iOS 17 — the expected successor to Apple’s iOS 16 operating system for iPhone — will reportedly turn the company’s smartphones into a smart display. The feature is said to show notifications, events, and even the weather at a glance when the phone is lying horizontally and is locked. The iPhone maker is expected to unveil its upcoming versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS — alongside xrOS, a new operating system for its purported mixed reality headset — at WWDC 2023.
According to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the matter, Apple is working on a new interface for iPhone that will arrive with iOS 17, which is said to be codenamed ‘Dawn’. It will show useful information when a user locks their device and places it horizontally, showing bright text on a dark background, as per the report. Last year, Apple introduced lock screen widgets with iOS 16, showing information without the need to unlock the phone.
The company is also developing a horizontal interface for iPadOS, that would allow users to see more information from the locked device, as per the report, which states that progress on the feature for Apple’s tablets has lagged behind iOS. It is worth noting that iPadOS 16 still does not support the new lock screen widgets that came to eligible iPhone models last year.
Last week, Apple unveiled new features aimed at helping iPhone owners with disabilities, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day. These are confirmed to arrive on iPhone, iPad, and Mac “later this year”, which suggests they could be a part of iOS 17. One of the most notable features, Personal Voice, will allow users at risk of losing their ability to talk to generate a personal voice based on a brief audio recording, using machine learning.
Earlier this month, a tipster claimed that Apple is planning to redesign its Wallet and Health apps and shared mockups of the tweaks to the apps’ interfaces. Apple is also reportedly working on introducing the Health app on iPadOS. The company is also expected to enable support for sideloading apps, or installing apps from third party stores — this functionality is said to be enabled only in the European Union, in compliance with recently enacted legislation.