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View live activities on your iPhone’s lock screen with iOS 16.1

Your iPhone’s lock screen can now reveal live information from supported apps.

An iPhone 14 on a table.
Image: James Yarema/Unsplash

In the past, your iPhone’s lock screen didn’t provide much useful information beyond the date, time, and notifications. With iOS 16.1, you can now enhance the lock screen to provide details of certain apps and services through a feature called Live Activities. When enabled, your lock screen will display live updates from supported apps to highlight your current activity or current information.

View live activities on your iPhone

First, update your iPhone to iOS 16.1 if you haven’t already. Go to Settings, then General and select Software Update. You will be told iOS is up to date or prompted to download and install the latest update.

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To enable Live Activities on your phone, go to Settings and then Face ID & Passcode. Enter your passcode for authentication. Swipe down the screen and turn on the Live Activities switch if it isn’t already on (Image A)

Image A

In Settings under Face ID & Passcode, enable Live Activities.
Image: Apple

Then, only certain apps currently support Live Activities, although the list is growing. Some of the apps you can try are:

To make sure Live Activities are enabled for a supported app you’ve installed, go to Settings and tap the app’s name. Enable the Live Activities switch if it isn’t already enabled (Figure B).

Figure B

Turn on the Live Activities switch if it isn't already on.
Image: Apple

Let’s take a look at some of the supported apps to see how they work with Live Activities.

Focus: time management

This app allows you to schedule specific tasks and breaks during your workday. Open the app and plan your next task. On your iPhone’s lock screen, a timer shows the countdown to the task so you can pause, save, or turn it off. When the countdown is over, a notification will appear on the lock screen (Figure C).

Figure C

When the countdown is over, a notification will appear on the lock screen.
Image: Apple

Just press Record

With this app you can record external audio via your phone. Open the app and tap the red button to start recording. Your lock screen will show the recording screen where you can pause or stop that recording (Figure D).

Figure D

The recording screen appears where you can pause or stop that recording.
Image: Apple

MD Clock – Clock widget

This app displays various clock and timer widgets that you can add to your screen. After you enable Live Activities in the app, your lock screen will show the current time with hours, minutes, and seconds (Figure E).

Figure E

The lock screen shows the current time with hours, minutes and seconds.
Image: Apple

AttitudePal

This app analyzes your posture while sitting and alerts you to bad habits. Place a pair of AirPods in your ears and press the Start Tracking button. With your iPhone’s lock screen visible, PosturePal will display a timer as it monitors your posture and tells you if it detects bad posture (Figure F).

Figure F

The posture friend will tell you if he detects bad posture.
Image: Apple

Structured – Daily Planner

This app helps you organize your day better by setting times for specific tasks. Open the app and create one or more tasks. A notification will appear on the lock screen when it’s time to tackle your scheduled task (Figure G).

Figure G

In the Daily Planner, a notification appears when it is time to tackle your scheduled task.
Image: Apple

Wake up from! Healthy Work Timer

This app helps you to take breaks and perform other healthy activities during a normal work day. Set an activity and timer in the app. When it’s time for that activity, a notification will appear on your lock screen (figure H).

figure H

When it's time for that activity, a notification will appear on your lock screen.
Image: Apple

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