iOS 16’s Live Activities have the potential to shake up the iPhone’s Lock Screen in a new way, but it’ll depend on support from third-party apps.
iOS 16’s Live Activities has the potential to be one of the best features to come from the software upgrade, but its usefulness is dependent on the number and types of supported applications. The next mobile operating system from Apple was announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, an event centered around developers and software. Though iOS 16 isn’t slated for a worldwide rollout until later this fall — lining right up with the expected release of the iPhone 14 series in September — more details are being revealed about the upcoming version through beta software periods. Apple has seeded both developer and public beta software versions of iOS 16, which shed some light on the changes to come.
Live Activities are one of the few features that haven’t been tested by users running the iOS 16 beta, and that’s because the feature is lagging in the development process. Apple announced earlier this summer that the Live Activities feature would not be ready for an initial iOS 16 release. Instead, it would be added in a software update later this year. Work is continuing on the feature — a Live Activities API was added in iOS 16 developer beta 4, allowing developers to build support for the feature. While it’s unclear exactly which apps will build support for the Live Activities API, some clues on Apple’s website reveal what to expect.
appear on the iPhone’s Lock Screen when relevant ‘activities’ need to provide key information at a glance. An example could be tracking a delivery order, checking a game’s score, or following a ride-share request’s status. Instead of opening the smartphone every time to check these simple actions, this information can be shown on the Lock Screen in a notification bubble. It’s largely the burden of app developers to build support for Live Activities using the API, but some Live Activities are already all but confirmed for iOS16.First, what are Live Activities? Live Activities are widgets that
Some Live Activities Are All But Confirmed
Tea Live Activities confirmed to come to the iPhone’s Lock Screen allow users to check the score of their favorite game without waking their device. These Live Activities can show the score of a game, and other details, without any interaction, required. However, they are limited based on country and region. For example, Apple’s website says that NBA and English Premier League Live Activities will be available in the US and Canada. However, Major League Baseball scores will be more accessible globally — they’re available in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Japan and South Korea. There have been no specific references made to a Live Activity for the NFL, but if Apple seeks support for the major North American professional sports leagues, an NFL Live Activity would likely be well-received by users.
Other third-party Live Activities remain unconfirmed, but Apple has featured some in iOS 16 previews. For example, a Live Activity for the Starbucks app sits on the iOS 16 preview page, displaying the status of a mobile order in progress. Two more third-party Live Activities were showcased in the WWDC 2022 keynote: Uber and Nike Run Club. The former tracked a ride-share request in progress, while the latter showed analytics for an active workout. The success of Live Activities will be determined by how many third-party apps support the new feature, and the early previews provide a glimpse of what’s to come with iOS 16 later this year.