Even your old iPhone could get a giant lock screen refresh with iOS 16

iPhone 11 Pro on the lock screen
iPhone 11 Pro on the lock screen (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple is set to announce iOS 16 on June 6 with an early developer beta released the same day.
  • Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes the update will add a new lock screen feature.
  • It's thought that widget-like information could be displayed directly on the lock screen.

Apple could be about to give older iPhones a big lock screen update when it announces iOS 16 next week, according to a new report. The change won't require people buy a new iPhone, unlike other improvements set to be made by the huge new software update.

Writing as part of this week's Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman suggests that the iOS 16 update will bring a refreshed lock screen to existing iPhones, including the current iPhone 13 lineup. Gurman believes that "major enhancements" are coming, "including wallpapers that have widget-like capabilities."

It isn't immediately clear what that would look like or how it might work, but it does appear that the feature is different to one that is thought to be exclusive to the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro — a new always-on display mode.

Apple already allows people to access widgets from the locks screen, although they are currently hidden behind a horizontal swipe. It's possible that the upcoming iOS 16 could allow those widgets to appear directly on the lock screen itself, although it isn't obvious how that might work alongside a stream of incoming notifications.

Apple is set to announce iOS 16 alongside a number of other big software updates during its WWDC22 opening keynote on June 6. The streamed announcement is also set to include the unveiling of iPadOS 16, macOS 13, and more.

In terms of the new iPhone 14 hardware, Apple's next best iPhone will likely be announced during an event in or around September, with a release taking place a week or two later. Those new iPhones will all ship with iOS 16 pre-installed.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.