It has been rumored for some time that the launch of the iPhone 14 Pro this fall will finally bring Apple’s smartphone lineup to the always-on screen functionality that has been available on Android for years. But a discovery in the wallpapers in iOS 16 means we now know how that feature will behave — and it looks like Apple is stepping it up a notch.
After browsing the internal files of the fourth beta of iOS 16, 9to5Mac was able to mimic the way wallpapers on the iPhone 14 Pro transition between normal and sleep mode. While Android devices with always-on screens tend to completely disable wallpapers in their inactive version and show a black background, the 14 Pro will do something nicer, a lot more Apple.
As with the many faces available on the Apple Watch (which got always-on functionality with the launch of the Series 5 in 2019), it looks like Apple will painstakingly create custom sleep versions of each background with muted colors and lower brightness, so they consume less power. There will also be less animation and fewer elements on the screen: just the clock and a few widgets, maybe.
Of course, the full bright colors and icons of your usual lock or home screen return the moment you tap the screen or press the power button, like on the Apple Watch.
While this behavior was discovered in iOS 16, it’s worth reiterating that they won’t be available for the many current devices that can install that operating system. The always-on display feature is one of many new features that will be exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max; even the new iPhone 14 is excluded.
Check out our regularly updated iPhone 14 guide for the latest rumors about this fall’s launch. And if you can’t wait until September, browse our guide to the best iPhone deals and make sure you get the lowest possible price on the current range.