iPhone 14 Pro leak reveals how its always-on display is going to look

The iPhone 13 Pro Max lying on a table, face up, showing the home screen
The iPhone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: Future)

Based on code spotted in iOS 16 and tips from respected sources, it's widely expected that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are going to get an always-on display feature – and now we've got a few more details about how it will look and work.

This inside information has been obtained by MacRumors, and covers various aspects of the new feature. Widgets will be visible on the lock screen when the always-on mode is enabled, for example, fading in and out in an imperceptible way to prevent screen burn-in.

With lock screen wallpapers that have a depth effect, the effect will be removed and darkened in always-on mode. The foreground will be dimmed and tinted with color, with some highlighting that can be customized by the user.

Notifications and more

It seems as though settings like wallpaper, colors, fonts and widgets will be kept consistent between the always-on lock screen and the fully illuminated lock screen, so you won't be able to set different options for the two different modes of operation.

Notifications will appear on the always-on display, according to the new information, rolling in from the bottom as they arrive. A notification counter may be included at the bottom of the screen, and it sounds as though various parts of the notification alert interface can be customized by the user.

What's more, the status bar will be rearranged to make use of the extra space being created by the pill-shaped cut-out, another Pro model exclusive. At Apple's event on Wednesday, September 7, we'll find out for sure.

Analysis: the Pro models are set apart

The always-on display is one of just several upgrades that are rumored to be exclusive to the Pro and Pro Max models of the iPhone 14 – and Apple has clearly made a decision to split its flagship phone line into two distinct tiers.

If the leaks up to this point are to be believed, then the Pro and Pro Max models will get a brand new A16 Bionic processor, while the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus (or 14 Max, as it may be called) stick to the A15 Bionic chipset that powers the current iPhone 13 range. It's an approach that Apple is rumored to be sticking with in future years as well.

There's also been talk that the Pro models will come with superior screen technology too. Add in all the usual benefits you get from the Pro models, including an improved camera system compared with the more affordable versions of the iPhone, and it looks as though there's going to be a big jump up to the Pro level.

That's perhaps to push more people into buying more expensive iPhones, but it does make the iPhone 14 feel like a less substantial upgrade over what we already have. Time will tell if it's a strategy that ends up paying off for Apple.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.