Apple could transform the iPhone lock screen to a smart display in iOS 17

May 25, 2023

Apple is reportedly working on a new mode for the iPhone lock screen. You could use your mobile as a smart display in iOS 17.

iOS 17 may turn your locked iPhone screen into a smart display

Apple wants to help users get live information on their iPhone, when the device is locked and positioned horizontally, i.e. placed in landscape mode. Mark Gurman reports that the upcoming version of iOS will introduce a way to turn an iPhone into a smart display that could be similar to Amazon's Echo Show or Google's Nest Hub.

As for the details that Apple's smart display mode could show on the screen, it is expected to be similar to the Ambient Mode that we can find on Android phones, these are also supported on Amazon tablets and other devices like the aforementioned Echo Show. The iOS 17 feature will build upon the lock screen widgets that were introduced as part of iOS 16, to display snippets from various apps such as stock tickers, news, temperature, time, etc.

The Bloomberg journalist says that according to his sources familiar with the project, Apple's implementation of the feature will use a dark background with bright text on it to make it easier to read, that makes sense if it is meant to be used on your nightstand, or on your desk. Gurman says that an Apple spokesperson declined to comment about the company's plans for iOS 17. It is not clear whether it will require the device to be plugged in to trigger the always-on display mode, or if it would require a special accessory like a MagSafe kickstand. Hopefully it will allow room for customizing the user experience.

Smart display mode for iPhone could be a good idea, it may help you check the clock, weather, notifications, upcoming appointments in your calendar, alarms, control music playback, etc. That sounds impressive, but I think this could work better on an iPad, because of the larger display on the device which could be helpful for displaying more content on the screen, and/or display them in larger text compared to a smaller display. According to Gurman, the Silicon Valley mogul is also working on a new horizontal interface for the iPad. He notes that the tablet lacks the lock screen experience that is available on iPhones running on iOS 17, perhaps the upcoming changes in iOS 17 could finally bring the features on iPad too.

The Cupertino company is also reportedly developing a low-cost tablet device that users will be able to mount on walls and stands with a magnet. The slate could serve as an entry level smart-home display to allow the user to control devices such as a thermostat, lights, other appliances, and could also be used for playing videos and making FaceTime video calls. Apple is also planning an overhaul of the watchOS interface, with a focus on widgets for quick access to live information.

Apple is set to announce iOS 17, which has the code name dawn, at WWDC 2023 on June 5 along with the next-gen versions of macOS, watchOS and iPadOS.

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Apple could transform the iPhone lock screen to a smart display in iOS 17
iOS 17 could allow you to transform your iPhone lock screen to a smart display.
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