The clownfish from the first iPhone, returning as wallpapers with iOS 16, carries a little secret revealed by Apple’s 9to5Mac blog. A mode was discovered in Beta 4 that puts the wallpaper in a special mode called “Sleep”. Apparently, this does not mean the focus mode of the same name, but it should be a darkened version that is especially suitable for an always-on display. Such is expected for the Pro line of the iPhone 14.
According to the rumors available, the always-on display in the iPhone 14 Pro is supposed to be similar in its functionality to that of the Apple Watch, which has been able to avoid the switched-off screen since the Series 5. The screen is slightly darkened when it is not active. Above all, however, the refresh rate is significantly reduced to 1 Hertz in order to reduce energy consumption.
On the Apple Watch, for example, this means that the seconds are no longer displayed for times. However, hours and minutes continue to be displayed and updated. It should run in a similar way on the iPhone, according to 9to5Mac from the available code finds.
Images are rendered in real time
Apparently, Apple doesn’t want to do without the wallpaper completely even in always-on mode. Therefore, all backgrounds in iOS 16 beta 4 have been enabled to enter a darkened mode. In the case of the clown fish, this reduces the details and works out distinctive elements such as the stripes of the fish.
This is possible because Apple no longer works with static images, but instead renders the background images in real time based on previous findings. This is necessary so that the time, for example, can partially disappear behind picture elements, which enables a special depth effect.
More hints in iOS 16
Already in the first developer beta of iOS 16 there were initial findings that suggest concrete preparation for the always-on display. There are three new frameworks that are specifically dedicated to the backlight management of the display. These have direct connections to the so-called springboard as the control center for the always-on display and the new lock screen.
There is also a test mode that Apple engineers can use on the iPhone 13 Pro, for example, to try out the always-on display. Because even current displays can already reduce the refresh rate. However, probably not to the extent that is supposed to be the case with the iPhone 14 Pro.
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