A trusted leaker recently claimed that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would likely have an always-on display, and now Apple has accidentally confirmed it.
You see, at WWDC 2022, the company unveiled iOS 16 and even released a beta version of the developer software, and while there was no mention of an always-on display, 9to5Mac found several such mentions (opens in a new tab) in beta code. .
The site claims that three new frameworks have been added to iOS 16, each related to backlight management and each mentioning an always-on display. There are also apparently multiple mentions of the feature in Springboard, which is software that handles the lock screen and home screen.
Now some Apple Watch models already have an always-on display, so there could be an outside chance those mentions were referring to the feature there rather than the iPhone, except as 9to5Mac points out, the 'Apple Watch doesn't use Springboard , so it sounds like this should be an upcoming iPhone feature.
Specifically, this is likely to be a feature of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, not one that will come with the standard iPhone 14 or earlier models.
At least, that's what the previous rumor claimed, and that's because the upcoming Pro models could have a variable refresh rate that can range from 120Hz to 1Hz; this extremely low refresh rate is ideal for a permanent display.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max can only go down to 10Hz like the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, which would mean battery life could suffer too much with an always-on display.
That said, there's apparently evidence in the iOS 16 code that Apple is at least testing the feature on older phones, so there's an outside chance we could see it on them, though it's most likely just so that engineers don't need a job. iPhone 14 Pro to develop and test the feature.
Analysis: the advantages of an always-on screen
An always-on display is a feature that various Android phones have had for a long time, so Apple is late in that regard, and it's a great feature that a phone offers.
Basically, this means that when you turn off the screen, some of the content will remain on it, so (*16*) you can see things like the time and notifications.
There are usually no animations or interactive elements, so the refresh rate can be as low as 1Hz, which means battery life is as low as it gets. Most of the screen also tends to remain dark for the same reason.
But it does mean you can see key information at a glance, anytime, without having to wake up your phone, an action that requires an extra step and, if done often enough, could use more battery power than a permanent display.