iOS 16.1 hasn’t been available for a long time, but developers are already taking advantage of its sustaining feature, Live Activities, by creating shortcut widgets on your iPhone’s redesigned lock screen – and I’m convinced.
For those who don’t know, Live Activities is a widget placed at the bottom of an iOS 16.1 lock screen on an iPhone that can show live data such as the status of a takeaway or live scores from a football game. However, developers are already finding other ways to take advantage of it.
An app called lock launcher (opens in new tab), is free to download from the App Store, but there is a one-time fee of $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$5.99 to unlock more features. The app previously allowed you to create widgets for your home screen that let you access WiFi settings and apps from a favorites list. However, with the appearance of Live Activities in iOS 16.1, you can now do the same directly from the lock screen.
A launch pad of possibilities
From the beginning of WiFi and 5G settings to photos and websites, it is already releasing the widgets at the top of the lock screen for me. There have been countless times I had to go into WiFi settings to force connection to the home network, but it always takes 4 taps to get there. Now, it’s just one. But Lock Launcher goes even further for this widget.
You can also change the app icons and settings to help match the lock screen you created, so if you want to change WhatsApp to a face mask, you can.
And there’s yet another benefit if you own an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max. You can also invoke this widget within Dynamic Island wherever you are, so you can quickly access apps, settings, and more.
I’m already finding this useful on my iPhone 13 Pro, and it hasn’t even been a week since iOS 16.1 was released. Again, it’s also making me wonder how this might help on an iPad Pro screen and how many apps and settings I can add there, but I imagine I’ll be waiting for the lock screen widgets to debut in iPadOS 17.
Meanwhile, Lock Launcher has been a huge time saver for me, and if you’re trying to find ways to cut down on taps to access your Bluetooth settings, this app will do it in droves.