iOS 17 will turn locked iPhones into smart home-style displays, report says
Apple plans to release a new feature that turns locked iPhones into smart home displays with iOS 17, according to a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The interface will display information such as calendar appointments, weather and notifications in the style of a smart home screen when the phone is locked and positioned horizontally.
Gurman notes that the interface will work the same as smart home devices from Google and Amazon. The idea behind the reported feature is to make iPhones more useful when they’re not actually in use and sitting on a desk or bedside table. The feature will use a dark background with light text to make it easier to read from a distance.
The smart home-style display will rely on Apple’s Lock Screen Widgets, which were launched last year as part of iOS 16 and allow users to see small information, such as the weather and news, under the time on their lock screens.
Gurman says that Apple is working to bring this smart home-style display functionality to the iPad, but notes that the company is not bringing features to the iPad as quickly as with the iPhone, given that the iPhone lock screen widgets are not yet available. on iPad.
The report also states that Apple plans to introduce significant changes to the iPhone’s Wallet app with iOS 17 and will add improvements to its Location Services. Other changes include the addition of a dedicated journaling app designed to help users log their thoughts. Additionally, Apple is reportedly working on updates for SharePlay, which is its feature that lets users stream TV shows, movies, and music in sync with friends and family while on a FaceTime call together.
AirPlay, which lets you stream or share content from your Apple devices to your Apple TV or compatible smart TV, will also receive updates. Gurman writes that the tech giant is in talks with hotels to make it easier for users to stream video and audio to devices they don’t own.
Gurman previously reported that Apple was working on emotion tracking technology and planned to roll out an iPad version of the iPhone Health app this year. Apple’s Health app will also have tools to track emotions and manage vision conditions, such as myopia.
Apple will likely unveil the smart home-style display feature alongside iOS 17 at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 5. The tech giant is expected to release its new AR/VR headset and the xrOS that powers it, along with new laptops and Mac software.