Recent news emerged claiming that Apple might finally show off a new Always-on Display lock screen on the iPhone 14 series. The feature may be announced next week at the WWDC 2022 conference, where Apple might show off the feature alongside the new iOS 16 software update.
According to Mark Gurman (via Bloomberg), the new Always-on Display (AoD) may be exclusive to the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max flagships. The new feature is expected to be supported on iOS 16, and it was originally rumored to arrive in the iPhone 13 series last year. We also heard rumors that it could work similarly to the Apple Watch, taking advantage of the high refresh rate display that could make it more efficient, as the display could be set to a low-refresh (1-10 Hz) rate when not in use to conserve battery.
The AoD screen is expected to look similar to Apple Watch faces, offering quick and easy-to-understand information at a glance. We haven’t seen any indication of this actually coming, but we might find out more once the iOS 16 Beta builds are seeded to developers next week and in the coming months.
It’s also unclear whether the AoD feature would make it to other devices in Apple’s lineup. Gurman claims that it may be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro series. The iPhone 13 Pro series also have a high-refresh-rate display, and it would be great to see the feature supported, at least on those devices.
What is Always on Display (AoD)?
In case you’re not aware of what Always on Display is, it’s essentially a screen that lets you view the time, date, weather, often an image or an animation, and icons for the notifications that you may not have checked yet. It’s been available on Android devices for a long time, and many find it useful to check their phones at a glance to view the time and other important information without requiring the device to be unlocked. iPhone users have requested this feature for many years, but Apple was stubborn enough not to include it, even when it opted to use an OLED display across its entire iPhone 12 lineup.
It’s about time Apple brings AoD to iPhone
The Always-on Display feature has been in the rumor mill for quite some time, and many iPhone users are eager to get their hands on the feature that would let them see the time and other helpful information at a glance without unlocking their devices. Personally, I never had a reason to turn it on as I always wear a watch, and found the battery drain (on Android devices) way too much to my liking, but I see why people think it’s an essential feature. In a world where most other competing devices support AoD, Apple is now one of the very few manufacturers that still haven’t brought it over to its users.
It’s a shame that it took this long, and I can only hope that it’s finally happening this time around, even if it stays exclusive for the higher-priced Pro models, although there is no limitation for not bringing it over to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series as they’re all equipped with OLED panels.
Apple’s reasoning may be that those models don’t support the high-refresh-rate panels, and Apple might also want to market it as something “brand new” to make the iPhone 14 Pro series more appealing. If that’s the route Apple decides to go on, it will likely work, and many are expected to upgrade as there may be a few other “exclusive” features that we don’t yet know about.
Unfortunately, Apple isn’t well-known for bringing over new features to many of its older devices, as that could deter some users from upgrading, or purchasing the shiny iPhone 14 Pro over last year’s iPhone 13 or even the older iPhone 12 series. Apple likes to give users a reason to get excited and spend more, even if the functionality should have been there for many years in the first place. Whatever happens next week at WWDC, we’ll be watching, and we’re excited to see how Apple makes iOS, watchOS, macOS, iPadOS, and other operating systems better and more user-friendly. Stay tuned, as we’ll cover our favorite bits and pieces right after the event.