Apple is known for taking its sweet, sweet time when developing and rolling out new changes at scale. Whether it’s in the software department or in the hardware department – the Cupertino company sticks firmly with what users find familiar. Last month, I highlighted in an editorial how the iPhone has looked roughly the same since it debuted in 2007. It’s clearly changed shapes and forms. However, the overall design has matured slowly over the years, not in a surprising way. The company rarely shocks its users with major tweaks that would destroy their standards. Usually, when Apple releases a new addition, it includes an innovative spin that makes it stand out. For example, some Android phones supported “face recognition” years before Face ID was introduced. However, none of them were as advanced or secure as the TrueDepth camera and sensors they pack. Always-On Display is no different.
Last month, the tech giant Cupertino launched the iPhone 14 series. This year, the iPhone maker made a clear distinction between the regular and Pro models. The previous category retained most of the aspects of its predecessor. Meanwhile, the recent phones got some exclusive additions that boosted their sales. when you Buy iPhone 14 ProYou get an all-new A16 Bionic chipset, dynamic island, 48MP wide-angle camera, and an always-on display. While my colleague Timi hates the Apple app, I find it very creative, and it fits perfectly with the company’s philosophy. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons why I upgraded my iPhone this year. I needed this great Apple Watch feature to make its way to my phone’s larger screen.
Apple’s screen always looks like it’s at home, and that’s a good thing
Many of the arguments made by Apple’s Always-On Display critics revolve around it being an exact copy of the Lock Screen. Personally, I think that’s what makes the iPhone app for this feature so special. As I just mentioned, Apple does not shock users or excite their familiar environments. When you turn off the screen, it smoothly switches to the Always On Display mode. It hides any unnecessary information, dims the screen and keeps most of your wallpaper – depending on its colors.
Meanwhile, in the Android section, most of the Always-On Display implementations I’ve come across look like a terminal window. They are plain black screens with white text (usually) showing the time, date, and weather. You can also see icons of apps that have sent you notifications. Sounds like a simple app, a half-baked cake that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. When navigating between screens that turn on and off, the transition is very abrupt. From the colorful and vibrant design, to the sterile pitch-black display that’s clearly hungry for some creative flair. The layout difference between the normal Android Lock Screen and the typical Always-On Display mode is very obvious. This is not a good thing.
When I light the screen on my iPhone 14 Pro, the Always-On screen seamlessly switches to the lock screen. It restores vivid background colors and brightness while showing data that was hidden, such as battery level, connectivity and carrier name. This makes Apple’s always-on display an always-on display.
It always saves me from having to turn on my screen
Always-On Display, as a feature, aims to display information at the right time when you need it – without interacting with your phone. In the Android section, the feature usually shows you the icon of the app that notified you. Apple took a different approach. Go ahead and display the notifications as regular banners. This means that you can see who texted you without having to touch your phone. I can’t express how easy this implementation is for me. Instead of checking my phone every now and then to see if I’ve missed an important notification, it just floats there on its MagSafe holder to display the alerts I’ve received.
Another aspect I love is the app integration. Whether you’re navigating with Apple Maps or making a phone call – Always-On Display will only dim the buttons instead of showing a blank screen. This way, when the screen actually lights up, you know what button layout to expect. You don’t have to pause for milliseconds to record the screen you’re currently working on. Likewise, the music you play in Always-On Display mode appears, along with the album art. It’s like you’re in the Music app – except you’re not.
Now, when I get dressed to leave the house, instead of asking Siri what the temperature is outside, I look at my iPhone. The weather widget remains on the lock screen and in always-on mode. Some may find this a minor advantage. However, just turning my head toward the floating phone while choosing what to wear makes my life easier. An alternative would be to ask Siri or reach for my iPhone and light up its screen every time I need to leave the house.
Innovation doesn’t stop there
It is true that using this feature will consume more battery power. After all, you keep the screen turned on at approx all times. While the iPhone lowers the refresh rate to 1 Hz when in Always View Mode, the screen remains on and displays the content. So, turning it off will obviously save some power. However, Apple hasn’t just reimagined the look and feel of the Always-On Display. It also comes up with smart ways to conserve battery life. Indeed, my iPhone lasts more than a day on a single charge – even though Always-On Display is enabled.
If you are an Apple Watch user, every time you leave the room, your iPhone screen will turn off completely. She will then smoothly return to life when you approach her again. I’ve already seen it happen. This way, it saves battery power and makes sure no one is staring at any content on your screen while you’re gone.
Likewise, if you enable Sleep Focus, the feature will be disabled – you won’t need it when you’re not awake. Are you using Low Power Mode? The Always-On Display will also turn off to conserve precious battery juice. If you put your iPhone face down or in a pocket/bag, this will also turn the feature off temporarily. Furthermore, the iPhone learns from your usage patterns and habits, and depending on many factors, it can disable the feature when it assumes you don’t need it.
Many people argue that Apple’s design of the feature is too limited. For example, you can’t customize the Always-On screen individually – because it’s a reflection of the lock screen. Isn’t that expected? This is how the company has always operated in the mobile division. Users get limited options when it comes to customizing the experience on a basic level. iOS users are mostly used to this transaction, as almost the entire operating system works on the same principle. until the iOS 16 The customizable lock screen still has a lot of limitations. After all, those who seek to customize the user interface and experience beyond the basic surface level tend to use the Android operating system. Simply put – iOS caters to a different type of audience. For this to happen, Apple has to continue with its own unique approach that differs from that of Google and the Android OEM.
What do you think of Apple’s Always-On Display feature on iPhone 14 Pro? Let us know in the comments section below.
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