51535 102062 Live Activities iOS xl

Best Live Activities in iOS 16.1

51535 102062 Live Activities iOS


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Live Activities debuted with the release of iOS 16.1, promising a new way to get updated information where users want to see it. The feature works with every iPhone that supports the latest version of iOS.

It is different from Dynamic Island, which is only for iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Live Activities is intended as a timely lock screen notification that can cover a variety of uses, from sports score updates to stock price changes to food deliveries to flight quota arrivals and much more.

How to turn on Live Activities on supported iPhones

  1. Go to Settings, down to Face ID & Passcode.
  2. Enter your passcode or Touch/Face ID to verify the user.
  3. Scroll down to the Allow Access When Locked section, and turn on the Live Activities toggle.

Once you’ve granted access, apps that support live activities will appear on the lock screen with real-time updates — like Starbucks letting you know when your order is ready. These notifications appear at the bottom of the screen on supported iPhones, and aren’t yet available on other Apple devices.

How to activate live activities

How to activate live activities

You can turn live activity notifications on or off for individual apps by opening Settings, scrolling down to the respective app. There, you can toggle Live Activities on or off as desired.

Apple’s built-in Timers feature in the Clock app is a built-in example that users can try right away. Start the timer, put your iPhone to sleep, turn it back on — and there’s the time left on the countdown.

Likewise, the Music app and the Podcasts app will display progress and current playback information on the lock screen when those apps are in use.

For iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max users, live activities work in conjunction with the Dynamic Island feature. This allows updated information to appear at the top of the lock screen, in a compressed or expanded area.

Dynamic Island is only available on iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max at this time

Dynamic Island is only available on iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max at this time

Apple TV app users can “follow” a sporting event to get a Live Activity update on their Lock screen, including recent scores and plays. This works with Major League Baseball games for users in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia as well as Mexico, Brazil, Korea, and Japan.

Fans of professional basketball and soccer in the United States and Canada can get live activity updates on the next matches of the NBA and Premier League. This feature in the TV app will likely expand to include additional sports over time.

With the release of iOS 16.2, users will also be able to use Spotlight to search for a game, and “follow” it from the resulting info page – which triggers the live activity update. Updates can be stopped by searching for the game again.

Third-party apps like Flighty and Carrot Weather have already taken advantage of the feature: Flighty, for example, offers flight updates for subscribers who start about three hours before a planned trip, including any gate changes or delays.

Carrot Weather features a rain/snow countdown and forecast levels and duration for its subscribers. Just Press Record, a $5 app for iPhone and Apple Watch, uses live activities to update users on recording status at no additional charge.

Flighty and Carrot Weather live activity notifications

Flighty and Carrot Weather live activity notifications

As with Just Press Record, not all apps require an additional purchase or subscription to use the live activities. For example, Lyft and Uber will soon update customers on vehicle arrival times using live activities for free.

To better display the diversity of options with live activities, we’ll highlight a few apps that cater to specific interests. As of this writing, there are over 170 third-party apps listed as supporting some form of live activity.

Fitness and sports

SmartGym is a popular third-party app to help users track workouts. It also offers a standalone Apple Watch app that doesn’t require you to have your iPhone with you, and integrates with the Health app.

Fat Burn Tracker is a free, highly rated exercise app that focuses on weight loss, helps users achieve heart rate goals more efficiently and prevents overtraining or fatigue. Works with Apple Watch series 3 or later, and most Bluetooth heart rate monitors.

FotMob will track soccer scores around the world, but it requires a modest subscription fee.

Slopes is aimed specifically at ski and snowboard enthusiasts, while Landscape: Mountaineering is for hikers and others exploring remote and mountainous areas.

productivity

MoneyCoach is a good, but pricey, money-tracking and management app that syncs transactions across devices, including the ability to import Apple Card and other credit card statements.

Goodtask works with both iCloud and Outlook calendars and reminders, and is highly rated for its optional $10 per year subscription.

Cardpointers is an app that helps users keep track of credit card rewards. It helps users maximize rewards by reminding them which card to use at a particular store or online location, and can help users find cards more suited to their rewards needs and shopping habits.

MoneyCoach and themes

MoneyCoach and themes

Other applications that support live activities

Bookly provides stats and timers when you open a book to read on your device, and helps users manage their “to be read” lists. Provides optional additional features for a monthly, semi-annual, or annual subscription.

Marvis Pro provides widgets, live activity or Dynamic Island information, and lock screen controls for what’s playing on Apple Music or from your music library. It’s a donation program, with Last.fm supporting a $5 in-app purchase.

Pestle helps users collect, organize, adjust, and execute recipes, whether online or even handwritten recipes. Offers monthly or yearly subscriptions, or a single “lifetime” in-app purchase.

Coffee Book is a caffeine tracker, brew diary, and barista coach app for coffee enthusiasts. The preparation timer will appear in the live activities or dynamic island, depending on your iPhone.

Booby Track is for breastfeeding moms and tracks feeds and provides helpful reminders for new moms right from the lock screen. It’s a five-star free app that doesn’t track users or send back data.

Marvis Pro and Pestle

Marvis Pro and Pestle