Report: Apple Could Bring Always-on Display Feature on New iPhones

Posted on May 30, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Apple, iOS, Mobile with 9 Comments

Apple could be planning to unveil big updates for the iOS lock screen at its WWDC conference next week. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman revealed that Apple has been working on a new always-on display capability for the iOS lock screen that may be exclusive to new iPhones launching this Fall.

“Apple is planning major enhancements for the lock screen, including wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities,” Gurman wrote. “Further, I’m told iOS 16 builds in future support for an always-on lock screen, something Apple was originally planning for last year’s iPhone 13. This would allow the iPhone to turn down the frame rate significantly on the lock screen and display quickly glanceable information—similar to newer Apple Watches.”

According to Gurman, this new always-on lock screen could be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. Other updates on the top-of-the-line iPhone models may include a smaller notch hiding a new front-facing camera, a 48MP rear camera, a faster A16 chip, and support for sending emergency texts over satellite networks.

Gurman also made a couple of other predictions for the rest of Apple’s software platforms: iPadOS 16 is expected to revamp multitasking (still a weak point on Apple’s tablets), while watchOS could add changes to watch faces and a new low-power mode. On macOS, some of Apple’s apps could get a redesign with System Preferences possibly taking some inspiration from the iOS Settings app.

Last but not least, Gurman reiterated that Apple could reveal a redesigned MacBook Air powered by a new M2 chip at WWDC, though supply chain issues could still change the company’s plans. Apple’s annual developer conference will be on June 6-10 and you can find more details about the program on this page.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Report: Apple Could Bring Always-on Display Feature on New iPhones”

  1. SherlockHolmes

    Im sure it was a really big computer science problem for them to solve.

    • rob_segal

      It could have been a low-priority item for them, a feature iPhone users didn't push hard for. Also, Apple may not have been confident they could secure the number of displays needed to implement this in the way they wanted on the iPhone Pro. They have to be sure that they can get tens of millions of displays with the capabilities they want for always-on per month. The same could be said about a periscope camera lens. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's always-on display ends up being the best when they release it.

      • nbplopes

        Well, I’m one of those that have little immediate need for such a feature. It’s just a nice to have.

    • nbplopes

      Panos holds to copyright on that over years of Surface line user hurting inefficiencies. You will probably get a call for misquoting him.

  2. wright_is

    I’ve had several phones with always on lock screens. After playing with them for a couple of weeks, I’ve always turned them off. The phones, the iPhone as well, turn the display on automatically, when you pick them up or rotate them.

    • red.radar

      I agree. I even turned it off on my Apple watch. Raising the watch nearly always wakes the screen. I rather have the battery life improvement. I think it is a nice demo feature but question how useful always on screens are. Especially if the device is in your pocket.



  3. ben55124

    Lumia glance had a setting where it would only keep the display on when plugged in. That made the phone good for an alarm clock. Otherwise I don't want to the display always on when on battery.

  4. darkgrayknight

    A low refresh rate probably reduces the batter consumption by quite a bit. It would be nice if e-Ink displays could merge with oled displays, then always on screens could be very low power (almost nothing).

  5. SAPaleAle

    I have used always on display since it was available on the Samsung S7 and continue to use on my current S22 Ultra. It has never had a huge impact on battery life 1%-2% at most over a normal day. At work and at night it sits upright on a wireless charger being used as a desktop clock with the added benefit of seeing email/text/teams notifications as well as what song is playing on spotify all without having to touch the phone.