When Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, the one big feature it had over its base model counterparts are that they come with the 120Hz ProMotion displays we’ve seen on the iPad Pro for a while now. However, earlier reports seemed to suggest that despite most of the device able to reach a 120Hz refresh rate, a bunch of animations in the UI and apps seemed to have been locked at 60Hz.
Apple though has quickly clarified the situation. According to Cupertino, it is the app developers themselves who will need to add some new lines of code into their apps. This will let their apps opt-in to get up to 120Hz; further details will come via future documentation from Apple. It is likely that apps weren’t automatically given support for 120Hz refresh rates due to battery reasons, especially in intensive programs like games.
Currently, iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max users would have noticed that although Apple’s ProMotion technology was ramping up the refresh rate to 120Hz while scrolling ordinarily on any app, the moment any animations like the keyboard appearing is currently locked to 60Hz. The constant changes in refresh rates has led to quite a jarring user experience so far, especially in third party apps.
There will also be another software update coming soon to patch a bug where Core Animation was also not letting the display hit 120Hz. Core Animation, for those not familiar, is a framework in iOS used to produce animations and the like. Right now, it seems as though apps using Core Animation on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max aren’t able to fully utilise it, rendering them unable to go up to 120Hz.
Seeing as Apple has almost immediately responded to the initial outcry from app developers, it is likely something they’re already working on to fix. It shouldn’t be too long now before users will be able to fully enjoy the high refresh rate displays on their shiny new iPhone.