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Apple rumored to adopt another Pixel feature on iPhones

I wonder if Apple fans will then claim Apple invented this feature?

Published onMay 24, 2023

google pixel stand second gen
  • According to a prominent Apple analyst, there could be an Apple smart display feature coming to iOS 17.
  • Theoretically, this would allow for smart controls and widgets to appear on iPhones when charging horizontally.
  • A very similar feature launched for Pixels in 2018 with the original Pixel Stand.

In 2018, Google launched the original Pixel Stand. While it could charge any phone through the Qi standard, it worked really well with Pixel phones. While charging, your Pixel would switch into a smart display mode with touch-free access to Google Assistant, widgets, a photo frame, and more. The follow-up Pixel Stand (2021) brought over the same functions at faster charging speeds.

Now, it looks like Apple is ready to jump on this bandwagon. According to noted Apple analyst Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, there could be an Apple smart display mode coming to iOS 17. Theoretically, this would work much the same as Google’s Pixel Stand features. It would allow an iPhone to be more present in your life while charging rather than just sitting there.

Interestingly, Gurman says this feature would only kick in when the iPhone is horizontal. This is not a limitation Pixels have with either Pixel Stand. However, Gurman says nothing about Apple launching a wireless charger for this functionality, so Apple could have the win there. As useful as Google’s smart display-style features are for Pixels, the fact that you need an $80 charger to get them is pretty lame.

Regardless, Gurman claims this could be one of iOS 17’s major new features. If true, this year’s iOS launch could be quite boring. It’s a cool feature and all, but a major feature? Even when you ignore that it’s lifted from Google, that’s pretty uninspiring.

Of course, this could also be a precursor for an actual Apple smart display. In fact, Gurman claims Apple is working on a display that functions like the Google Pixel Tablet in the sense that it can magentically “stick” places. This product is still in the early development phase, though, according to Gurman.

Elsewhere, Gurman says iOS 17 will have improvements to the Wallet app, location services, a new journaling app, and various health-focused updates.

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