iOS 16 Code Contains Several References to Always-On Display Capability

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 7 Jun 2022

At the WWDC 2022 keynote address yesterday, iOS 16 made headlines with a slew of new features, including a completely redesigned lock screen with added room for customizability and integration with Focus profiles. Interestingly, the code also contains several references to a yet-unreleased always-on display (AOD) feature, which could be available when the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max debut.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman first claimed that the revamped lock screen would be one of the most significant changes in iOS 16. He also added that the update would pack support for AOD capability. A report from 9to5Mac claims iOS 16 is riddled with references to the unannounced AOD feature.

The first iOS 16 developer beta build has three new frameworks related to the iPhone display’s backlight management. Each of these frameworks includes references to the AOD feature. One could reason that the feature references are for the Apple Watch, but the report says that is not the case. All three frameworks use different components of iOS, including Lock Screen, corroborating the theory that AOD could soon make its way to iPhone.

Multiple AOD references were also spotted within the Springboard — which manages the iPhone lock screen. The Apple Watch does not use Springboard for lock screen management. So, AOD references in this instance also hint that the feature is likely for iPhone lock screens only.

Lastly, the report says Apple engineers can enable AOD at will using hidden flags in iOS 16, even on iPhones that aren’t supported. So, the company engineers can test the capability on existing iPhones, such as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, before unveiling it officially on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Additionally, flags to enable AOD on unsupported devices would not exist if Apple already had access to the iPhones which will launch the feature.

The report also seconds previous speculation suggesting that AOD will only be available on the iPhone 14 Pro models since they sport ProMotion displays which can maximize power efficiency by dropping the refresh rate as low as 1Hz.

[Via 9to5Mac]