Apple clears up 120Hz iPhone 13 Pro confusion for developers

Iphone 13 Pro And Iphone 13 Pro Max
Iphone 13 Pro And Iphone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: Rene Ritchie/ iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has cleared up some confusion about 120Hz on iPhone 13 Pro.
  • The company says developers can take advantage of the feature but they have to opt their app in.
  • The company says this is to maintain optimum battery life.

Apple has confirmed that developers can in fact use 120Hz on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, but that they have to opt their apps in to using the feature.

On Friday, some developers noticed that not all apps were taking advantage of the iPhone 13 Pro's 120Hz refresh rate. The feature would work for scrolling or full-screen transitions, but that all other animations in third-party apps were capped at 60Hz.

There was a pretty tricky workaround, but Apple has now confirmed that apps can in fact take advantage of this feature by adding a new plist entry to their app, declaring it uses the higher frame rate.

Apple has issued new documentation explaining ProMotion refresh rates for the iPhone 13 Pro to developers which states:

On iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max, add the following key to your Info.plist file to enable the full range of refresh rates for CADisplayLink callbacks and CAAnimation animations in your app:CADisableMinimumFrameDurationOnPhoneYour app must use this key to access higher frame rates (above 60Hz) it sets in the preferredFrameRateRange hint API. The iPad Pro doesn't require this special configuration.

The new 120Hz display in the iPhone 13 Pro is one of the biggest new features in Apple's best iPhone this year, offering smoother scrolling, viewing, and usage. It also has a variable refresh rate for battery preservation and a new Super Retina XDR display which is much brighter than the old one.

Apple has also reportedly confirmed that there is a bug affecting some animations using Core Animation and that a fix in iOS 15 is on the way.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9