iOS 17 will reportedly turn your locked iPhone into a smart display

Your phone could be more useful when you aren't using it.

Cherlynn Low/Engadget

Your iPhone might soon display more than a handful of tiny widgets when it's locked. Bloomberg sources claim Apple's iOS 17 update will introduce a lock screen that effectively turns an iPhone into a smart display when sitting on its side. You'll reportedly see calendar items, notifications and other details in a high-contrast layout reminiscent of what you'd see on an Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub. The new lock screen is said to be more advanced than the one Google brought to Android 10 in 2019, and comparable to an Amazon Fire tablet feature.

Apple has already declined to comment. The company is expected to introduce iOS 17 at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) on June 5th, and release the finished version no earlier than September. There's no mention of whether or not the iPad would similar functionality, although iPadOS has lagged behind iOS in features like lock screen customization.

This might not be Apple's only smart display initiative. The tech giant is rumored to be developing multiple smart home devices that could include a mountable screen. The iOS 17 upgrade is believed to be part of a larger effort to surface live information, including a major watchOS redesign focused on widgets.

iOS 17 is already rumored to include a number of significant changes, such as app sideloading in at least some countries. You might also see improvements to SharePlay video collaboration, and it might be easier to AirPlay content to hotel TVs and other devices you don't own. A life journaling app could join upgraded versions of the Health and Wallet apps.