iOS 16 will make your iPhone’s lock screen more useful

This story is part of WWDC 2022Full topwatchbest coverage of and about Apple’s annual developer conference.

Your iPhone lock screen has important role to protect yours personal information and applications from viewers. But other than that, little more than shows the time, displays notifications, and gives you quick access to your camera and flashlight. Fortunately, this is finally changing from iOS 16.

Coming IPhone updatewill probably debut this fall with rumored to be an iPhone 14will bring new widgets along with other personalization options to the lock screen. And it’s about time.

Simply put, the current iteration of the main lock screen seems outdated. Wearing Apple Watch I have realized regularly for several years how useful it can be to look at your wrist to get information about the weather, next meeting and activity goals. There is no reason why my iPhone lock screen should not be as helpful. In fact, I’m surprised it took so long for Apple to apply these Apple Watch applications to the iPhone.

Having more information on the lock screen is as much a necessity as it is inevitable. The smartphone has gradually become a remote control for many other gadgets in our lives, such as smartwatches, wireless earphones and connected home gadgets. The lock screen can be the key to ensuring easy and convenient management of these gadgets.

read more: How iOS 16 and Android 13 Could Change the Future of Smartphones

The new iOS 16 lock screen is a much-needed refresh

IOS 16 Lock Screen Widget Gallery

Examples of new lock screen widgets to choose from in iOS 16.

Apple / Screenshot via topwatchbest

When iOS 16 launches in the fall, the lock screen will support Apple Watchsimilar widgets that show pieces of information at a glance. The weather, activity progress, battery level, alarms, current training, and sports scores are examples of data points that you can see without unlocking your phone.

In iOS 16, not only the practicality of the lock screen will improve; Your background photo will also be enhanced. The new lock screen will be able to isolate the subject in the foreground and apply an out-of-focus effect to the background, similar to a photo in portrait mode. You can give your lock screen photo an aesthetic similar to a magazine cover, which imposes the date and time behind the subject of the image, and elements such as colors and fonts will also be customized.

But these are really the widgets that I’m looking forward to the most iOS 16. To be clear, you can already access widgets from your iPhone lock screen. But you have to swipe right to see them. The new widgets in iOS 16 will be displayed directly on the home screen and will look more like Apple Watch icons.

Having more information at a glance makes it easier for me to reduce the time I spend on the screen. The more details I see without unlocking my phone, the less likely I will get lost in my inbox, Twitter, Instagram and TikToku. It’s the same reason I want Apple to bring an always-on display to my iPhone. We haven’t seen this at WWDC, but the new widget-friendly lock screen seems like a worthy substitute.

Read more: Smartwatches have been measuring oxygen levels in the blood for years. But is that useful?

A screenshot of the live activity tool at the bottom of the lock screen

Here’s another example of a lock screen widget called Live Actions, which will arrive in iOS 16. It’s basically a mini way to view real-time progress of your training, sporting event, or Uber ride from your iPhone’s lock screen.


In 2022, it seems unthinkable not to use a password or biometric lock on your iPhone. But such safeguards can also make access to the phone feel like speed up, especially when you consider the number of daily tasks that can only be performed when the phone is unlocked. I don’t want to enter a password or swipe right to check the weather, see how close my Uber is, or make sure my AirPods I still have enough battery to travel home. With these new widgets, your lock screen can get even better for its intended purpose of displaying the bits of data you want to see at a glance while protecting things that are more personal and private.

I also can’t help feeling that Apple is catching up with Android by adding a new screen lock feature. Companies like Google and Samsung have long understood the value of a screen lock, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve been offering always-on displays for years. Google has also introduced new lock screen features on its Pixel phones as part of update announced on Monday.

read more: iOS 16 may be giving us tips for iPhone 14

The evolving role of the lock screen on iPhones

A touch-and-pay transaction between two iPhones

New Tap to Pay feature with Apple Pay. This is another sign that Apple Wallet is becoming an increasingly important part of the iPhone.


With the evolution of the iPhone and Apple Watch, accessing certain features and applications directly from the lock screen has become more important. Apple wallet is a perfect example of this. The ability to view your boarding passes and event tickets on the lock screen is a big part of what makes Apple Wallet so convenient. Apple Wallet is also a big part of iOS 16 and Apple’s ambition to replace physical wallets.

We’ll likely see even more lock screen features as iPhone ultra-wideband technology becomes more prominent. The ultra-wideband standard is the wireless standard that makes it easier for iPhones to more accurately detect compatible products nearby. This is why your iPhone is able to lead you to the lost one AirTag with step-by-step directions, for example, and the technology also promises your phone will perform better as a digital car key.

In the long run, UWB can help our phones take a more intelligent approach to their surroundings and possibly enable them to unlock the car when you approach its door as writes my colleague Stephen Shankland. As our phones connect more easily to the growing number of everyday smart items such as cars and thermostats, displaying relevant information on the lock screen will be all the more useful. For example, Google’s new Pixel update will let you see who’s at your door on your lock screen if you have Nest’s doorbell.

For now, many iPhone owners will probably be most excited about the new photo effects and customization options on the lock screen. But upgrading the Apple lock screen may be more important than you think for iOS 16 and more.

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