Within his weekly newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reiterated the likelihood of the iPhone 14 Pro featuring an always-on display. The customizable Lock Screen is arguably the hottest new feature in iOS 16. That Lock Screen, with its widgets, will work hand-in-hand with an iPhone display that’s always illuminated.
Using Variable Refresh Rates to Offer an Always-On iPhone
The Apple Watch is already able to offer an always-on display without killing the battery too quickly. This is because the display panel uses technology that gives it a variable refresh rate (VRR). The same thing is coming to the iPhone 14 Pro models, we believe.
The key is in low-temperature polycrystalline oxide, or LPTO for short. This is an OLED display backplane technology that offers great power consumption characteristics. It also provides variable refresh rates from 1Hz to 120Hz. It can provide this without draining the device battery too quickly by adjusting that refresh rate on the fly.
When you’re playing a game with detailed graphics or watching a video, the device ramps up the refresh rate. If your iPhone is just displaying the time or weather conditions, LTPO drops the refresh rate accordingly.
The Customizable Lock Screen in iOS 16 and an Always-On Display
The VRR provided by LTPO displays is a perfect match for iOS 16’s customizable Lock Screen. Even with all the widgets the Lock Screen can accommodate, the iPhone 14 Pro won’t need the high-speed refresh rates gamers would need. The information is mainly static, so the refresh rate can be dropped as low as it’ll go.
That means that, like the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Pro will be able to display the time and all the information from your widgets at a lowered brightness and frame rate. A toggle within the Settings app will even keep sensitive information from appearing on that always-on display.
According to Gurman, Apple has been working on this interface for a couple of years. Now that Apple will be including the customizable Lock Screen within iOS 16, Gurman says, it’s bound to work “hand-in-hand with a new feature on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro models: an always-on display.”
Given the information Gurman’s sources have provided, along with details from display analyst Ross Young’s supply chain analysis, it seems almost a sure bet. The iPhone 14 Pro will almost certainly offer an always-on display that takes full advantage of the customizable Lock Screen and widgets baked into iOS 16.