'Significant' upgrade to iOS coming along with always-on display for iPhone - report

'Significant' upgrade to iOS coming along with always-on display for iPhone - report

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) takes place next week, with a 'fairly significant' update to the company's mobile phone operating system and an always-on display reportedly set to be announced.

Analyst Mark Gurman, author of the Apple-focused Power On newsletter, said in his latest column that iOS 16 - codenamed Sydney - will be "chock full" of changes from the current version.

That will include updates to the Messages and Health apps, as well as changes to notifications and iPad multitasking, Gurman wrote.

The lock screen is also set for "major enhancements" with the launch of iOS 16 and the iPhone, including wallpapers that have "widget-like" capabilities.

For the first time that's likely to include support for an always-on lock screen, Gurman said, something originally planned for the iPhone 13 launched last year.

The frame rate is turned down significantly on the lock screen to save battery, allowing it to show information, like the time and date, permanently.

Samsung introduced an always-on display with the Galaxy S7 in 2016 so it would be good news for Apple fans, despite being old technology.

According to Gurman the feature will be exclusive to the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models.

Previous reports suggest the new iPhones, which will likely be launched in September, will have a new A16 chip, while the non-pro models will keep last year's A15 chip, which powers the iPhone 13 models.

Gurman wrote that the Messaging app will get more "social network-like functionality, particularly around audio messages", while the Health app is unlikely to expand to the iPad or Mac but will get plenty of new features.

Those will work with the Apple Watch, with watchOS also set to get significant improvements for day-to-day use and navigation, as well as new watch faces and a low-power mode.

One thing unlikely to be announced at WWDC, however, is Apple's mixed-reality headset, which has been rumoured for some time now.

While Gurman had previously revealed development was at an advanced stage, with the company's board shown the headset during their latest meeting, it didn't mean an announcement was imminent.

Work on the operating system of the device had ramped up in the last few months, with the Cupertino-based tech giant also working on AR versions of core iPhone apps.