It appears that the iPhone 14 will eventually receive our new most requested feature

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An always-on display could allow basic information such as the time, date, and notifications to remain on-screen without needing to press the power button. And the latest beta of iOS 16, released this week, reveals that Apple’s new iPhone wallpapers appear optimized for the always-on treatment. (Don’t fancy waiting? Check out the best iPhone 13 deals available now.)

Some improvements have been at the top of iPhone customers’ wish lists for years, from longer battery life to the inclusion of USB-C. The inclusion of an always-on display, which is already a major hit on the Apple Watch, is one of the most often speculated improvements. And currently, fresh leaks (from Apple themselves, no less) indicate that it might actually occur in 2022.


  • Indeed, it seems iOS 16 is taking more than a few design cues from the Apple Watch. Not only are dynamic wallpapers such as the 3D ‘portrait mode’ making the jump to iPhone, but the Fitness app will no longer require an Apple Watch to be used on iOS. Quicker access to essential information can only be a good thing for creatives – being able to glance at the time on your iPhone while it’s sitting on your desk certainly sounds more convenient than having to reach for the power button to illuminate it. Plus, in his Power On newsletter(opens in new tab), seasoned Apple leaker Mark Gurman recently explained how the refresh rate of the lock screen could be significantly reduced, allowing the screen to display constant information without a huge impact on battery life.

  • As spotted by 9to5Mac(opens in new tab), the new iOS 16 wallpapers (which include a delightful blast from the past) are in fact multi-layered vectors, capable of being rendered in various brightness modes. And a new state in Beta 4, titled ‘Sleep’, is particularly dark. As anyone with an Apple Watch will know, wallpapers in ‘always-on’ mode are often much darker versions of the standard visual.

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).

To be honest, the feature doesn’t sound quite as essential here as it has proven on the Apple Watch. The inability to glance at the time on the Watch without tapping it (or using the awkward ‘raise to wake’ option) rather hindered its usefulness as a, you know, watch. But if it could speed up creatives’ workflows on iPhone, then it’s certainly worth having. While time will tell if always-on will indeed arrive this year, it’s yet exciting addition to the ever-growing pile of iPhone 14 rumours.


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