One of the best Android phone things I'm genuinely jealous of is the always-on display: while my Apple Watch Series 7 has one, my iPhone 13 doesn't. And while I'm aware that having to tap my phone one extra time is very much a first world problem, I don't think it's unreasonable to want a very expensive iPhone to have the same tech Nokia put in its 6303 way back in 2008 or that has been in tons of Samsung Galaxy devices up to and including the Samsung Galaxy S22.
The good news is that Apple is apparently planning to have an always-on display in the iPhone 14 to show basic information and notifications. The bad news is that it's likely to be limited to the Pro and Pro Max models. That's according to respected Apple watcher Mark Gurman, as reported in MacRumors: in addition to an enhanced Lock Screen with widget-like wallpapers, there will be an always-on mode in iOS 16.
Always on, but not in every iPhone
We were hoping to see always-on in the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, because those displays have LPTO panels with variable refresh rates (VRR): without VRR an always-on display would be too power-hungry, but those phones' displays can drop down from 120Hz to just 10Hz. The reason always-on doesn't appear to be coming to existing iPhones is because even 10Hz is too much: Apple is apparently using panels that go down to just 1Hz for the most expensive incoming iPhone 14 models.
It's not clear yet whether this new display mode will be used when the iPhone 14 launches, however: according to Gurman, the feature may not make it into the iPhone 14 in time for its launch. Whether that means it'll come in a later iOS update or if it'll be reserved for an even later iPhone isn't something we yet know.
I hope it does make it into the iPhone 14, because it's the kind of thing that makes using a device that little bit easier: moving to always-on on my Apple Watch has made a huge difference to its convenience, and while it's not quite so important on a phone it's still a feature I'd really like my iPhone to have.