The iPhone 13 fast approaches and we've heard quite a number of rumors about it in recent months. Some suggest camera upgrades, others 120Hz ProMotion displays on the Pro models, but there's one that caught my attention and I haven't been able to let it go.
It's possible that the iPhone 13 will finally, finally, have an always-on display (AOD) option. It seems silly, I know, but hear me out: AOD is something you can find on almost any Android phone, though its true utility shines on phones with OLED panels.
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To be clear, I'm not talking about having the entire display lit up in full color. What I mean is a minimal display setting that shows the time, date, and other pertinent info like weather, notifications, and calendar appointments. It's incredibly helpful if you keep your phone on your desk and just want to catch the time or see what notifications you have pending. On Android phones, the notifications will usually pop up, then relegate themselves to the app icons.
Seeing as I use an iPhone 12 Pro full-time, AOD is one of the features I miss most about an Android phone like the Pixel 5 or OnePlus 9 Pro. I leave my phone to sit on my desk and it would be awesome to look over and see what's going on at a glance. With the changes to notifications coming in iOS 15, I think Apple could really nail this feature (especially with keeping conversations surfaced).
Considering how good the iPhone 12 Pro already is, I don't find myself wanting for much. And since the iPhone 12 models all use OLED panels, and AOD feature could easily be back-ported to them, but I have my doubts.
Perhaps Apple will keep such a seemingly minor feature exclusive to the iPhone 13 and beyond. I don't expect there to be much of an impact on battery life given that the effect over on Android phones is negligible. More choice isn't a bad thing!
All that said, the idea of an always-on display option for the iPhone 13 is exciting. I really hope it comes to fruition.
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Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.