Along with the Dynamic Island and a 48 MP camera, one of the biggest new features of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max was an always-on screen, but Apple’s implementation of the feature has proven controversial. Soon, however, there could be a solution for those who want an always-on display, but not in the way Apple initially offered it.
Apple’s current always-on display implementation basically just dims the lock screen – but it’s still in color and it still shows everything, which isn’t to everyone’s taste. We’ll dig deeper into why that’s down below, but the big news is that iOS 16.2 beta 3 includes an option to customize the always-on display.
Now, instead of just having it on or off, there are two additional toggles: one to choose whether or not to show the wallpaper, and one that lets you choose whether or not to show notifications.
If you disable both, then – as noted by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) – the always-on display only shows the time and your lock screen widgets against a black background, making the look much more similar to the always-on displays on android phones. It’s also the kind of implementation that those unhappy with the current version have been clamoring for.
Looks nice, but I’ll stick with the fun and colorful option. https://t.co/dSmgX9P9C9 pic.twitter.com/SRIXMpzub8November 15, 2022
You can see what this looks like in the tweet above, from Chance Miller, the editor-in-chief of 9to5Mac. Sure, some people really like Apple’s current implementation, but with the version in this beta you can have both versions, so no one will miss out.
That said, as with all beta software there’s always the caveat that this feature might not make it to the final release, but we think it probably will – and with iOS 16.2 likely to roll out before the end of the year, we’d must do. I don’t have to wait long.
Analysis: too much, too bright and too much battery consumption
The problems people have with Apple’s current version of an always-on display are many, but one of the biggest problems is that at a glance, or out of the corner of your eye, it can look like the screen is on – which is a telltale sign that a new report has arrived and may require attention.
That’s annoying, of course, and a screen full of notifications and other data – as the always-on display can often be – is also more than some people think they need from the feature.
Plus, by showing the full lock screen, even dimmed, Apple’s always-on display can noticeably drain the battery. Whether the new version in iOS 16.2 beta is less battery-hungry remains to be seen, but it seems likely.
So, along with the recent launch of Apple’s Emergency SOS feature, this update should make the day-to-day experience of using the best iPhones even better.