Gurman on iOS 16 Lock Screen Improvements

Mark Gurman, writing in his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg:

Personally, I don’t spend much time on my iPhone’s lock screen. I can’t remember the last time that I’ve swiped to the right on it to open the widgets panel. When I want to read through notifications, I typically unlock my phone, then view the notification panel from inside the system. I’d venture to guess my most used lock-screen feature is the flashlight button.

To each their own, of course, but I love the “Today View” widgets list to the left of the lock screen, and I use it throughout the day. Weather, upcoming calendar events, and a widget with my most-used Shortcut actions are all at the top, visible without scrolling. And I have few more widgets on the Today View that I do need to scroll to see. It’s just a tremendously convenient way to check glanceable information. I unlock my iPhone to do stuff; but the Today View is terrific for just checking glanceable information, and the complete configurability of the widgets in Today View means the glanceable information is only what I personally care about, in the order I want to see it. It’s one of my very favorite features in all of iOS, and in recent years, the one that has most changed how I use my iPhone.

If you’re not using this, you really should try it. It’s a great way to check a few essential things without unlocking your phone. Not sure why Gurman mentioned notifications here though — you get notifications on the main lock screen, not on the Today View.

That’s probably going to change with iOS 16 and the iPhone 14. Apple is planning major enhancements for the lock screen, including wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities.

Sound like maybe adding Today View features to the main lock screen?

Further, I’m told iOS 16 builds in future support for an always-on lock screen, something Apple was originally planning for last year’s iPhone 13. This would allow the iPhone to turn down the frame rate significantly on the lock screen and display quickly glanceable information — similar to newer Apple Watches.

I’m told to expect the always-on mode as an exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models, codenamed D73 and D74, if the feature ends up making the cut.

This would be great, but even without Gurman’s reporting, I’d have expected support for this to be gated to new iPhone hardware, and gating it to the 14 Pro models sounds right too. Perhaps Apple would consider supporting an always-on mode for the lock screen for existing iPhone hardware only when they’re charging, though?

Sunday, 29 May 2022