iPhone 14 Pro always-on screen behavior previewed in new iOS 16 wallpaper details

iPhone 14 Pro always-on screen behavior previewed in new iOS 16 wallpaper details

At this point, the iPhone 14 Pro rumors are pretty solid when it comes to the new display, which is not only expected to have a new design, but also support an always-on mode. And while previous versions of iOS 16 already had multiple references to a new always-on mode, even system wallpapers have now been updated to take advantage of this new technology.

If you’re not familiar with an always-on display, this technology allows the system to continue to display information on the screen, such as the clock, while consuming very little battery power. Some Android smartphones already have always-on displays, while Apple Watch Series 5 and later also have the same technology.

Even before WWDC 2022, by Bloomberg Mark Gurman had already reported that iOS 16 would be ready for a new always-on mode, which is expected to be exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro models. That’s because this year’s models will reportedly get a new variable refresh rate display that drops to 1Hz per second. As a result, it should consume less power than current displays.

9to5Mac found multiple references to always-on display support in iOS 16, which corroborates all the iPhone 14 Pro rumors. There’s even an internal mode that Apple uses to test always-on mode on iPhone 13.

iOS 16 wallpapers ready to show always on

When it comes to Android smartphones with always-on display, the feature works pretty much the same on all of them. You get a black screen with the clock and sometimes widgets. With the new lock screen in iOS 16, it’s become pretty clear that the iPhone is likely to follow a similar approach. However, Apple could be working on something beyond that for the iPhone 14 Pro.

Based on the internal files of iOS 16 beta 4, 9to5Mac has found that system wallpapers are now ready for this new permanent display mode. As we explained earlier, iOS 16 no longer uses static images as wallpapers. Instead, the new wallpapers are multi-layered vectors rendered in real time.

Now, in addition to normal vectors, native wallpapers (such as the default and the recently added clownfish wallpaper) also have a new state called “Suspend” which has very dark and faded elements. The wallpapers in this state are quite similar to Apple Watch faces with always on.

Once the user turns off the iPhone 14 Pro screen, the wallpaper will change to the “Sleep” version. We were able to reproduce the new behavior, which you can see below:

Basically, it seems that Apple will replicate the same effect of the Apple Watch on the iPhone 14 Pro. This means that users will continue to see their wallpapers in some way even when the screen is turned off. The wallpaper will be displayed in full brightness once the user touches the screen or presses the power button.

Of course, on a real device, the clock and widgets chosen by the user will also be visible when the screen is “off”.

More about the iPhone 14

Apple is expected to introduce four new iPhone models this year. However, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be the only ones to have a faster chip and a new display design with a pill-shaped cutout instead of a notch. It’s also rumored that this year’s Pro models will get a new 48-megapixel wide camera capable of shooting 8K video.

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will also get the biggest front-facing camera upgrade in years with a new, larger aperture. F/1.9 lens and autofocus for better low-light performance.

As for the regular iPhone 14 models, they should be based largely on the current iPhone 13 hardware with minor camera upgrades, larger batteries, and 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB. The most notable update for this year’s mid-range lineup will be the replacement of the “mini” model with a new 6.7-inch “iPhone 14 Max” screen.

The new iPhones are likely to be announced this fall.

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