Xcode backs up always-on display coming to iPhone 14 Pro

9to5Mac revealed last week that iOS 16 already has new wallpapers ready for a new always-on mode, which is expected to be one of the key new features in the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro. And to back up these rumours, the latest Xcode 14 beta also shows always-on display on the next-gen iPhone.

As the iOS developer noted @rhogelleim, the SwiftUI preview (which allows developers to interact with their app projects in real time) now has a new behavior potentially related to always-on display. After the developer simulates the action of turning off the screen, the new lock screen widgets become semi-transparent and the clock remains on the screen.

Always-on technology allows the system to display certain information on the screen while consuming very little battery power. In Apple Watch models with always-on display, the device displays the watch face even when the user is not interacting with it. Screen brightness is reduced and some visuals are hidden to save battery power.

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are rumored to be the first iPhones to feature an always-on display thanks to a new OLED panel with variable refresh rates ranging from 120Hz to 1Hz. The iPhone 13 Pro display ranges from 120Hz to 10Hz. While Apple could theoretically enable always-on mode for iPhone 13 Pro models, the feature should work more effectively with the new 1Hz display.

A preview of always-on mode in iOS 16

As previously demonstrated by 9to5Mac, some of the new iOS 16 wallpapers have a darker and less colorful version called “Sleep”, which could be used when the iPhone 14 Pro has the screen “off”. This would result in an experience similar to always-on mode on the Apple Watch instead of just a black screen with widgets.

We were also able to corroborate that Xcode 14 beta 4 does indeed partially support the new always-on mode. In the example below, you can also see the default iOS 16 wallpaper in its “Sleep” state when always-on mode is in action.

Some details are still unclear, such as system behavior with notifications, as this has not yet been implemented in code. Previous versions of the iOS 16 beta already hinted at always-on display on the iPhone 14 Pro. There’s even an internal mode that Apple uses to test always-on mode on the iPhone 13.

Learn more about iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 is expected to be introduced in four different models. However, only the Pro models will have the new display, the A16 Bionic chip and a new 48-megapixel wide camera.

The mid-range iPhone 14 models are rumored to be heavily based on the current iPhone 13, except for having 6GB of RAM instead of 4GB, a larger battery, and a new version with a 6.7-inch screen to replace the iPhone 13 mini.

The new iPhones are expected to be announced in September.

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