iOS 16.1 hasn’t been out for very long, but developers are already taking advantage of the tentpole feature, Live Activities, by creating shortcut widgets on the redesigned lock screen on your iPhone — and I’m sold.
For those who are unclear, Live Activities is a widget placed at the bottom of an iOS 16.1 lock screen on an iPhone that can show live data, such as the status of a takeout meal, or live scores for a football game. However, developers are already looking for other ways to take advantage of this.
An app called Lock Launcher (opens in new tab), is free to download on the App Store, but there is a one-time fee of $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$5.99 to unlock more features. The app previously allowed you to create widgets for the home screen that gave you access to Wi-Fi settings and apps from a favorites list. However, with the appearance of Live Activities in iOS 16.1, you can now do the same directly on the lock screen.
A launch pad of possibilities
From launching Wi-Fi and 5G settings to photos and websites, it already clears the widgets at the top of the lock screen for me. There have been numerous times when I have had to go into wifi settings to force it to connect to the home network but it was always 4 taps to get there. Now it’s only one. But Lock Launcher goes even further for this widget.
You can also change the icons for the apps and settings to match the lock screen you created, so if you want to turn WhatsApp into a face mask, you can.
And there is another advantage if you own an iPhone 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max. You can also access this widget within Dynamic Island wherever you are, giving you quick access to apps, settings and more.
I already find this useful on my iPhone 13 Pro, and it’s been less than a week since iOS 16.1 debuted. Again, it also makes me think about how this can help on an iPad Pro screen, and how many apps and settings I can add there, but I imagine I’ll wait for Lock Screen widgets to debut in iPadOS 17.
In the meantime, however, Lock Launcher has been a big time saver for me, and if you’ve been trying to find ways to reduce the tapping to get to your Bluetooth settings, this app will accomplish that in great numbers.