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1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
This is definitely one of those things that seems extremely easy and straight-forward, but the technical details are anything but.

On the most basic level, you might think this is nothing special, you just don't turn off the screen.

A slightly more technical person might know something about OLED displays being required for this kind of stuff.

Here I just want to draw attention to another level of technical detail you might not have known, OLED screen is just one factor that plays into AOD, it's not even a required factor, there have been mobile devices with LCD AOD, and yes, backlit LCD. The other perhaps more important factor is what are you using to show the contents of the AOD.

Cuz if you think about this, there's a 2k display in full color, that needs to be supplied with graphical content, which may seem trivial today but what if you have to be doing this WITHOUT using the main SOC?

Ever wondered why those Android phones with AOD always have this tiny window? They always cram everything into this window, nothing can go outside, no graphics, no text, almost like a small virtual screen living on the large screen? Well that's because that's exactly what it is. To save power by not using the main SOC for the AOD, there's some kind of a sub-system which takes over the display when the main system goes to sleep. You can see this happening because the AOD can't show up until the Lock Screen have completely faded. You can also see this in action when you try to change or customize the AOD, see how it always takes a while for you to "apply" changes why? Cuz it has to upload those information into the sub-system that actually runs the AOD. This system has limited memory, storage and performance so it's incapable of driving the entire main display, that's right the small windows, they're a performance limitation, and have nothing to do with burn-in mitigation.
Samsung-Always-On-Display-One-UI-4.jpeg

Here's the S22 Ultra's AOD, for people making false claims


On the iPhone, well you can hardly tell there's another system running the AOD because it's so perfectly integrated and working exactly how you'd expect an AOD to work (without prior exposure to the technically limited Android devices), it just doesn't turn off, it's that simple really. But if you think about what has to happen in the background, obviously the wallpaper in full resolution has to be uploaded to the AOD system, but it also has to handle the notifications, it has to render the notification cards, which are as big as the entire AOD Android phones display, but there's this blur effect behind the notification cards, no idea how that's done. Maybe the AOD system just has insane graphics performance or maybe they just re-draw the Lock Screen with the notifications as part of the background with the main SOC?
 
Last edited:

Rafterman

Contributor
Apr 23, 2010
7,267
8,796
This is definitely one of those things that seems extremely easy and straight-forward, but the technical details are anything but.

On the most basic level, you might think this is nothing special, you just don't turn off the screen.

A slightly more technical person might know something about OLED displays being required for this kind of stuff.

Here I just want to draw attention to another level of technical detail you might not have known, OLED screen is just one factor that plays into AOD, it's not even a required factor, there have been mobile devices with LCD AOD, and yes, backlit LCD. The other perhaps more important factor is what are you using to show the contents of the AOD.

Cuz if you think about this, there's a 2k display in full color, that needs to be supplied with graphical content, which may seem trivial today but what if you have to be doing this WITHOUT using the main SOC?

Ever wondered why those Android phones with AOD always have this tiny window? They always cram everything into this window, nothing can go outside, no graphics, no text, almost like a small virtual screen living on the large screen? Well that's because that's exactly what it is. To save power by not using the main SOC for the AOD, there's some kind of a sub-system which takes over the display when the main system goes to sleep. You can see this happening because the AOD can't show up until the Lock Screen have completely faded. You can also see this in action when you try to change or customize the AOD, see how it always takes a while for you to "apply" changes why? Cuz it has to upload those information into the sub-system that actually runs the AOD. This system has limited memory, storage and performance so it's incapable of driving the entire main display, that's right the small windows, they're a performance limitation, and have nothing to do with burn-in mitigation.

On the iPhone, well you can hardly tell there's another system running the AOD because it's so perfectly integrated and working exactly how you'd expect an AOD to work (without prior exposure to the technically limited Android devices), it just doesn't turn off, it's that simple really. But if you think about what has to happen in the background, obviously the wallpaper in full resolution has to be uploaded to the AOD system, but it also has to handle the notifications, it has to render the notification cards, which are as big as the entire AOD Android phones display, but there's this blur effect behind the notification cards, no idea how that's done. Maybe the AOD system just has insane graphics performance or maybe they just re-draw the Lock Screen with the notifications as part of the background with the main SOC?

Settle down. Android has had full screen fully graphical AOD on some models for years. Samsung allows you to customize more elements than Apple does right now. Apple is just catching up in this regard.
 

cannono

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2014
967
1,100
Settle down. Android has had full screen fully graphical AOD on some models for years. Samsung allows you to customize more elements than Apple does right now. Apple is just catching up in this regard.
Many reviews mention Samsung’s variant currently still blacking out most of the screen. Is that not the case? Seemed like several tech reviewers who also use Android considered iPhone’s differentiated by its ability to keep the whole background and widgets as normal when it dims.
 

Kierkegaarden

Cancelled
Dec 13, 2018
2,424
4,137
Great analysis! It is just like Apple to not be first to market with a feature, but to implement it more efficiently and in a more practical way. Maybe part of the reason for the seamless implementation is the insane performance of the SOC?
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,145
9,195
USA
Great analysis! It is just like Apple to not be first to market with a feature, but to implement it more efficiently and in a more practical way. Maybe part of the reason for the seamless implementation is the insane performance of the SOC?
I don’t think Apple is ever first with anything. They let others make terrible implementations and watch how they fail, then come up with a working solution.
 

1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
Settle down. Android has had full screen fully graphical AOD on some models for years.
that's just flatout untrue, except for the software hacks that simply keeps the SOC on all the time
Or maybe the S22 is just not as good as whatever Android device you're talking about here
Samsung allows you to customize more elements than Apple does right now. Apple is just catching up in this regard.
all you can do is a pick an image for the background and change some fonts, none comes close to even a single notification card shown on the iPhone AOD in terms of rendering complexity.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,145
9,195
USA
You’re mistaken. I wouldn’t even know where to start in the long list of Apple firsts.
Are we talking recent history or ancient history? I’m sure there’s something I’m overlooking, but I can’t think of anything in recent history.

Feel free to list some things though, because I can’t think of any. Maybe 3D Touch but that kind of failed so 🤷‍♂️
 

aenflex

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2013
209
236
FL, USA
Are we talking recent history or ancient history? I’m sure there’s something I’m overlooking, but I can’t think of anything in recent history.

Feel free to list some things though, because I can’t think of any. Maybe 3D Touch but that kind of failed so 🤷‍♂️
You know, strictly in terms of iPhone, I can’t think of anything Apple came out with first. Better? Yeah, for sure. But not first. Virtual keyboard, nope. Touchscreen, nope. App Store, nope. I keep trying and I can’t think of anything they did first. But they definitely did a great many things better.
 

antiprotest

macrumors 601
Apr 19, 2010
4,141
14,765
You know, strictly in terms of iPhone, I can’t think of anything Apple came out with first. Better? Yeah, for sure. But not first. Virtual keyboard, nope. Touchscreen, nope. App Store, nope. I keep trying and I can’t think of anything they did first. But they definitely did a great many things better.
Are FaceTime and Siri not first on a smartphone? I don't know. I'm asking.
 

cannono

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2014
967
1,100
You know, strictly in terms of iPhone, I can’t think of anything Apple came out with first. Better? Yeah, for sure. But not first. Virtual keyboard, nope. Touchscreen, nope. App Store, nope. I keep trying and I can’t think of anything they did first. But they definitely did a great many things better.
There are tons of firsts in iPhone that imitators have adopted lol. iPhone was the first multi-touch phone - all other touchscreens had primitive input or stylus, and the vast majority of phones still had keys. iPhone was the first with visual voicemail inbox. First real web browser. First embedded voice assistant.

heck, more recently the new satellite hybrid tech and crash sensors are most certainly going to be imitated
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,145
9,195
USA
There are tons of firsts in iPhone that imitators have adopted lol. iPhone was the first multi-touch phone - all other touchscreens had primitive input or stylus, and the vast majority of phones still had keys. iPhone was the first with visual voicemail inbox. First real web browser. First embedded voice assistant.

heck, more recently the new satellite hybrid tech and crash sensors are most certainly going to be imitated
I don’t know about all of those things but I know crash detection isn’t a first because some other phone had it before.
 

Jakewilk

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2014
393
889
You know, strictly in terms of iPhone, I can’t think of anything Apple came out with first. Better? Yeah, for sure. But not first. Virtual keyboard, nope. Touchscreen, nope. App Store, nope. I keep trying and I can’t think of anything they did first. But they definitely did a great many things better.
Multitouch, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, compass, front facing camera, high DPI display, portrait mode (I think!), 3D touch, magsafe, U1 chip, satellite connectivity. There are more too, I’m sure of it

I would argue that FaceID and the taptic engine were originals, even though the idea of face unlock and the idea of a vibrator were not iphone orginals. The tech in both cases I consider so fundamentally superior than previous offerings that they deserve distinction. But I understand if others disagree!
 

macfacts

macrumors 601
Oct 7, 2012
4,996
5,943
Cybertron
No need to justify your new iPhone purchase.
Multitouch, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, compass, front facing camera, high DPI display, portrait mode (I think!), 3D touch, magsafe, U1 chip, satellite connectivity. There are more too, I’m sure of it

I would argue that FaceID and the taptic engine were originals, even though the idea of face unlock and the idea of a vibrator were not iphone orginals. The tech in both cases I consider so fundamentally superior than previous offerings that they deserve distinction. But I understand if others disagree!
Nokia n95 had a light saber app using the gyroscope/accelerometer.
 

AppleB

macrumors 65816
Oct 18, 2011
1,149
1,366
I don’t know the technical ins and outs of AOD I just like the feature and how Apple did it.
 
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MayaUser

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2021
2,913
6,319
Multitouch, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, compass, front facing camera, high DPI display, portrait mode (I think!), 3D touch, magsafe, U1 chip, satellite connectivity. There are more too, I’m sure of it

I would argue that FaceID and the taptic engine were originals, even though the idea of face unlock and the idea of a vibrator were not iphone orginals. The tech in both cases I consider so fundamentally superior than previous offerings that they deserve distinction. But I understand if others disagree!
Apple is not the first in most of the things, but its the first who set the trend for sure
This goes back in the days when Apple was among the first to have palm rests for the laptops and first to not support flash but html only until being among the first to set the trend by removing headphone jack and now the sim tray
 

MayaUser

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2021
2,913
6,319
AOD is the right call...i even had an pixel with lcd screen...and even an oled samsung 6 years ago....that AOD drain the battery so fast that i wouldnt call it a feature or something helpful then....for AOD its clear we dont need just the Oled (soon micro-Led) tech but also the 1hz refresh rate..back in the days...i remember how awful was on the 60hz stuck AOD. Thank god for Apple promotion being the first 60-120hz adaptive refresh rate from the ipad pro that set the trend in the mobile industry and now we can have 1hz-120hz adaptive display all over....i expect this will be adopted in the mini-Led promotion for the macs segment too
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,637
Indonesia
This is definitely one of those things that seems extremely easy and straight-forward, but the technical details are anything but.

On the most basic level, you might think this is nothing special, you just don't turn off the screen.

A slightly more technical person might know something about OLED displays being required for this kind of stuff.

Here I just want to draw attention to another level of technical detail you might not have known, OLED screen is just one factor that plays into AOD, it's not even a required factor, there have been mobile devices with LCD AOD, and yes, backlit LCD. The other perhaps more important factor is what are you using to show the contents of the AOD.

Cuz if you think about this, there's a 2k display in full color, that needs to be supplied with graphical content, which may seem trivial today but what if you have to be doing this WITHOUT using the main SOC?

Ever wondered why those Android phones with AOD always have this tiny window? They always cram everything into this window, nothing can go outside, no graphics, no text, almost like a small virtual screen living on the large screen? Well that's because that's exactly what it is. To save power by not using the main SOC for the AOD, there's some kind of a sub-system which takes over the display when the main system goes to sleep. You can see this happening because the AOD can't show up until the Lock Screen have completely faded. You can also see this in action when you try to change or customize the AOD, see how it always takes a while for you to "apply" changes why? Cuz it has to upload those information into the sub-system that actually runs the AOD. This system has limited memory, storage and performance so it's incapable of driving the entire main display, that's right the small windows, they're a performance limitation, and have nothing to do with burn-in mitigation.
Samsung-Always-On-Display-One-UI-4.jpeg

Here's the S22 Ultra's AOD, for people making false claims


On the iPhone, well you can hardly tell there's another system running the AOD because it's so perfectly integrated and working exactly how you'd expect an AOD to work (without prior exposure to the technically limited Android devices), it just doesn't turn off, it's that simple really. But if you think about what has to happen in the background, obviously the wallpaper in full resolution has to be uploaded to the AOD system, but it also has to handle the notifications, it has to render the notification cards, which are as big as the entire AOD Android phones display, but there's this blur effect behind the notification cards, no idea how that's done. Maybe the AOD system just has insane graphics performance or maybe they just re-draw the Lock Screen with the notifications as part of the background with the main SOC?
I agree that Apple's method is definitely more well crafted, and as such Apple was waiting for the LTPO tech to be advance enough to get that 1Hz refresh rate so they can do a full-screen AoD. Apple's method basically melt the AoD with the lockscreen, that you just feel it's your lockscreen. Definitely a "game changer" imo for someone who really are interested in tech.
 

Mr.Blacky

Cancelled
Jul 31, 2016
1,880
2,583
Are we talking recent history or ancient history? I’m sure there’s something I’m overlooking, but I can’t think of anything in recent history.

Feel free to list some things though, because I can’t think of any. Maybe 3D Touch but that kind of failed so 🤷‍♂️
Folding display.
 

ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,637
Indonesia
Are FaceTime and Siri not first on a smartphone? I don't know. I'm asking.
Siri already existid on iPhone as a separate app before Apple bought the company and made it into their own.
FaceID was basically the tech that was used for the Xbox Kinect. Apple bought the company, and the innovation here is using it as FaceID on a phone.
 
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ian87w

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2020
8,704
12,637
Indonesia
Settle down. Android has had full screen fully graphical AOD on some models for years. Samsung allows you to customize more elements than Apple does right now. Apple is just catching up in this regard.
AoD on Android is a completely different "screen." It's basically a simplified widget page, and mostly only contains static images and icons. From a user perspective, it's another screen on top of the lockscreen.

What Apple did is basically melting the the lockscreen into an AoD, making it seamless and invincible to users. Some may not appreciate it, but as someone who have experienced the Android way for so long, I personally feel Apple's way is quite ingenious and well crafted. The key imo is that 1Hz refresh rate, thus explaining why it took so long for Apple to do an "AoD."
 
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