How to Use Live Activities on iPhone (iOS 16)

What you need to know

  • Enable live activity: Configuration > face recognition and passcode > enter passcode > go live activities To on/green.
  • Live activities work on all iPhones running iOS 16 and above, and even with dynamic islands if your hardware supports it.

This article explains what Live Activities are, the differences between them on the iPhone that offers Dynamic Island, and provides step-by-step instructions for enabling Live Activities.

How to use Live Activities on iPhone (iOS 16)

Live Activity provides a convenient way to get at-a-glance information and functionality from compatible apps on your lock screen. With them, you don’t need to unlock your iPhone or access the app itself.

To use Live Activities, you must be running iOS 16 or later. As mentioned above, on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, live activities also take advantage of the space provided by dynamic islands.

To enable Live Activities on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Configuration.

  2. Tap face recognition and passcode.

  3. Enter your passcode.

  4. in the Allow access when locked section, live activities slider on/green.

What live activities are available in your app and how you activate them depends on the app you use. You can clear live activity from the lock screen by swiping the lock screen from right to left.

On iPhones running iOS 16.2 or later, you can set Live Activities to update sports scores more frequently.First enable this option Configuration > tv set > live activities > move to on/green both sliders Allow live activity When more frequent updatesThen tap the game in the TV app and on the details page tap followLive activity for that game on your lock screen updates frequently.

What are live activities?

A Live Activity is a small view of an app that you can add to your iPhone’s lock screen that provides regularly updated information from that app. This allows the app to display the important information you need at a glance. For example, sports scores, food delivery locations, weather information, and more.

As the name suggests, Live Activities updates regularly, letting you get important information at a glance of the screen without opening the app (perfect for iPhone 14’s always-on screen).

Think of them like lock screen widgets or notifications that you can interact with and update in near real time.

Live activity on iPhone 14 Pro and later

On iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities utilizes dynamic islands to provide updates not only from the lock screen, but also while using other apps. In these models, information is always collapsed into dynamic islands. A dynamic island may expand to show something of particular interest, and you can tap the dynamic island to jump to that app.

For example, when listening to a song in Music, Dynamic Island displays a thumbnail of the album art of the song you’re listening to, and tapping it takes you to the music album. As another example, sports matches you follow will see team logos and current scores displayed on dynamic islands. When the game ends, the dynamic island expands to show the finals.

Apps that support live activities

At the time of this writing, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of apps that support live activities. Given the number, there’s no way to list them all here, but a search for “live activities” or “dynamic islands” in the App Store will give you some good options.

Apps pre-installed on iPhones that support Live Activities, Dynamic Island updates, or both include:

  • clock (for timer)
  • map
  • music
  • tv set
  • voice memo.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is background app activity on iPhone?

    Background app activity, or background app refresh, is an option that allows your app to update information when it’s not active. This is different from background app updates, which your phone can download and install when a new version of the app is available. An example of background app refresh is a weather program that checks for alerts or a stock app that keeps company information up to date.

  • Which iPhones work with iOS 16?

    iOS 16 is available for iPhone 8 and later (including iPhone SE 2nd generation and later). Older phones do not have the option to update to this operating system.

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