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iOS 16 beta reveals an ‘always-on’ display for iPhone 14 Pro

It’ll be limited to the iPhone 14 Pro range.

ios 16 icon with blurred iphone in background

Apple announced iOS 16 this week at WWDC 2022. With all the features announced, it’s important to remember Apple has other things in development for the future. One of those is an always-on display mode, which shows up in multiple places in iOS 16’s beta code.

The feature was first mentioned by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg back in May. At that time, it was still just a planned feature.

When live, the feature would “allow the iPhone to turn down the frame rate significantly on the lock screen,” reducing battery drain while keeping essential information in view. That’s how the always-on display on the new Apple Watch works.

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iphone 13 in-hand
Image: Unsplash

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Now, beta code of iOS 16 is available and 9to5Mac has found multiple places that mention an always-on display capability. These include the Lock Screen, and Springboard, which is the manager for the Lock and home screens of iOS.

Gurman also says that the always-on feature will be limited to the Pro models of the iPhone 14 range. That’s because of the screen technology involved.

Apple originally planned for the iPhone 13 Pro to have an always-on screen, but it never made it to production. That could be because the screen on the iPhone 13 Pro can only scale from 120Hz to 10Hz.

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The Apple Watch can scale all the way down to 1Hz, reducing battery use significantly. That could mean that the screens used in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will scale all the way down to 1Hz.

It also might mean Apple has found other ways to save on battery use in iOS 16.

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