The first iOS 16 beta is now available, and it contains a wealth of information, including a surprise new HomePod launch. A new upgrade, rumored to be an iPhone 14 Pro-only upgrade, has been uncovered. iOS 16 has “several references that suggest iOS 16 does indeed have functionality for an always-on display,” according to 9to5Mac. This is a feature Apple elected to leave out of the formal iOS 16 introduction, and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman recently reported it will be confined to iPhone 14 Pro models, explaining its removal.
9to5Mac recounts how it came to be discovered:
“Three new frameworks for backlight management of the iPhone’s display have been included to iOS 16. When it comes to enabling an always-on feature, backlight management is crucial. There are allusions to an always-on display feature in each of these frameworks.”
The references should not be mistaken with the always-on display that currently exists in the Apple Watch, according to the site, and are particular to iOS components, including the lock screen.
“Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, the Springboard — which controls the iPhone’s Lock Screen (and home screen) — contains many references to an always-on display. Springboard isn’t used by Apple Watch “It comes to an end.
9to5Mac points out that the iOS 16 beta code contains hidden flags that allow the feature to be enabled on unsupported devices for testing. Should this provide hope to owners of earlier iPhones? I’m not so convinced about that.
First, unlike the iPhone 13 Pro, which has a variable refresh rate of 10-120Hz, the iPhone 14 Pro has a display that can go as low as 1Hz, making an always-on display more efficient on this smartphone. Second, would it affect current iPhone models? Apple would almost certainly have publicized it, especially because one of iOS 16’s greatest updates is lockscreen improvements.