Apple Watch may get an always-on screen mode, suggests patent
An Apple patent suggests that the tech giant may be working to incorporate an always-on screen mode into its Apple Watch. And while the patent doesn't explicitly hint at this feature, it aims to circumvent one of the challenges that comes with having an always-on screen - the risk of display burn-in. Here's more on this development.
Understanding 'Always-on Display' feature
Always-on screen feature, exclusive to OLED screens, keeps a certain portion of the display on even during the sleep mode. The feature, seen on several devices, is used to show details like time, date, battery status, notifications among others. However, the feature comes with two challenges: deterioration of battery-life and OLED display's susceptibility to burn-in. It's the latter that Apple is working to resolve.
Here's what Apple is working on
To address the issue of burn-in, Apple is patenting "burn-in statistics - which record historical usage information associated with a given OLED display." These statistics can then be "used to artificially adjust the operation of the OLED display to substantially restore visual uniformity throughout its operation." These statistics will be in form of a high-resolution, multiple-channel image that will require some amount of storage.
Should you expect an always-on screen mode soon?
Given the fact Apple has patented a way to overcome burn-in, we might eventually see an always-on screen mode on Apple Watch. This feature may also come to new generation iPhones with OLED panels - like the iPhone X and upcoming iPhone XS. However, this is still a patent and there is no surety if it will come to production anytime soon.