iOS 17 to Transform iPhone Lockscreens, Says Report

Apple is reportedly developing a new interface for iPhones that will display information such as calendar appointments, weather updates, and notifications in the style of a smart-home display, reports Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. This feature is part of the upcoming iOS 17 software update, according to sources familiar with the project.

The new interface will activate when an iPhone is locked and positioned horizontally, functioning similarly to dedicated displays offered by Google and Amazon. The aim is to enhance the utility of iPhones when they are idle, for instance, when placed on a desk or nightstand.

This initiative is part of a larger strategy to incorporate live information into more aspects of Apple’s software, a concept that is also integral to the Apple Watch’s interface. The new view is among several changes planned for iOS 17, codenamed Dawn, set to be released later in 2023. Apple plans to unveil iOS 17 alongside its mixed-reality headset at WWDC in two weeks.

The new iPhone interface will resemble a feature introduced to the Android operating system in 2019. Amazon has also offered a similar option on its tablets, transforming them into interfaces akin to its Echo Show smart-home devices.

The Apple feature will reportedly use a dark background with bright text for easy readability. It will build on the company’s launch of lock screen widgets last year as part of iOS 16, which allows users to see small snippets of information on their screen.

Apple is also said to be working on a new horizontal interface for the iPad, although major changes to this device have been slower. The company is also exploring other ways to turn its devices into smart-home displays, including developing a low-cost tablet device that can magnetically attach to walls and stands.

In addition to the smart display feature, iOS 17 is also expected to bring significant changes to the iPhone’s Wallet app, enhancements to its location services, a new journaling app, health features for logging mood and coping with weak vision, and upgrades for SharePlay and AirPlay. The Health app is also planned to be brought to the iPad.

Updating the iPhone lockscreen to allow for more widgets would be a great addition. Right now there’s a lot of empty real estate that can still be utilized. We’ll find out soon enough when the WWDC keynote kicks off on June 5 at 10am PDT/1pm EDT.