Apple’s latest mobile operating systems, iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, will be available in fall 2023, which means September 2023. The new iterations of the operating systems appear to be more like an S upgrade. Users will get new features, refinements, and bug fixes, but nothing close to an overhaul like iOS 7.
One of the new features available in iOS and iPadOS 17 is Screen Distance. This feature works with iPhone and iPad models with Face ID. The oldest iPhone model that can run iOS 17 is the iPhone XS released in 2018. If you are an iPhone XS user, you’ll be glad to hear it does support Screen Distance.
How Does Screen Distance Work?
With Screen Distance turned on under Screen Time in Settings, if you hold your iPhone too close to your eyes for a period of time, you will get an alert that your iPhone is too close. The alert covers your whole screen. As you move your iPhone further away, the alert will confirm that the iPhone is at a safe distance. At that point, you can tap on Continue to dismiss the alert.
With the iOS 17 Public Beta, the alert comes up in what feels like just a few minutes, and “too close” means arms length, about 12 inches, or 30 cm.
Like the Back Tap feature that came with iOS 14, Screen Distance is a small feature, but it is no doubt an important one as it helps people protect their eyesight.
For me, it did take the fun out of using my iPhone lying in bed. I tried the iOS 17 Public Beta for about three weeks before switching back to iOS 16, and at the end of those three weeks, I turned Screen Distance off. I wasn’t proud.
To sign up for the iOS 17 Public Beta, click on this link.