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2021 iPhones could join Android party with AODs, in-display fingerprint sensors

Apple will say these features are "innovative" and "world-changing," probably.

Published onFebruary 16, 2021

OnePlus 8 Pro in display fingerprint reader
  • According to some new rumors, the iPhone 13 series (or iPhone 12S series, we’re not sure) could adopt some Android features.
  • Notably, the rumors suggest always-on displays (AOD) and in-display fingerprint sensors could come to the next iPhones.
  • The rumors also suggest 120Hz display refresh rates could be in the cards.

We’re months away from the launch of the 2021 series of iPhones. However, thanks to the pandemic, Apple can’t have the tight control over information leaks that it usually would have. That means there are more early rumors coming out than usual right now.

See also: How to switch from iPhone to Android: Step-by-step instructions

Some of those rumors come from frequent-leaker Max Weinbach. He shared some of his leaks with the YouTube channel Everything Apple Pro, which then posted a video summarizing them all. In the video, it’s suggested that three notable new features could land on the iPhone 13 series (or possibly the iPhone 12S series; we’ll need to wait and see which one ends up being official).

Interestingly, all three features are things Android phones have had for a while now. They are always-on displays, in-display fingerprint sensors, and 120Hz refresh rates.

iPhone 13: Playing catch-up?

For years, Apple exclusively relied on capacitive fingerprint sensors for biometric security in iPhones. With the launch of the iPhone X in 2017, the company went all-in on Face ID, with only budget-oriented iPhone models sticking with fingerprint sensors. As such, Apple completely skipped over the current trend of in-display fingerprint sensors.

However, that could change with the iPhone 13 series. It makes sense, too, when you consider that the ongoing pandemic makes Face ID difficult since we’re all wearing masks a lot of the time. Fingerprint sensors are simply more practical. It is a bit funny, though, that Apple could be joining the Android party this late in the game.

Related: The best phones with in-display fingerprint sensors

Similarly, Android phones have had always-on displays for years now. According to Weinbach, Apple’s version of an AOD will be very simple; it “basically looks like a toned-down lock screen,” he said. In other words, don’t expect anything you haven’t seen before, but iPhone users will likely appreciate it.

Finally, iPhones could get 120Hz display refresh rates. Interestingly, there are already iPads with this feature, but even the iPhone 12 series had 60Hz display refresh rates. Meanwhile, pretty much every flagship Android phone from the past year or two has had at least a 90Hz display.

Time will tell if these rumors pan out or not. If they do, get ready to tell all your iPhone 13-using friends about how you had it all on Android first.