Rumors that the iPhone 14 Pro could get an always-on display are looking increasingly accurate thanks to hints in Apple’s Xcode 14 development tool.
As discovered by developers rhogelleim (opens in new tab) and Steve Moser (opens in new tab) (via MacRumors) (opens in new tab)), the beta 4 for Xcode 14, Apple’s development system for iOS, macOS, and other software, includes some changes to the iPhone simulate feature.
The crucial ones here are related to the lock screen, with rhogelleim finding that adding images to a lock screen widget makes them appear in black and white:
It seems that the Xcode 14 beta 4 is leaking the Always on Display in the SwiftUI preview. This is a widget (lock screen accessory) with a colorful image. #iOS16 #beta @MacRumors @9to5mac pic.twitter.com/h5SdCUHYmOAugust 1, 2022
Moser then built on this discovery with one of his own: that the simulated lock screen briefly changes how these widgets appear when it wakes up.
You can see in the two images below, captured by Moser from the wake-up animation on the lock screen, that the cartoon whale icon first appears as just a silhouette in the always-on display (AOD) mode, while details like the eye and paler-colored abdomen are added later.
A preview of the rumored iPhone 14 Pro ‘Always on Display’ feature may have been leaked by Xcode 14 beta 4 Simulator. Attached are the first two frames of a video of the sim’s awakening. The first image (Always on Display mode) removes texture from the whale image in the widget 🧵 https://t.co/YDsTmuHotb pic.twitter.com/jPYDGh7m6kAugust 1, 2022
This ties in with previous leaks surrounding the so-called “Sleep” mode for the iOS 16 lock screen. These have suggested that it will work through the saturation and dimming of picture elements to maintain strength, while still showing their faint outlines. This is also how the AOD feature works on the Apple Watch 7 and earlier Apple Watches.
Apple has seemingly laid the groundwork for the AOD in iOS 16, which will launch alongside the iPhone 14 but is currently available in beta. The iOS 16 beta allows users to add widgets and other customizable elements to the lock screen, and their simple monochrome designs certainly seem made with the intention of being visible when the rest of the screen is turned off.
An always-on display also needs the right kind of panel, which is one that is capable of displaying images at low refresh rates to avoid using too much power. Fortunately, other rumors about the iPhone 14 Pro say it will get an improved version of the adaptive ProMotion display already found on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. This will apparently allow the new iPhone to scale between 1Hz and 120Hz, with the first number being just what you need for efficient AOD.
We almost certainly won’t know for sure if the iPhone 14 Pro will get an always-on screen until September, the month Apple tends to unveil its new smartphone every year. If you’d like to learn more about other rumored upgrades, such as a 48MP main camera and new notched design, and how the chipset and screen will differ from the base model, check out our iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro hubs. .
And for more news from Cupertino, you might also be interested in our exclusive story on how Apple will destroy the password forever.