Now that the entire iPhone 14 series is available, all of these devices are running iOS 16 out of the box. With iOS 16, there are quite a few new features, such as the completely redesigned Lock Screen, along with the ability to edit or unsend messages, and much more. To go along with having the ability to customize your iPhone’s Lock Screen, Apple also introduced a new feature called Live Activities. And while this wasn’t available with the release of iOS 16, it seems as though it will arrive when Apple releases iOS 16.1.
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What Are Live Activities?
While Apple really swung for the fences with its overhauled Lock Screen interface, the company didn’t stop there. iOS 16 introduces some long-overdue changes to how notifications can be viewed, partially expanding on the minor changes with iOS 15. One feature that has kind of flown under the radar is called Live Activities.
During the WWDC ’22 keynote, this feature was shown off and will provide live updates for your various apps. These include seeing updated information about the score of a baseball game, or how far away your Uber is from picking you up. Apple also introduced a separate Live Activities API for developers to take advantage of.
How To Turn On Live Activities
Unlike many of the other features that you’ll enjoy with your iPhone on iOS 16, Live Activities is one of the few features that is not enabled by default. Essentially, this means that if you want to test drive and use it, you’ll need to turn on Live Activities manually on your iPhone. Here’s how you can do so, but just as a reminder, your iPhone will need to be updated to iOS 16.1. Otherwise, the toggle for Live Activities will not appear.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone running iOS 16.1 or higher.
- Scroll down and tap Face ID & Passcode.
- Scroll down again until you reach the Allow Access When Locked section.
- Tap the toggle next to Live Activities to the On position.
- Exit the Settings app.
Turn On Live Activities For Specific Apps
Admittedly, there aren’t very many applications that already support Live Activities, but this is expected to change in the coming months. And while some applications support Live Activities as soon as they are installed, you might want to turn on Live Activities for certain apps.
We already know that Apple’s own Apple TV app supports Live Activities, notably when it comes to keeping track of sports scores. But there are a few steps that you need to take in order to take full advantage of what Live Activities have to offer. Here’s how you can turn on Live Activities and follow your favorite sports teams right from the Lock Screen.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Follow the steps above to make sure that Live Activities is enabled.
- From the main portion of the Settings app, scroll down and tap TV.
- Under the Allow TV To Access section, tap the toggle next to Live Activities to the On position.
- Close the Settings app.
- Open the Apple TV app on your iPhone.
- Locate the game that you wish to be updated for.
- Tap the Follow button.
Once everything has been set up properly, you’ll see a notification appear on your Lock Screen after the game starts. We aren’t exactly sure how third-party app developers will implement Live Activities. Nor do we know whether the feature will be enabled by default, or if it will need to be enabled on a case-by-case basis. What we do know, is that this could really change how we interact with and use our iPhones.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.