Apple could introduce major enhancements to the iPhone’s lock screen in iOS 16, with wallpapers that offer widget-like functionality, according to a new report. The OS reportedly will add always-on display support for the iPhone 14 Pro series as well.
Apple is expected to showcase iOS 16 — code-named “Sydney” — during the WWDC22 keynote on June 6.
iOS 16 could make your iPhone lock screen useful
In its current form, the iPhone’s lock screen does not offer much in terms of functionality except for displaying the time and providing quick access to the Camera app and flashlight.
In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman says Apple will overhaul the iPhone lock screen with new wallpapers that offer widget-like features. The report is light on details about this, but it looks like Apple intends to improve the lock screen’s usability with the upcoming iOS release.
Additionally, iOS 16 will add support for an always-on display. It would work similarly to recent Apple Watch models, showing glanceable information like date, time and unread notification icons. However, the feature is unlikely to come to existing iPhones. Apple supposedly will keep it exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The company was rumored to debut always-on display functionality with iPhone 13 last year, but that did not happen. It is now expected to debut on the iPhone 14 Pro series. Supposedly, the new display panels on the phones will be able to drop the refresh rate to 1Hz to reduce power consumption in always-on mode.
New features in iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and Health app
iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 may not introduce a major UI redesign, but they will include several new features. Gurman thinks there will be significant improvements to “windowing and multitasking” on iPads. The Messages app in iOS 16 reportedly will gain “more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages.”
Apple’s Health app reportedly will gain a lot of new features that will work with both the iPhone and Apple Watch. watchOS 9 will get a major overhaul, too, and bring improvements to navigation and daily operations. There will be enhancements to watch faces, and the OS will gain support for low-power mode.
As for new hardware, Apple could debut the M2-powered MacBook Air at WWDC22. Many developers report seeing Apple employees testing their apps on the upcoming Air, which points to the laptop’s imminent release.