2021.

After more than four months, Apple has finally rolled out a fix for developers, for now. Apps that have been built with ProMotion support, will automatically support 120Hz refresh rate for their animations on iPhone 13 Pro models.

iOS 15.4 iPhone 13 Pro ProMotion 120Hz

Apple fixes bug to enable 120Hz ProMotion display support for third-party apps in iOS 15.4

Although Apple did not include this bug fix in iOS 15.4 release notes, this has been confirmed by Christian Selig, developer of Apollo, a popular third-party Reddit app. Selig shared on Twitter that the issue is fixed in iOS 15.4 betas.

Yay, got a little message from someone at Apple today that this is fixed in the iOS 15.4 betas and all apps automatically get 120 Hz animations on supported iPhones going forward, and just confirmed myself.

He also confirmed this himself and shared a screenshot of the animation timings to be at 8.33ms.

However, unlike ProMotion on iPad Pro, Selig noticed a slight difference with slow animations, which are still limited at 60fps on iPhone 13 Pro. While on iPad Pro, they are always at 120fps. Selig notes that the slow animations don’t really need more frames so the drop in frames might not be noticeable.

Considering that one of the major selling features for iPhone 13 Pro and 2021 MacBook Pro models were the new 120Hz ProMotion displays, it has been surprising that Apple shipped the feature in a half-baked condition, with buggy or outright missing software support.

Customers faced a similar issue in macOS as several Mac apps did not support the 120Hz ProMotion display in the new  2021 MacBook Pro models. Apple fixed this issue with macOS Monterey 12.2 and enabled support for 120hz refresh rate while scrolling in Safari and other apps.

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