What iOS 16 May Tell Us About the iPhone 14

Final week Apple previewed iOS 16, its subsequent main model of iPhone software program. The brand new working system will work on the iPhone 8 and newer and sure launch this fall alongside the closely rumored iPhone 14. iOS 16 is filled with new heavily-requested options and instruments, similar to the power to customise your lock display or edit despatched Messages. It additionally may reveal some clues concerning the iPhone 14 — for those who look intently sufficient.

Whereas Apple informed us loads about new options coming to present iPhones, it lacked any particular point out of what to anticipate from the iPhone 14. That is not shocking; Apple by no means discusses new merchandise earlier than saying them. Generally the corporate reserves sure software program bulletins for its annual iPhone occasion so it may possibly debut these options as exclusives for the most recent iPhone. 

For instance, Cinematic mode was absent from Apple’s iOS 15 announcement and as a substitute launched as an iPhone 13 characteristic within the fall. Although for those who look intently, there have been some delicate hints sprinkled in iOS 15. Since Apple launched Portrait mode for FaceTime calls in iOS 15, it is easy to think about Apple making a Portrait mode for video recording — which is basically what Cinematic mode is.

iOS 16 appears to be no completely different. A number of options appear like they’ve the potential to supply hints as to what we would count on for the iPhone 14 collection. One in every of these clues is definitely buried within the code for iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 might need an always-on show

I used to be disenchanted to see that Apple did not add an always-on show to iOS 16. It is a helpful characteristic discovered on quite a few Android telephones, and even the Apple Watch. An always-on show reveals fundamental data just like the time or climate whereas your cellphone is asleep. As an alternative of lighting up your total show like your lock display does, an always-on show solely prompts a portion of the display to save lots of energy. It is an amazing comfort and would make the iPhone extra glance-friendly.

The publication 9to5Mac claims to have found a number of references in iOS 16 that counsel assist for an always-on show could possibly be within the iPhone’s future. The weblog discovered references to backlight administration instruments in addition to hidden flags for engineers that might enable them to check the characteristic on an iPhone 13 Professional.


The Xiaomi Mi 10 Professional has an always-on show that reveals the date, time, battery life and an avatar of an astronaut.

Sareena Dayaram/CNET

However always-on show assist could be restricted as a result of the display’s refresh charge must dip all the way down to 10Hz and even decrease to make use of much less energy; means under the common iPhone’s typical 60Hz refresh charge. The always-on show for the Apple Watch works at 1Hz which is not supported on any present iPhone (the 13 Professional can go as little as 10Hz) and that might imply that it debuts on the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max since it could probably require new {hardware}.

Even with out these clues within the code, the revamped and customizable lock display additionally hints at an always-on show. Particularly, the way in which iOS 16 notifications are corralled on the backside of the display makes me marvel if Apple is experimenting with methods to protect display actual property. That is vital for an always-on show since that characteristic solely makes use of particular parts of the display to protect energy.

iOS 16’s new lock display widgets are one other potential clue, since they really feel extra akin to Apple Watch problems and are subsequently extra glanceable. Some Android telephones have comparable widgets on their very own always-on shows.  

In the course of the WWDC, Apple confirmed somebody tapping and holding on the canine in a photograph and lifting it from the background to share in a message. It a part of a revamped Visible Lookup.


Visible Lookup may imply a extra highly effective Cinematic mode

One in every of iOS 16’s extra delicate options is revamped Visible Lookup which might determine objects, individuals, pets and landmarks in photographs and supply further data or context. A nifty addition this 12 months is the power to faucet on any photograph to take away the background. You’ll be able to actually tap-and-lift a foreground topic like an individual or a canine away from the background and add the “cutout” to different apps to share or create a collage.

I may see Cinematic mode getting a lift from the machine studying that powers the brand new Visible Lookup tap-and-lift device. That machine studying acceleration mixed with a probable new A16 Bionic chip may make Cinematic mode movies look higher. Topics could possibly be extra reliably “cutout” and backgrounds have extra of a constant out-of-focus look. Apple may additionally use the separation expertise to make Cinematic mode do extra issues akin to Portrait mode like change the background for a black colour or place your topic towards a white backdrop.

Cinematic mode made its debut on the iPhone 13 collection and is principally Apple’s tackle a Portrait mode for video. Whereas Cinematic mode is extremely enjoyable to make use of, the outcomes will be hit and miss. It is harking back to when Apple launched Portrait mode with the iPhone 7 Plus: initially it labored however wasn’t nice. Over a number of years, Apple improved Portrait mode to the purpose the place it is really fairly great.

A Professional mode for the Digicam app

With out even studying a single rumor, you would guess that the cameras on the iPhone 14 collection can be higher than these on the iPhone 13 lineup. Quite a lot of these enhancements will probably come from computational photography-powered options like SmartHDR and Deep Fusion, which immediately correlate to the chip powering the cellphone. So an iPhone 14 operating on an A16 chip would theoretically have new digicam options or improved photograph processing strategies that the iPhone 13 lacks.

Apple’s addition of a customizable lock display in iOS 16 has me longing for an overhaul to the Digicam app on the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max. New skilled options like ProRaw and ProRes video recording could make the Digicam app interface really feel a bit cramped. Maybe there could possibly be a Professional mode that may be toggled on and off and supply shortcuts to tweak digicam settings on the fly. Or possibly Apple cleans up the Digicam app’s interface to make it extra visually interesting. 

Apple ProRes toggle shown on the display of an iPhone 13 Pro

Apple ProRes debuted on the iPhone 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max in 2021.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Do not get me incorrect, the iPhone nonetheless has among the best Digicam apps on any cellphone offered right now. However very similar to a household can outgrow a home, the variety of options and modes is beginning to develop previous the app’s unique intent.

After all, that is all hypothesis, and we can’t know something concerning the subsequent iPhone till Apple proclaims it. But when there’s one certainty, it is that it’ll run iOS 16.

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