iOS 16 Might Be Giving Us Clues to the iPhone 14

Apple’s subsequent main iPhone working system, iOS 16was previewed at WWDC and is now out there to obtain for builders. The brand new iPhone replace will work on the iPhone 8 and newer and certain launch alongside the rumored iPhone 14 this fall. iOS 16 presents a bunch of closely requested options, resembling the flexibility to customise your lock display screen or edit despatched iMessages. However for those who look carefully, iOS 16 may additionally reveal some clues concerning the iPhone 14.

Whereas Apple informed us quite a bit about new options coming to present iPhones, it lacked any particular point out of what to anticipate from the iPhone 14. That is not shocking; Apple by no means discusses new merchandise earlier than saying them. Generally the corporate reserves sure software program bulletins for its annual iPhone occasion so it may debut these options as exclusives for the newest iPhone.

For instance, Cinematic mode was absent from Apple’s iOS 15 announcement and as an alternative launched as an iPhone 13 function within the fall. Although for those who look carefully, there have been some refined hints sprinkled in iOS 15. Since Apple launched Portrait mode for FaceTime calls in iOS 15it is easy to think about Apple making a Portrait mode for video recording – which is basically what Cinematic mode is.

iOS 16 appears to be no completely different. A number of options appear to be they’ve the potential to supply hints as to what we’d count on for the iPhone 14 collection. Certainly one of these clues is definitely buried within the code for iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 might need an always-on show

I used to be disillusioned to see that Apple did not add an always-on show to iOS 16. It is a helpful function discovered on quite a few Android telephones, and even the Apple Watch. An always-on show exhibits fundamental data just like the time or climate whereas your telephone is asleep. As a substitute of lighting up your total show like your lock display screen does, an always-on show solely prompts a portion of the display screen to save lots of energy. It is an awesome comfort and would make the iPhone extra glance-friendly.

The Apple-focused website 9to5Mac stories it found a number of references in iOS 16 that recommend help for an always-on show might be within the iPhone’s future. The weblog discovered references to backlight administration instruments in addition to hidden flags for engineers that might enable them to check the function on an iPhone 13 Professional.


The Xiaomi Mi 10 Professional has an always-on show that exhibits the date, time, battery life and an avatar of an astronaut.

Sareena Dayaram / CNET

However always-on show help may be restricted as a result of the display screen’s refresh fee must dip all the way down to 10Hz and even decrease to make use of much less energy; manner under the common iPhone’s typical 60Hz refresh fee. The always-on show for the Apple Watch works at 1Hz which is not supported on any present iPhone (the 13 Professional can go as little as 10Hz) and that might imply that it debuts on the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max since it will probably require new {hardware}.

Even with out these clues within the code, the revamped and customizable lock display screen additionally hints at an always-on show. Particularly, the best way iOS 16 notifications are corralled on the backside of the display screen makes me surprise if Apple is experimenting with methods to protect display screen actual property. That is vital for an always-on show since that function solely makes use of particular parts of the display screen to protect energy.

iOS 16’s new lock display screen widgets are one other potential clue, since they really feel extra akin to Apple Watch problems and are due to this fact extra glanceable. Some Android telephones have related widgets on their very own always-on shows.

Through the WWDC, Apple confirmed somebody tapping and holding on the canine in a photograph and lifting it from the background to share in a message. It is a part of a revamped Visible Lookup.


Visible Lookup might imply a extra highly effective Cinematic mode

Certainly one of iOS 16’s extra refined options is revamped Visible Lookup which might establish objects, folks, pets and landmarks in photographs and supply extra data or context. A nifty addition this 12 months is the flexibility to faucet on any photograph to take away the background. You may actually tap-and-lift a foreground topic like an individual or a canine away from the background and add the “cutout” to different apps to share or create a collage.

I might see Cinematic mode getting a lift from the machine studying that powers the brand new Visible Lookup tap-and-lift software. That machine studying acceleration mixed with a probable new A16 Bionic chip might make Cinematic mode movies look higher. Topics might be extra reliably “cutout” and backgrounds have extra of a constant out-of-focus look. Apple might additionally use separation know-how to make Cinematic mode do extra issues akin to Portrait mode like change the background for a black shade or place your topic in opposition to a white backdrop.

Cinematic mode made its debut on the iPhone 13 collection and is mainly Apple’s tackle a Portrait mode for video. Whereas Cinematic mode is enjoyable to make use of, the outcomes will be hit and miss. It is harking back to when Apple launched Portrait mode with the iPhone 7 Plus: Initially it labored however wasn’t nice. Over a number of years, Apple improved Portrait mode to the purpose the place it is really fairly fantastic.

A Professional mode for the Digicam app

With out even studying a single rumor, you would guess that the cameras on the iPhone 14 collection shall be higher than these on the iPhone 13 lineup. A whole lot of these enhancements will probably come from computational photography-powered options resembling SmartHDR and Deep Fusion, which instantly correlate to the chip powering the telephone. So an iPhone 14 working on an A16 chip would theoretically have new digital camera options or improved photograph processing methods that the iPhone 13 lacks.

Apple’s addition of a customizable lock display screen in iOS 16 has me eager for an overhaul to the Digicam app on the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max. New skilled options like ProRaw and ProRes video recording could make the Digicam app interface really feel a bit cramped. Maybe there might be a Professional mode that may be toggled on and off and supply shortcuts to tweak digital camera settings on the fly. Or possibly Apple will clear up the Digicam app’s interface to make it extra visually interesting.

Apple ProRes toggle shown on the display of an iPhone 13 Pro

Apple ProRes debuted on the iPhone 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max in 2021.

Patrick Holland / CNET

Do not get me mistaken, the iPhone nonetheless has top-of-the-line Digicam apps on any telephone offered at present. However very like a household can outgrow a home, the variety of options and modes is beginning to develop previous the app’s authentic intent.

That is all hypothesis, nonetheless, and we cannot know something concerning the subsequent iPhone till Apple declares it. But when there’s one certainty, it is that it’ll run iOS 16.

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