For the most part, the screen that appears before the iPhone is unlocked is largely useless: it shows recent notifications, but anything more detailed requires unlocking the phone and clicking through.
Apple is planning to change that with the new iOS 16 update, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The screen is rumoured to be adding new features that will allow users to see extra information as well as interact with widgets that would be integrated into the wallpaper, the report said.
That would be further boosted by new features rumoured for the iPhone 14 Pro. The new device – likely to be launched and released in September – will include an always-on display that will allow it to show that information all the time.
Apple has already added always-on technology to the Apple Watch, and the iPhone’s display will probably work similarly, using a variable refresh rate that would save battery while still showing information. Apple added a variable refresh display to the new iPhone 13 Pro, but it is not always on.
The change in iOS 16 will almost certainly be announced at Apple’s WWDC event, which begins with a keynote address on Monday. It is also said to be bringing other updates, including changes to notifications, iPad multitasking, and updates to the Messages and Health apps.
The report gave little indication of what those features might be, beyond improved audio functionality in Messages and “plenty of new features” in Health. The Apple TV will also get an update to better work with the smart home, the Mac will undergo changes to its System Preferences tool, and the Apple Watch will get new watch faces and a low-power mode, according to the same report.
The new iPhone software updates are always announced at that event, before gaining a full release around the same time as the new hardware is released. Though Apple does not acknowledge the new iPhone until it is announced, the software can sometimes give important clues about what is coming later.
Apple could also offer some insight into its plans for augmented reality, and the “RealityOS” operating system that is rumoured to power the glasses it is expected to release. But Bloomberg said that a full presentation of the new system is unlikely.
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