As discovered by the developers rhogelleim (Opens in a new tab) And the Steve Moser (Opens in a new tab) (via MacRumors (Opens in a new tab)), beta 4 for Xcode 14, which is Apple’s development system for iOS, macOS, and other software, contains some changes to the iPhone emulation function.
The crucial things here are about the lock screen, as rhogelleim found that adding images to the lock screen widget makes them appear black and white:
Xcode 14 beta 4 appears to be leaking Always on Display in the preview of SwiftUI, a widget (lock screen extension) with a color image. #iOS16 #beta @MacRumors @9to5mac pic.twitter.com/h5SdCUHYmOAugust 1, 2022
Moser then built on that finding with one of his own: that a simulated lock screen briefly changes how these gadgets appear when you wake up.
You can see in the two images below, which Moser captured from the lock screen wake-up animation, that the cartoon whale icon first appears as a silhouette in Always On Display (AOD), while details like her eye and pallor-colored belly are added later.
A preview of the rumored “Always on Display” iPhone 14 Pro feature may have been leaked by Xcode 14 beta 4 Simulator. The first two frames of a sim wake up video are attached. The first image (Always on Display mode) removes the texture from the whale image in the piece 🧵 https://t.co/YDsTmuHotb pic.twitter.com/jPYDGh7m6kAugust 1, 2022
This fits with previous leaks about the so-called “sleep” mode of the iOS 16 lock screen. Those have suggested that it will work by desaturating and opacity of image elements to preserve strength, while still showing its fuzzy outline. This is also how the AOD feature works on the Apple Watch 7 and earlier Apple Watches.
It appears that Apple has laid the groundwork for AOD in iOS 16, which will be launched alongside the iPhone 14 but is currently available in beta. The iOS 16 beta lets users add widgets and other customizable widgets to the lock screen, and their simple monochrome designs are sure to look like they’ll be visible when the rest of the screen is off.
An always-on display also needs the right kind of panels, i.e. those that can display images at low refresh rates to avoid using too much power. Fortunately, other rumors of the iPhone 14 Pro say that it will get an improved version of the adaptive ProMotion display already on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. This will apparently allow the new iPhone to scale between 1Hz and 120Hz, with the previous number being exactly what you need to get an effective AOD.
We almost certainly won’t know for sure if the iPhone 14 Pro will get an always-on display until September, the month when Apple tends to unveil its new smartphone every year. If you want to read about other rumored upgrades, like the 48MP main camera and new notch design, and find out how the base model’s chipset and display will differ, check out the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro pivots.
And for more news from Cupertino, you may also be interested in our exclusive story on how Apple kills the password forever.