Apple May Add Lock Screen Widgets in iOS 16, Other New Features


Apple’s iOS 16 is likely going to bring a large number of changes, including lock screen widgets and a screen that is always on. The always-on feature may be arriving in iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max hardware later in 2022. The new software updates are likely to arrive with iOS 16. A full announcement is likely to arrive with WWDC22.

iPhone with Always-On Display May Bring Lock Screen Widgets

With the arrival of the iPhone 14 lineup, changes to the display technology may see inclusion in the updated hardware. Rumors are suggesting that the iPhone 14 Pro Max may offer a low refresh rate of 1Hz. For such a low refresh rate, Apple is likely laying the groundwork within iOS 16.

Within Mark Gurman’s latest “Power On” newsletter for Bloomberg, sources speaking to Gurman indicate that iOS 16 will include support for an “always-on lock screen”. Further elaborating, Gurman stated that this would “allow the iPhone to turn down the frame rate significantly on the Lock Screen and display quick glanceable information”. This style of lock screen would be similar to certain Apple Watch models.

Gurman also stated that the feature was “something Apple was originally planning for last year’s iPhone 13”. Apple did include a low-temperature polycrystalline oxide (LPTO) display panels in the iPhone 13 Pro lineup.  This potentially has the ability to offer an always-on display. However, the included ProMotion support only goes as low as 10Hz.

With the WWDC 2022 keynote on June 6, many expect iOS 16 to be shown along with several built-in apps receiving updates. Many expect iOS 16 to include “new ways of interacting”, but it is likely to retain the same aesthetic as iOS 15.

Reports from Gurman indicate that new updates may include changes to iPad multitasking, notifications, and Messages and Health apps. The lock screen makeover will likely involve “wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities”.

While it was iOS 14 that saw widgets arrive to home screens on iPhone, adding widgets to the lock screen is something that has yet to occur. While there has been no announcement made so far, being able to change what you see on your lock screen would be a huge advantage within iOS 16.

Parting Thoughts

Lastly, Messages may gain “social network-like functionality, with big changes around audio messages”. For tvOS, Gurman expects more smart home features. Furthermore, macOS will like likely redesign System Preferences to make it it more in tune with the Settings in iOS.

While the new lock screen sounds appealing, it will most likely be for widgets or quick information; such as checking messages or the time. With WWDC22 on the horizon, many are looking forward to seeing what’s next.

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