With Live Activities you stay informed right from the lock screen

iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 17 include a new notification method called ‘Live Activities’. This can display information about ongoing activities in real time. This message remains on the lock screen or in the Dynamic Island of the iPhone.

Because the ‘notification’ is updated in real time, it is no longer necessary to unlock your iPhone to see the standings of a match, for example, or to check when your food will be delivered. This makes the lock screen, together with the widgets, more interactive than ever.

Live activities

Live Activities can best be compared to an extensive notification or interactive widget that temporarily freezes on the lock screen of the iPhone or iPad. In this notification you can follow an activity live. Developers can use this feature to incorporate into their app.

live activities lock screen

The function is best explained with examples. For example, the notification can contain the current score of your sports match, view the arrival of a taxi, track the ordering and delivery process of an order, a timer that you have active and more.

Features of Live Activities

Below you will find a few examples that clarify the possibilities of Live Activities. The notification (interactive widget) is updated in real time. This means that as soon as the status changes, you will immediately see this reflected in the Live Activity Report.

  • Following a sports match: View the live score of a football match
  • Status of orders: Follow the ordering and delivery process of an order
  • Check taxi ride: Follow live the location of a taxi you have ordered
  • Public transport status: See when a bus, metro or train arrives
  • Workout progress: Follow your training with, for example, the Nike Run Club app
  • Current status of an app: View a timer or see what music is playing
live activity examples and options

Developers can make their application suitable for Live Activities, which will probably make the possibilities even more extensive.

Live activities are automatically activated when, for example, you place an order for food delivery and a tracker is linked to it. Even when you start a timer, the message appears immediately. At sports competitions you will probably first have to indicate that you want to stay informed.

Also suitable for iPad

Starting with iPadOS 17, you can also use Live Activities on your iPad. You can then follow information about ongoing activities in real time on your lock screen. For example, you can see the status of your ordered food, whether your flight departs on time and what the score is for the match.

live activities iPad lock screen

Access screen and Dynamic Island

You will mainly encounter Live Activities on the lock screen. The temporary message will appear at the bottom of the screen with your notifications below it.

If you have an iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 15 (Pro) or newer, you can also view the status when your device is unlocked. In the Dynamic Island you will also see, for example, the standings of the sports match or the remaining time on the timer.

live activity examples and possibilities in the dynamic Island

You can also encounter Live Activities in other places. This will appear in Spotlight and in some cases also in the linked app.

Interactive widget?

Live Activities is best thought of as an interactive widget that is constantly updated. The current widgets that you can place on the home screen and in the today view also show the current status, but are updated less often. The live activity notification is updated in real time as soon as a change occurs.

live activity examples and possibilities

You can test this new function using a timer via the Clock app or play a song via the Music app. On the lock screen you will also see a temporary interactive widget that is updated live. In some cases you can even control the function via the notification.

Availability and supporting devices

Live Activities is available starting with iOS 16.1 on iPhone SE 2nd generation, iPhone 8 (Plus) or later. Since iPadOS 17, the function can also be used on an iPad.

Live Activities has no special settings and is controlled by apps that support it. You can optionally manage the Live Activities in the settings of these apps. Unfortunately, there is no overview of all apps that support live activities on your iPhone.

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