May 30 update below. This post was first published on Sunday, May 29, 2022.
A new report claims a brilliant new feature could be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro, powered by the software that’s about to be revealed.
Apple’s next big iPhone software release, iOS 16, will be unveiled at Apple’s upcoming special event, the 2022 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The keynote will be a pre-recorded event but with an in-person contingent: streamed to a small group of developers in Cupertino and simultaneously to the rest of the world. It could include Apple’s biggest new product category reveal in almost eight years.
May 30 update. There are more leaks about the upcoming software-fest that is WWDC 2022 and how it will affect the iPhone 14 Pro and beyond. For a start, Gurman has doubled down on several other reports, saying, “As I’ve discussed previously, other iPhone 14 Pro features include a new front-facing camera and Face ID cutout, an A16 chip and a 48-megapixel back camera . There’s also the possibility of sending emergency texts over satellite networks.” That last one is a particular doozy, and one that was suggested could happen last year on the iPhone 13 Pro and, believe it or not, the Apple Watch. Neither came to pass but maybe 2022 is the year for this significant upgrade. It would mean that if you were hiking in the back of beyond where no regular cell signal was accessible, you could send an emergency text message via satellite. Very cool.
Additionally. some of the latest reports corroborate what Mark Gurman has said about iOS 16. Steve Troughton-Smithfor instance, says that “WebKit just added infrastructure for a ‘multitasking mode’ on iOS that sure looks like it’s a system toggle that enables freely-resizable windows.”
In other words, something that’s leaked on iOS refers to its sister iPadOS and leads analysts to believe that the holy grail for iPad upgrades is on its way: full-on multi-window capabilities like you get on the Mac. This is very big news, and Gurman has reiterated what’s mentioned above, saying, “I’m expecting major changes to windowing and multitasking, particularly on the iPad. This was affirmed by a finding from Steve Troughton-Smith, which hints that Apple is building support into its web browsing framework for better windowing support.”
This would be a very big deal, and since it’s been a long time coming, with gentle in that direction improving the overall experience, a big final step like this would be very welcome. As Troughton-Smith says, “If they’re really heading this direction w/ iPad, this would enable all-new form factors for iPadOS. Larger iPads, iPadOS laptops and desktops, ext monitors, more. You can see how Catalyst-optimized apps just light up in iPad’s new multitasking mode — a full ‘desktop’ experience.”
Of course, this could eat into MacBook sales, but Apple has said it never worries about cannibalizing its own product sales. So long as the customer sticks with Apple products, that is.
Back to the news of the other Gurman predictions…
Even if that doesn’t happen, for sure there will be the first looks at Apple’s software platforms: iOS for iPhone, iPadOS for iPad, macOS for Apple Macs, tvOS for Apple TV and watchOS for Apple Watch.
Now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his latest Power On newsletter, has news about what iOS 16 contains. While most of the innovations are software-only, at least one indicates something that may be locked to the iPhone 14 series, or parts of it, alone.
This is a feature the iPhone has never had, though plenty of Android phones have. Still, Apple’s mantra seems to be “Don’t do it first, do it right”.
The best always-on screens show the time, what notifications await, if there’s an alarm set and so on. You can configure them to show exactly what you want including, in the case of the excellent Huawei screens, a cute animation. It means you can glance down at the iPhone and see the time, even without touching it.
All without killing the battery.
Gurman claims that this new feature, assuming it makes the cut, will be reserved for Apple iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, that is, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max, if that’s what the other two phones are called, won’ t have it.
It’s a feature that’s been in the planning for a long time because according to Gurman it’s: “something Apple was originally planning for last year’s iPhone 13. This would allow the iPhone to turn down the frame rate significantly on the lock screen and display quickly glanceable information—similar to newer Apple Watches.”
If it happens, it’s a big deal.
Also in iOS 16
Gurman also claims that there will be an extensive series of changes across the OS, including, “updates to notifications, iPad multitasking, and the Messages and Health apps. The makeover also includes a part of the interface that’s often an afterthought: the lock screen.”
He rightly points out that the most used lock-screen feature is likely the flashlight button—if your usage is anything like mine, that is.
New “wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities” are predicted. There are no more details from Gurman about this, but it sounds exciting and suggests a more innovative and more useful lock screen.
The next iPhone software is predicted to see an improved Messages app with “more social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages.”
Messages already has a bunch of cool features like the ability to add confetti or balloons to texts and the fact that the advanced stuff is only available between Apple users adds to the exclusivity and helps stop a wholesale move to the multi-platform WhatsApp, perhaps.
New features are expected for the Health app on the iPhone, and while Gurman says there will be “plenty” of them. There are no more details yet.
More details as we have them, but not long until it’s all revealed.