Recently, there have been many reports about Apple’s upcoming iPhone 14 series. One of the interesting news is that the iPhone 14 Pro series will support the always active screen function. The projection function has always been in operation on Android for a long time and in fact it has various tricks. However, this feature was not available for iPhone. How difficult is it to implement this function?
When did the always active screen application start?
From the time of the standard phones, many mobile phones have “flashing lights”. “Flashing lights” will flash to remind you of missed calls, text messages or low battery. You can get this basic information without turning on the screen. It is more convenient to use and is considered the forerunner of the always active screen function.
The always-on screen displays basic information on a part of the screen that is always on, replacing the flashing light reminder function. In the early days of smartphones, the always-on screen was not common, mainly because most cell phones at the time used LCD screens. This type of screen is not suitable for achieving the always-on screen function.
Due to the backlight features of LCD screens, even if only a small area of content is displayed, the entire screen should be backlit. Usually, we can easily feel the features of this screen when watching movies on an LCD screen. Even in a purely black scene, the screen can only display a gray-gray effect. This is because the backlight of the screen is always on and a clear black screen cannot be achieved. This is the main reason why LCD screens have much less contrast than OLED screens.
Due to this feature, it consumes more power which will obviously affect the battery life and the practicality is not high.
The OLED screen brings a new dimension
OLED and LCD monitors display a comparison chart of clear black screens. The OLED display supports pixel level light emission, which can independently control whether a particular pixel emits light. For example, when clear black is displayed, the OLED display can turn off the pixels, which not only can display brighter black, but also have a more efficient energy saving effect.
The OLED screen can illuminate a small part of the screen and is always on to display practical information such as time reminders and messages. Users can view basic information without manual operation, which is more convenient to use. Only a small portion of the screen is illuminated, effectively reducing the screen impact on battery life. Thus, this feature takes into account and improves both the comfort and the life of the battery.
Old function for main Android smartphone
The main Android smartphones generally support the always active screen function. In fact, most Android smartphones have a variety of built-in display styles to choose from. In addition to information such as notifications, time, date, feeding, etc., the screen can also display interesting animal motifs, art style motifs, personalized text, etc., while the game is different.
Users can also customize the content on the screen, including customizing the type of alerts to be displayed, embedded style colors, layouts, etc., with a very high degree of personalization. Some Android phones also support the immediate use of album art as a display pattern. You can define any pattern you want and the degree of personalization is very high.
Systems like ColorOS even add a hand-drawing function to the on-screen display. Users can manually draw a screen pattern with individual features and display their own hand-painted works directly. The off-screen display can actually offer a more convenient information retrieval experience.
However, despite the blessing of OLED screen features, the always open screen off screen will still consume a lot of power. This will affect the battery life of the mobile phone to some extent.
However, the always-on display feature of Android phones is usually not always enabled by default. It will only be active when you gently move the phone or touch the screen to minimize the impact of the screen on battery life. Of course, you can also turn on the all-day display or timing display. Some mobile phones with LTPO screens will also use the screen feature to smartly adjust the refresh rate. This helps save energy.
What is different about the always open iPhone mode?
We can see that it is not so difficult to use the display function always active. Since an Android smartphone has an OLED screen, it probably supports an always-on screen function.
The iPhone X released in 2017 uses an OLED screen and the iPhone 12 series has been completely changed to an OLED screen. The screen already has such conditions. If the iPhone wants to perform the display function always open, there will be no major technical problems. However, as of now, no iPhone supports this feature.
Recent reports suggest that the iPhone 14 Pro series will support always-on display. Also, with an upgraded version of the LTPO monitor, it will support a minimum refresh rate of 1Hz. When the projection function is always active, it can reduce the refresh rate to 1 Hz. This can save energy, reduce the impact on battery life and provide a better screen display experience.
Because the always-on screen is important to Apple
At the Apple WWDC22 Developers Conference, apple released iOS 16 with a redesigned lock screen interface. In addition to significant changes to the interface style, widgets such as weather and battery have been added. Users can customize their own lock screen interface. The lock screen interface can now also display information such as event notifications, which is more functional. The view feature always on can be applied directly to the lock screen interface. With the new screen lock feature, Apple will want to optimize its battery life.
The always active screen function is not only convenient, but also helps the battery life of the device. An earlier report reveals that some AOD (always-screen-related) code-box evidence was found in the beta version for iOS 16 developers.