Apple is working on a new feature in iOS 17 that turns the iPhone’s screen into a smart home-style display, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. As noted by Gurman, the interface will show things like the weather, calendar appointments, and notifications when the phone is locked and tilted horizontally.
It will show these widgets on a dark background with bright text, Gurman notes, and expands on the lock screen widgets that Apple revealed with iOS 16. This could come in handy when you have your iPhone set atop your desk or on your nightstand and want to keep up with any notifications or upcoming appointments.
Google already has a similar feature for its Pixel devices when they’re used with the Pixel Stand. When you place your Pixel on the stand, you can access various settings or choose to display a slideshow of images from Google Photos while the device is charging. The Pixel also comes with Google’s At a Glance widget that shows the date, calendar appointments, air quality alerts, and other helpful notifications from the home and lock screen.
Additionally, Gurman says that Apple’s working to bring this feature to its iPad as well and is working on a magnetic mount that you can use with the device. This should help the iPad better compete with the Google Pixel Tablet, which comes with a speaker doc that also charges the device. Similar to the stand, you can configure the tablet’s display to show an array of smart home controls once it’s mounted on the dock or have it function as a digital photo frame.
Apple is expected to reveal the feature alongside iOS 17 at its Worldwide Developers Conference next month. Other rumored features coming to the OS include a journaling app that encourages you to log your thoughts throughout the day as well as an update to the Wallet app.