iPhone 14 Pro leak just revealed how always-on display could beat everything else

a render of the rumored iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Madmix)

The new iPhone 14 Pro's rumored always-on display (AOD) is one of the most interesting features tipped for Apple's next flagship. And new evidence found by 9to5Mac not only seemingly confirms this, but shows how it will improve on existing AODs on rival phones.

There was already evidence of always-on display support in iOS 16, but now 9to5Mac has found an important piece of additional evidence. The iOS 16 wallpapers all offer a new "Sleep" state for the new iOS 16 wallpapers, which darkens and desaturates the regular image. This activates when you turn off the screen by locking the phone.

You can see how this looks in the GIF below. We've seen Apple take a similar approach with the AOD on the Apple Watch 7 and previous watches, so it makes sense that Apple would copy this for the iPhone 14.

A GIF showing the iOS 16 clownfish wallpaper going into Sleep mode, with the brightness and colors reducing

(Image credit: 9to5Mac)

Always-on displays have been common on the best Android phones for years, so we've been waiting a long time for Apple to catch up. With evidence like this as well as claims from respected leakers, it seems like the iPhone 14 Pro is the iPhone to finally introduce it, and take it a step further by displaying the whole wallpaper rather than a black screen with widgets.

We're not expecting to see this feature to come to the basic iPhone 14 though, as like the iPhone 13 it shouldn't have the ProMotion adaptive refresh rate required to make an efficient AOD. The standard iPhone 14 and rumored new iPhone 14 Max model will also lack a telephoto camera as with previous generations, and perhaps also the new A16 Bionic chip we expect to power the Pro models. Our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro breaks down all the rumored differences — and there's a lot. 

Other rumored upgrades for the Pro model include a new 48MP main camera on the back, and a redesigned notch made of pill and punch-hole-shaped cutouts. To get the lowdown on all the leaks and rumors so far, take a look at our iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro rumor hubs.

Next: See how Apple is killing the password forever in iOS 16. And a new iPhone 14 Pro leak from Apple itself just tipped a huge upgrade.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.