Apple's WWDC 2022 was a really good look at what the company is planning ahead of the expected iPhone 14 launch later in September or October.
iOS 16, the crown jewel of Apple's empire, is getting some tasty updates, including a completely revamped lock screen experience, reworked notifications, updated Messages and Maps, and a lot more besides.
But what does this mean for the iPhone 14?
While the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the smartphone that I use everyday, was a pretty significant update over the iPhone 12 Pro Max – think 120hz ProMotion display, for example – the iPhone 14 could end up being a more incremental update.
Of course, we don't know for sure and Apple keeps its cards very close to the chest, but supply chain issues and the "tick-tock" upgrade cycle signal a potentially incremental update.
But it won't matter because iOS 16 offers so many incredible things that will make upgrading even more worthwhile, on top of the expected upgrades to battery life, the camera, and so on.
So, let's look at three updates in iOS 16 that make the iPhone 14 upgrade very, very appealing.
1. Always-on Display
An always-on display is something that rivals smartphones have had for some time but Apple has conspicuously failed to include.
That seems set to change, however, after 9to5Mac found (opens in new tab) multiple references to an always-on display in the beta code for iOS 16.
While it's not completely conclusive, the updated lock screens (see below) would definitely lend themselves to having an always-on element. In addition, Apple's ProMotion displays can drop to as low as 10hz.
All of these clues point to the iPhone 14 getting a really useful upgrade.
2. Custom lock screens
This one might not seem like the biggest deal until you consider how many times you look at your lock screen everyday – tens or even hundreds of times.
Apple's changes are pretty fundamental, too, including the ability to change the font and look of the clock, add widgets, set custom backgrounds, and maintain various lock screen profiles to switch between.
Of course, some Android handsets already have these features but Apple is doing it in their classic way: thoughtfully and with incredibly polished design.
Perhaps the hardest thing to extrapolate from Apple's iOS 16 announcement – which was devoid of future hardware mentions – is the things that Apple is laying the groundwork for ahead of the iPhone 14.
As with everything Apple, the hardware and software work harmoniously, meaning that there are likely things sneakily hiding in iOS 16 that will jump into action when the iPhone 14 is released.
It's impossible to know what, exactly, these things are ahead of time, but we're sure there are some excellent surprises waiting for anyone wanting to get the iPhone 14.