The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, for the first time in the history of the iPhone, feature a ‘ProMotion’ display capable of an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate.
When customers started getting their hands on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max following their Friday launch, it was almost immediately discovered that animations in all third-party apps, save for vertical scrolling and full-screen transitions, were capped at 60Hz.
During its ‘California Streaming’ iPhone 13 announcement event on September 14, Apple claimed that “iOS 15 is optimized for ProMotion, so the things you do every day feel phenomenally fluid.”
It looks like that applied to Apple’s core iOS 15 and iOS 15 only, as third-party apps on the latest iteration of iOS are seemingly locked at 60Hz for most of their animations, resulting in a jarring experience for users as their screens abruptly step down to 60Hz for a few moments after their eyes come to expect the pleasant 120Hz experience that iPhones are now able to provide.
The iPad Pro, which has sported a 120Hz ProMotion display since 2017, carries no such restrictions for third-party apps.
Developers and code sleuths were quick to find that the limitation originates from within the iOS 15 code, which applies a 60Hz cap to third-party apps but spares first-party Apple apps.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple says a future software update will bring full ProMotion display support for third-party apps. Apple also said that developers will need to add a new Info.plist key to opt-in to ProMotion capability, and documentation to that effect is coming soon.