WWDC 2022 (opens in new tab), Apple's yearly developer conference, which runs until 10 June, has seen the company use its keynote to announce iOS 16, as well as macOS13, and more. Apple didn’t just announce iOS 16 either, they released a developer beta of the software and although no mention of an always-on display was made at the conference itself, 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) has found several mentions of it in the beta code. This means it’s incredibly likely that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature an always-on display.
“Within iOS 16, there are three new frameworks that have been added that relate to backlight management of the iPhone’s display. Backlight management is a key aspect of enabling an always-on feature,” writes 9to5Mac in their exclusive.
Apple iOS 16 code
The most telling part of 9to5Mac’s discovery, (opens in new tab) that make us all but sure the iPhone 14 Pro will feature an always-on display, is that all of the frameworks are used by different components of iOS, including the Lock Screen. Importantly, there are also multiple references to an always-on display within the Springboard, which is what manages the Lock Screen as well as the home screen. This means that the argument that the always-on features are in the code for the Apple Watch void, as Apple Watch does not use Springboard.
The guys at 9to5Mac have also found clues within iOS 16 that point towards Apple engineers being able to use the always-on capability on unsupported devices. This will be to allow testing of the always-on display feature on the iPhone 13 Pro (opens in new tab).
Given the new information we fully expect the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to launch with always-on screens later this year.