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Code in the first iOS 16 beta, which features a redesigned Lock Screen, suggests that Apple may be working on an always-on display feature for the iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple on Monday released the first developer beta build of its iOS 16 software. In the beta, there are new frameworks relating to backlight management on iPhone screens — a critical part of enabling an always-on display. The frameworks each reference an always-on display feature.
While the code first discovered 9to5Mac on Tuesday doesn't explicitly reference an iPhone always-on display, it does hint at it. For example, the backlight management frameworks make references to Springboard, which manages the Lock Screen and Home Screen on iPhone. The Apple Watch doesn't have springboard.
There are also flags in the code that could allow Apple engineers to test the always-on display feature on current devices such as the iPhone 13 Pro.
There have been a number of rumors suggesting that the iPhone 14 Pro could get always-on display support when it launches in the fall. Combined with the redesigned Lock Screen in iOS 16, the feature could allow for users to see useful information at a glance without unlocking their devices.
The always-on display feature is likely to be restricted to the two iPhone 14 Pro models because of their ProMotion variable refresh rate. A variable refresh rate is a key part of enabling an always-on display.