It turns out Apple’s next big iOS update may turn the phone into something of a competitor for Google’s Pixel Tablet. The next iOS update, which is expected to debut at WWDC in June, could transform the iPhone lock screen, letting it act more like a smart home display to show users the weather, notifications, calendar appointments, and potentially more live info.
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While we’ve heard hints of some lock screen changes before, according to Bloomberg’s Apple aficionado Mark Gurman, this view will appear for users who position their phones horizontally and is meant to share this data for easy access when lying on a table or nightstand. The report, which cites several anonymous sources familiar with the project, notes that iOS—codenamed “Dawn”—could essentially cement more common widgets introduced with iOS 16 on the lock screen.
The feature is similar to some existing features on Android (though hopefully with less ads) and on Amazon-brand tablets. The iPhone 14 was Apple’s first time using an always-on display, which greatly aids features like these.
The point is to give iPhone users another smart home device when they’re not actively tapping away on their devices. This is consistent with everything else the company is working on with smart home tech, even though its latest HomePod smart speaker wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. According to Gurman, Apple is working on a “low-cost” magnetically mountable tablet that can act as a smart home display. There’s also word the Cupertino, California-based company is working to update SharePlay to make it easier to beam content to devices they don’t own.
In addition to the lock screen upgrade, iOS 17 could see enhanced location services for the Wallet app and more changes besides. Apple’s new savings account has proved extremely successful and, more importantly, lucrative, so any new additions could incentivize more of its banking services. In addition, Dawn could add a new journaling app for note taking. This is in addition to previously speculated-on Apple health coaching and mood tracking services.
There’s a few more software changes in store for iPads as well. Apple’s tablets could see a new interface for holding the device horizontally, though it seems everything’s going much slower on the iPad side of things compared to Apple’s phones. The Cupertino company is bringing the Health app to iPads, though that’s been in the rumor pile for a while now. As far as things go, it seems like iPad OS 17 is getting left out of the lock screen widgets craze, at least for now.
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