The Apple iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max get a revised always-on display with iOS 16.2
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max currently show a darkened background image in standby mode with AOD running. (Image source: Apple)
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max currently show a darkened background image in standby mode with AOD running. (Image source: Apple)

Apple received plenty of criticism for how it integrated always-on display functionality for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. While the mode was almost indistinguishable from iOS 16’s active lock screen, it seems that this could change with iOS 16.2, a preview of which Apple already offers in Beta 3.

Always-on display (AOD) functionality has been available on Android smartphones for years at this point, with even the long retired Windows Phone platform supporting the feature too. However, it has taken until the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to offer comparable functionality, with Apple choosing to show the entire lock screen and a darkened version of the active background image, rather than just the time, date and a few widgets or notifications.

Theoretically, the displays in Apple’s latest flagship iPhones, which can reduce refresh rates to 1 Hz, are efficient enough to use this quasi-AOD. The experience of many iPhone 14 Pro series owners conflicts with this though, with the likes of Tom’s Guide remarking that using AOD on the iPhone 14 Pro costs up to 50% of battery life per day. Thankfully, it seems that Apple could already be finalising a more conventional AOD option, which could roll out in iOS 16.2.

As the embedded video below shows, the latest iOS 16.2 beta allows people to disable their wallpaper in AOD mode and whether they see notifications. By disabling both options, you can get the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max to only show the time, date and a few widgets in standby mode, which should improve runtimes with AOD active. Currently, Apple is expected to finalise iOS 16.2 in December. It is worth noting that not all beta features make it into stable iOS releases. Hence, there is no guarantee that improved AOD functionality will ship in iOS 16.2, despite its appearance here in iOS 16.2 Beta 3.

iPhone 14 Pro Always On Display now has a few settings in iOS 16.2 Beta 3

You can disable your wallpaper and/or notifications for a more classic Always On look ???? pic.twitter.com/ofl3Qhdtys

— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) November 16, 2022

Alex Alderson, 2022-11-17 (Update: 2022-11-17)