iOS 16 Will Make Your iPhone's Lock Display More Useful – CNET

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This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.

Your iPhone’s lock display has the essential job of guarding your personal data and apps from onlookers. But in any other case, it does little greater than present the time, show notifications and supply quick entry to the digital camera and flashlight. Thankfully, that is lastly altering with iOS 16

The upcoming iPhone update, prone to debut this fall with the rumored iPhone 14, will introduce new widgets together with different personalization choices to the lock display. And it is about time.

To put it bluntly, the present iteration of the primary lock display feels dated. Wearing an Apple Watch frequently for the previous few years has made me notice how helpful it may be to look down at my wrist to get info on the climate, my subsequent appointment and my exercise objectives. There’s no cause why my iPhone’s lock display should not be simply as useful. In reality, I’m stunned it took this lengthy for Apple to use these learnings from the Apple Watch to the iPhone.

Having extra info in your lock display is as a lot a necessity as it’s an inevitability. The smartphone has steadily turn out to be a distant management for the various different devices in our lives, like smartwatches, wireless earbuds and related dwelling devices. The lock display may very well be the important thing to creating certain managing these devices stays simple and handy. 

Read More: How iOS 16 and Android 13 Could Change the Future of Smartphones

iOS 16’s new lock display is a much-needed refresh

iOS 16 lock screen widget gallery

Examples of the brand new lock display widgets you can select from in iOS 16.

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

When iOS 16 launches this fall, the lock display will help Apple Watch-like widgets that present bits of knowledge at a look. The climate, exercise progress, battery ranges, alarms, your present exercise and sports activities scores are all examples of knowledge factors you can see with out unlocking your cellphone. 

It’s not simply the practicality of your lock display that is going to enhance in iOS 16; your background picture will get a significant improve, too. The new lock display will have the ability to isolate the topic within the foreground and apply an out-of-focus impact to the background just like a Portrait mode picture. You may give your lock display picture {a magazine} cover-like aesthetic that layers the date and time behind the topic of your picture, and parts like colours and fonts can be customizable as nicely.  

But it is actually the widgets that I’m trying ahead to probably the most in iOS 16. To be clear, you’ll be able to already entry widgets out of your iPhone’s lock display. But it’s important to swipe proper to see them. The new widgets in iOS 16 will reside straight on the house display and look extra like Apple Watch icons.

Having extra info at a look makes it simpler for me to chop down on display time. The extra element I can see with out unlocking my cellphone, the much less probably I’m to get misplaced in my inbox, Twitter, Instagram and TikTook. It’s the identical cause why I would like Apple to convey an always-on show to the iPhone. We did not see this at WWDC, however the brand new widget-friendly lock display looks like a worthy substitute. 

Read More: Smartwatches Have Measured Blood Oxygen For Years. But Is This Useful?

A screenshot of the Live Activities tool on the bottom of the lock screen

Here’s one other instance of a sort of lock display widget known as Live Activities that is coming in iOS 16. This is basically a mini strategy to view the real-time progress of a exercise, sporting occasion or Uber experience out of your iPhone’s lock display.


In 2022, it appears unthinkable to not use a passcode or biometric lock in your iPhone. But such safety may make accessing your cellphone really feel like a velocity bump, particularly when you think about the variety of on a regular basis duties that may solely be accomplished when your cellphone is unlocked. I do not need to kind in my passcode or swipe to the proper to verify the climate, see how shut my Uber is or be sure that my AirPods nonetheless have sufficient battery for my commute dwelling. With these new widgets, the lock display may turn out to be even higher at its supposed objective of surfacing the bits of knowledge you need to see at a look whereas defending the issues which are extra private and personal.

I additionally can not help however really feel like Apple is catching as much as Android by including new lock display performance. Companies like Google and Samsung have lengthy understood the worth of the lock display, as confirmed by the truth that they’ve provided always-on shows for years. Google additionally launched new options for the lock display on its Pixel telephones as a part of an update that was introduced on Monday. 

Read More: iOS 16 May Be Giving Us Clues to the iPhone 14

The evolving function of the lock display on iPhones

A Tap to Pay transaction between two iPhones

Apple Pay’s new Tap to Pay. It’s one other signal that Apple Wallet is turning into an more and more essential a part of the iPhone. 


Over the evolution of the iPhone and the Apple Watch, accessing sure options and apps straight from the lock display has turn out to be extra essential. Apple Wallet is a good instance of this. The capability to have boarding passes and occasion tickets seem in your lock display is a giant a part of what makes Apple Wallet so handy. Apple Wallet can also be a giant a part of iOS 16 and Apple’s ambitions to exchange bodily wallets.

We’ll probably see much more lock display performance because the iPhone’s extremely wideband know-how turns into extra outstanding. Ultra wideband is a wi-fi normal that makes it simpler for iPhones to detect close by suitable merchandise extra exactly. It’s why your iPhone is ready to information you to a misplaced AirTag with turn-by-turn instructions, for instance, and the tech additionally guarantees to make your cellphone work higher as a digital automobile key.

Over the long run, UWB may assist our telephones be extra clever about their environment and probably allow them to unlock your automobile as you method its door, as my colleague Stephen Shankland writes. As our telephones join extra simply to an rising quantity of good on a regular basis objects like vehicles and thermostats, surfacing related info on the lock display can be all of the extra helpful. Google’s new Pixel replace, for instance, will allow you to see who’s at your door from the lock display you probably have a Nest doorbell. 

For now, many iPhone house owners will most likely be most excited in regards to the new picture results and customization choices on the lock display. But Apple’s lock display revamp may very well be extra essential than you assume for iOS 16 and past. 

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