This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.

In lower than every week, the iPhone 14 needs to be introduced at Apple’s annual fall event. We are going to doubtless be taught the official launch date for iOS 16 as properly. Apple’s subsequent main iPhone working system, iOS 16, was previewed at WWDC and is now out there to download for developers. The brand new iPhone replace will work on the iPhone 8 and newer and sure launch alongside the rumored iPhone 14 this fall. iOS 16 affords a bunch of closely requested options, equivalent to the power to customize your lock screen or edit sent iMessages. However in the event you look intently, iOS 16 may additionally reveal some clues concerning the iPhone 14.

Whereas Apple advised 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 stunning; 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 possibly debut these options as exclusives for the newest iPhone. 

For instance, Cinematic mode was absent from Apple’s iOS 15 announcement and as a substitute launched as an iPhone 13 function within the fall. Although in the event you look intently, there have been some delicate hints sprinkled in iOS 15. Since Apple launched Portrait mode for FaceTime calls in iOS 15, it is simple 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 would count on for the iPhone 14 sequence. Considered one of these clues is definitely buried within the code for iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 may need an always-on show

I used to be disenchanted to see that Apple didn’t add an always-on display to iOS 16. It is a useful function discovered on quite a few Android telephones, and even the Apple Watch. An always-on show reveals primary info just like the time or climate whereas your telephone is asleep. As an alternative of lighting up your complete show like your lock display does, an always-on show solely prompts a portion of the display to avoid wasting energy. It is an amazing comfort and would make the iPhone extra glance-friendly.

The Apple-focused web site 9to5Mac reports it found a number of references in iOS 16 that recommend help for an always-on show may very well be within the iPhone’s future. The weblog discovered references to backlight administration instruments in addition to hidden flags for engineers that would permit them to check the function on an iPhone 13 Professional.


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

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

However always-on show help could be restricted as a result of the display’s refresh charge must dip all the way down to 10Hz and even decrease to make use of much less energy; manner beneath the common iPhone’s typical 60Hz refresh charge. 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 would imply that it debuts on the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max since it might doubtless require new {hardware}.

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

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

In the course of 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 may imply a extra highly effective Cinematic mode

Considered one of iOS 16’s extra delicate options is revamped Visible Lookup which might establish objects, individuals, pets and landmarks in pictures and supply further info or context. A nifty addition this 12 months is the power to faucet on any photograph to take away the background. You possibly can 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 may see Cinematic mode getting a lift from the machine studying that powers the new Visual Lookup tap-and-lift tool. That machine studying acceleration mixed with a probable new A16 Bionic chip may make Cinematic mode movies look higher. Topics may very well be extra reliably “cutout” and backgrounds have extra of a constant out-of-focus look. Apple may additionally use the separation expertise to make Cinematic mode do extra issues akin to Portrait mode like exchange the background for a black coloration or place your topic towards a white backdrop.

Cinematic mode made its debut on the iPhone 13 sequence 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 paying homage 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 truly fairly great.

A Professional mode for the Digicam app

With out even studying a single rumor, you possibly can guess that the cameras on the iPhone 14 sequence might be higher than these on the iPhone 13 lineup. Lots of these enhancements will doubtless come from computational photography-powered features such as SmartHDR and Deep Fusion, which immediately correlate to the chip powering the telephone. So an iPhone 14 operating on an A16 chip would theoretically have new digital camera options or improved photograph processing strategies that the iPhone 13 lacks.

Apple’s addition of a customizable lock display in iOS 16 has me looking forward to 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 may very well be a Professional mode that may be toggled on and off and supply shortcuts to tweak digital camera settings on the fly. Or perhaps 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 fallacious, the iPhone nonetheless has probably the greatest Digicam apps on any telephone offered at the moment. However very similar to a household can outgrow a home, the variety of options and modes is beginning to develop previous the app’s unique intent.

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

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