The arrival of iOS 16.1 brings another change to the iPhone lock screen in the form of Live Activities. And app makers are jumping at the chance to incorporate support for the new feature into their own apps.
Live Activities are notifications that appear on your lock screen and stay there, relaying updates to you about ever-changing statuses. Wondering where that cheeseburger you ordered through a food delivery app might be, or how the Warriors vs. Lakers are doing? Live Activities can bring that information to your lock screen, with updates as the cheeseburger delivery approaches. The Warriors go on another run against the hapless Lakers.
The arrival of iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max adds another destination for live activities. Both of these phones have gotten rid of the notch that has appeared on iPhones since 2017, replacing it with the Dynamic Island. And while its main purpose seems to house the phone’s front-facing camera and Face ID sensors, the Dynamic Island can also be a place where notifications appear, giving you another area to interact with Live Activities.
While iOS 16 came out in September, Apple withheld Live Activities until the iOS 16.1 update. But once iPhone users were able to upgrade to the new version, a flurry of app updates soon followed, as third-party developers appeared to show off how their software could take advantage of Live Activities.
Countdown timers have proven to be a popular live activity for many apps, from productivity tools to fitness apps. But we’ve also seen Live Activities that can share weather data, flight information and sports results.
We’ve spent some time going through App Store updates to find apps that take advantage of Live Activities. While not a complete list, the 11 apps below certainly caught our attention while giving you a general taste of how Live Activities will work with the lock screen and Dynamic Island to give you more information at a glance.
Structured is a day planner and time management app that puts all your tasks and calendar items in one place, turning them into a clear overview of what you need to do on any given day. The app has added a countdown clock that shows you how much time is left for a specific task accessible from the lock screen (or Dynamic Island if you have an iPhone 14 Pro.)
You can download Structured for free, but some of its features, including notifications and integration with the built-in reminders app, require a subscription. You can sign up for a monthly ($1.99) or annual ($7.99) subscription while a $29.99 purchase gets you a lifetime membership.
download Structured (opens in a new tab)
The Flighty flight tracking app gives you a lot of information – everything from the flight route to delay predictions and weather forecasts. For iOS 16.1, Flighty brings that information to the lock screen and Dynamic Island with a Live Activity notification that shows arrival and departure times, gate info and flight status.
Flighty is a free download and that version already contains a lot of important flight information. More advanced features such as delay forecasts, push notifications, and live tracking of incoming flights require a Flighty Pro subscription ($5.99/month or $49.99/year).
If you use SmartGym to keep track of your exercise routines, you’ll want the latest update, which adds Live Activity support. With Live Activities, you can start a timer to show the lock screen, and you can also get guidance for your next set or workout. Dynamic Island support allows you to track rests and performance during a workout.
You can try SmartGym for free, with support for two routines, 10 stories and two measures. A subscription ($9.99/month or $59.99/year) gives you unlimited access to all of these things, plus the ability to sync data to SmartGym’s cloud service.
download SmartGym (opens in a new tab)
Wakeout has been a godsend for desk-bound workers who don’t want a sedentary occupation to creep into their lifestyle. The app comes with exercise breaks you can take at your desk to keep you active and alert, and it also helps you focus on the tasks at hand, with a countdown timer to help you stay on task until your next Wakeout break . With Live Activities, this timer moves to your phone’s lock screen.
You can try Wakeout for one week before your subscription starts. One month of Wakeout costs $12.99/month with a lower monthly price available when you sign up for a year.
download Wakeout (opens in a new tab)
Live activities in other weather apps
• Alpenglow (opens in a new tab)
An update to Carrot Weather for iOS adds a Rain Starting Soon Live activity that appears on the lock screen when rain is expected in the next hour. A rain map displayed alongside Live Activity lets you keep track of the incoming storm.
While you can download Carrot Weather for free, Live Activity for Rain Starting Soon requires you to sign up for the app’s Premium Ultra tier, which costs $29.99/year.
download Carrot Weather (opens in a new tab)
Live activities for other food apps
• Croutons (opens in a new tab)
• Crumb Cookies (opens in a new tab)
• Mela (opens in a new tab)
• Support (opens in a new tab)
Grocery gives you a place to write down what you need the next time you run to the store, and a new Live Activity for the app keeps that list visible on the lock screen or in the dynamic island on iPhone 14 Pro. If you happen to be saving grocery recipes—you can, you know—there’s a countdown timer that appears as a live activity.
Grocery is a free download, though a membership unlocks premium features like family sharing and pantry tracking. It will cost you $3.99/month or $9.99/year. A payment of $29.99 gets you lifetime access.
download Grocery (opens in a new tab)
Just press Record
Live activities in other tools
• Calzy (opens in a new tab)
• Codes (opens in a new tab)
• TV remote control (opens in a new tab)
Just Press Record is straight forward when it comes to one-touch recording, and it’s just as easy to watch Live Activities. When you’re recording a memo, lecture, interview, or just about anything else, a controller will appear on your iPhone’s lock screen, giving you quick access to pause or stop the recording.
Just Press Record is a $4.99 download with features that go beyond what iOS 16’s built-in Voice Memos app offers.
download Just press Record (opens in a new tab)
Live activities in other sports apps
• FootMob (opens in a new tab)
Sports updates seem to be hot fodder for Live Action, and one of the first apps to jump on board is the aptly named Sports Alerts app. Currently supporting the four major US sports leagues – MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL – Sports Alerts allows you to start a live activity up to six hours before game time. The live activity stays on the lock screen and notifies you of score changes without having to unlock the phone.
You can download Sports Alerts for free. A $4.99 in-app purchase gets rid of all ads for one year.
download Sports alerts (opens in a new tab)
Tide Guide excels at providing you with tide information and solar charts in an easy-to-view format. An update for iOS 16.1 lets you view the current tide height, sun or moon heights, and information about when the next tide will come in, whether displayed on the lock screen or in Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models.
You can download the Tide Guide and use it for free for three days before a subscription starts. Tide Guide costs $4.99/month or $29.99 for a full year.
download Tide guide (opens in a new tab)
The MoneyCoach budgeting app helps you manage your spending and track your bills, with an eye toward creating healthy money habits. With Live Activities, you’ll see transactions appear on the lock screen, along with how much you’ve spent on that category for the currency tracking period and a comparison to previous spending. iPhone 14 Pro owners can view this data on Dynamic Island.
You can download MoneyCoach for free, while a $34.99/year subscription unlocks the app’s Premium features.
download MoneyCoach (opens in a new tab)
Lumy keeps track of sunrises and sunsets, with an eye to helping photographers and videographers get a perfectly lit image. (Your clue this is a photo-focused app? One of the main things Lumy tracks is when the Golden Hour arrives and the lighting is at its most photogenic.) The app’s iOS 16.1 update lets you keep track of all solar events, from the golden to first light, either on the lock screen or from the dynamic island.
A $6.99 purchase gives you full access to Lumy and all its features.
download Lumi (opens in a new tab)