iOS 17 to feature smart display mode when your iPhone is locked

Space Black iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

The always-on display of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models is extremely cool – it shows you, among a couple of other things, the time at a glance. It's not the most useful, however, only showing a smattering of information – as some kind of desk clock, it's not as good as some Android phones.

In this latest iOS 17 leak, it looks like Apple wants to change that with a new smart display mode that will give more information when a locked device is laid on its side and placed on a desk or a nightstand. 

Making iPhones more functional

The information came from a piece by Mark Gurman for Bloomberg, which contained a slate of other updates to iOS 17 and more Apple devices like the iPad.

The new smart display feature looks similar to what came to Android handsets in 2019, and Amazon's tablet line which go into a "mode that resembles the interface of its Echo Show smart-home devices."

Codenamed 'Dawn', the Apple smart display will have a dark background with brighter text for ease of reading, according to Gurman's sources.

There is also more evidence that Apple wants its mobile touchscreen devices to become more like smart home displays, with a rumored low-cost tablet device that can attach to walls and stands. This could "ultimately serve as Apple’s entry into smart-home displays. It’s designed to control things like thermostats and lights, show video, and handle FaceTime chats."

More iOS 17 updates to come are new updates to the health portion of the OS, with features that will log your mood and help you with low vision. The Wallet App is also going to receive a new look, and Apple is planning on adding a new journaling app to iPhone to add a "stronger social element to the device."

We won't know more for certain until WWDC rolls around in a couple of weeks – make sure you're signed up to the iMore forum to get chatting with our community about what you're excited about!

Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.