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iOS 17 could turn iPhones into smart displays

Details about the major update to iOS 17 have been leaking out for months. It is said that Apple will deliver some desired functions, drill out the control center and more. Now the well-connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman reports that the group will give the iPhones a new user interface during the charging process that is reminiscent of an Android function.

iOS 17: Apple could turn iPhones into small smart home centers

According to Gurman information such as calendar appointments, weather and notifications should be displayed in the style of a smart home display. This feature is activated when an iPhone is locked and positioned horizontally. This should work in a similar way to the dedicated smart displays from Google or Amazon, the reporter reports, referring to “people who are familiar with the project”.

The idea is to make iPhones more useful when they’re on someone’s desk or bedside table, for example. The move is part of a broader push to embed live information into other parts of Apple’s software. Apple is also following this approach with the surface of the Apple Watch.

With iOS 17, Apple could provide its iPhones with similar functions that Google’s Pixel Stand offers. (Image: Google)

Google has been offering a similar approach to its Pixel phones for a while: when the phones are placed on the Pixel charging dock, the locked Pixel screen can be used to view selected photos, control the smart home, and a little more. Next comes the Pixel Tablet announced at Google I/O 2023, which has a dedicated charging dock and acts as a real nest hub positioned on it.

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According to Gurman, the feature will use a dark background with light text to make content easier to read. The function also builds on the lock screen widgets introduced with iOS 16, which can be used to display stock tickers, news and the temperature below the time on the screen.

iPads could get similar functionality

According to Gurman, Apple is exploring other ways to turn its devices into smart home displays. Among other things, the group is also working on an inexpensive tablet that can be magnetically attached to walls and stands. The Bloomberg reporter speculates that this product could be Apple’s entry into smart home displays. It’s designed to control things like thermostats and lights, view videos, and do Facetime chats.

Google Pixel Tablet becomes a smart display. (Image: Google)

An older report said Apple is working on a homepod with a display that could resemble an Amazon Echo Show. This was only substantiated by the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo at the beginning of 2023.

According to Kuo, the product could appear in 2024. According to his information, the Homepod has a seven-inch screen that combines the functions of the iPad, Apple TV and Homepod.

In addition to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14 and new hardware are also expected at WWDC 2023 on June 5th. One of the highlights is expected to be the first mixed reality headset, which Apple could christen Reality Pro or Reality One. We have summarized in an overview what Apple could announce in the course of the WWDC keynote.

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