iOS 16 code includes multiple “always-on display” and iPhone 14 Pro references

Deepak Gupta June 7, 2022
Updated 2022/06/07 at 9:22 PM

Apple yesterday presented at the WWDC 2022 event, a series of news in its various operating systems. It clearly highlighted some of the most important ones, but much of what is new was not even mentioned. As such, the operating system code could reveal much of what is yet to be released. One of these clues was found in iOS 16 where the functionality is mentioned always-on displaybut it can only arrive with the iPhone 14 Pro.

More simply, Apple may be saving the functionality to keep information always visible on the iPhone screen, but only for the Pro model that will arrive in September.

iOS 16 brings a lot of news... some we don't know yet

For anyone who watched yesterday's WWDC 2022 event, you've definitely noticed that it was a different form than Apple introduce the new iOS. As a rule, the company makes a summary presentation and then highlights some news. This time it started out cold with the presentation of the new Lock Screen (lock screen) and started sliding through several other features.

As we could see, the news for the new Widgets, Concentration mode, Photos, Messaging, Mail, Safari and access keys, Intelligence, Dictation, Maps, Apple Pay and Wallet, Home, Health and Fitness, Sharing with family, CarPlay, Security and Privacy, Accessibility, Weather, Spotlight, Game Center, Handoff on FaceTime, Reminders, Notes and a few more news. But where is the always-on display?

Rumors made known many of the news now made official

There were several analysts of the Apple market who for practically a year were releasing clues about what would eventually be on Apple's desk. However, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman was the first to report news about the always-on display as part of iOS 16, despite having dragged this news that had pasted to the iPhone 13.

Gurman also noted that iOS 16 would build in support for an always-on display in preparation for functionality potentially released with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max this fall.

Now that the first development beta is available, multiple references have been discovered that confirm that iOS 16 does indeed include support for an always-on preview. Within iOS 16, three new structures have been added that relate to managing the backlight of the iPhone display. Backlight management is a key aspect of enabling always-on functionality.

Each of these structures includes references to an always-on display feature. Theoretically, one could speculate that these always-on features were added in reference to the always-on viewing features existing on the Apple Watch, but that's not the case here.

All frameworks discovered by the publication 9to5Mac are used by different components of iOS, including the Lock Screen.

Also, most notably, there are multiple references to an always-on view within the Springboard - which is what manages the iPhone's Lock Screen (and Home screen). Apple Watch does not use Springboard.

There's more hidden news in iOS about the iPhone 14

Finally, there is also information hidden within iOS 16 that Apple engineers can utilize to enable the ability always-on, even on unsupported devices. This means that Apple engineers can test the always-on display feature on the iPhone 13 Pro, ahead of the feature's release with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max later this year.

Therefore, although this novelty may be aimed at the iPhone 14 Pro, it does not invalidate that in a future beta version the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will not also receive the always-on display.

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