iOS 17: New iPhone update could completely change how lock screen works

Changes are intended to make iPhone more useful when it is not in use, report claims

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 25 May 2023 21:13 BST
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Apple has given dozens of vision rehabilitation specialists from Guide Dogs specialised training in iOS accessibility settings and features for individuals with vision loss (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Apple has given dozens of vision rehabilitation specialists from Guide Dogs specialised training in iOS accessibility settings and features for individuals with vision loss (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Archive)

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The upcoming major iPhone update could change how its lock screen works, according to a new report.

iOS 17, which will be revealed during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in early June, is rumoured to bring a whole host of changes to the iPhone, including journaling apps and additions for the Health.

While that WWDC event is likely to focus on Apple’s rumoured new headset, there is expected to be plenty of upgrades for other platforms too.

One of those upgrades is the new feature that will change the iPhone’s lock screen so that it works more like an “ambient” display, according to a new report.

That would mean that it would provide extra information – such as weather reports, calendar updates and more – when it was left on.

As such, it could take on the job of an alarm clock or kitchen display, and then move back into being an iPhone or iPad when it was taken on the move.

The mode will switch on when the phone or tablet is placed down in landscape mode, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

It would allow the devices to compete with other smart displays from Amazon and Google, which both offer screens that are intended to be used in the kitchen or bedroom and are operated through their virtual assistants.

Apple has not made one of those screens, though it has often been rumoured to be working on. Its only smart home equipment has focused on audio, in the form of the HomePod and HomePod Mini.

Now Apple could replicate the functionality without requiring people to buy a whole new display.

Apple already offers something similar in its watches, which have a devoted “nightstand mode” when they placed on their side for charging. When that happens, they show a more ambient time that allows them to be used as an alarm clock by the bed, for instance.

And Apple has recently made a number of changes to the home and lock screens with a view to making them more actively useful. Last year, with iOS 16, it added widgets to that lock screen, for instance.

The iPhone 14 Pro, released last year, also includes an always-on display that would presumably mean they could show that ambient mode without too much battery drain.

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