Rumors of an always-on iPhone display go back several years. But it seems that Apple will finally debut the feature in its upcoming iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. As discovered by 9to5Mac, the latest iOS 16 beta contains several references to an always-on display, including some wallpapers optimized for always-on display mode.
The wallpaper shown by 9to5Mac is pretty interesting. It seems that the iPhone 14 Pro will dim wallpapers in always-on display mode to conserve battery life, similar to how the feature works on Apple Watch. Presumably, custom wallpapers will look a lot like this official wallpaper when always-on display is enabled.
Frustratingly, this feature may be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. But the exclusivity kind of makes sense. Existing iPhone display panels can’t run at 1Hz, which means that an always-on display will eat through battery life without a display upgrade. This upgrade makes sense in the more expensive iPhone 14 models, which are ditching the Face ID notch for a pair of hole-punch sensors.
And if the rumors are true, Apple’s entry-level iPhone 14 will use last year’s processor. It seems that Apple is intentionally holding back the standard iPhone 14—something that could help the Pro models stand out and reduce manufacturing costs amid global economic uncertainty.