Yesterday Mark Gurman surprise leaked a new function that will supposedly see the light of day with iOS 17 at the close WWDC 2023: the possibility of turning the iPhone’s locked screen into a kind of smart screen, in the style of the Google Nest Hub.
In the absence of seeing if this function will only be available on models with an always-on screen such as the iPhone 14 Pro, the consensus is clear: it is a small great detail that could help us much more than we can think. We’ll see some situations in which this new lock screen could be useful to us.
Alarm clock on nightstand
It’s probably the first thing you think of: in the same way that the Apple Watch becomes a table clock while you charge it on the nightstand, the iPhone could do the same by taking advantage of its larger screen to display more data. The time, the set alarm or the weather forecast, for example. A “you have two hours of sleep left” in case you stay up in the middle of the night wouldn’t be bad either.
If you use a lot of AirPlay on your TV, the locked screen on your iPhone might show information about what’s playing all the time, without having to touch or move it to see it. If you also make the controls usable, the experience can be even better.
Auxiliary complement in work desk
Having the iPhone charging on our work table can also be a perfect time to display additional information as an “auxiliary screen”. A list of tasks, the events of the current day or week in the calendar… perhaps it is something that saves us from switching between applications on our computer and gives us a little more productivity.
Information desk in the kitchen or workshop
If you’re cooking while looking up a recipe on your iPhone, one of the most inconvenient things is constantly having to unlock your phone. This function could save us by showing the recipe information from the same locked screen.
The same can be said by replacing that kitchen with a workshop or the operations area of a factory: having constantly updated data can be very useful for certain types of work.
Map while you’re traveling in the car or train
If you drive, the iPhone could save some autonomy by showing your route from the same locked screen as traditional GPS. And if you go by train, you can always have it on top of the front seat tray to check the progress of your route while you do other things.
It all depends on what Apple wants to do. with that screen. It will depend on the flexibility that we can have with iOS 17 to be able to make this type of use a reality, and it depends on the amount of data that we can introduce into them. And of course, it will be necessary to see if autonomy suffers in case of being able to do this on iPhones without a screen always on. We will have the answer to all this on June 5th.
Images | Benjamin Voros, David Svihovec, Jeff Sheldon, Isaac Mehegan, Jason Briscoe