“Raise to Wake” Feature on iPhone 6s, SE and Later
A new “raise to wake” feature in iOS 10 makes it easier to take a quick glance at your Lock Screen without having to press a mechanical button and causing wear on the component. Simply pick up your iPhone from a desk or any other stable resting surface and the accelerometer will register the change. The iPhone then lights up, similarly to what happens with an Apple Watch and watchOS, or the Siri Remote that comes with the latest Apple TV. Thanks to “raise to wake”, you can use your device efficiently in terms of energy but still have the comfort factor of smart sensor readouts and automated actions.
Current iPhone users still need to press one of the buttons to switch on the display of their devices to check the current time or their Lock Screen notifications. The new feature reduces the strain on the buttons, but it remains to be seen whether the battery life will not be impacted negatively by enabling “Raise to Wake”, which is supported by the low-power motion coprocessor in the newer devices.
Raise to wake support: iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and later
Without the aforementioned motion coprocessor, there is no technically feasible way in which Apple could realize such a feature in practice. The energy consumption of keeping the system awake to be ready for a movement event registered by the sensors would be far too big to warrant the functionality. Hence only newer devices such as the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE (and most probably the upcoming iPhone 7 models) are supported.
The firmware for iOS 10 is currently available in a restricted developer preview version. A public beta test will begin in the coming month, July. You can pre-register your devices here to be ready for the test, if you wish to give the new operating system a try before it is completed.