Developers Now Able to Create Live Activities for iOS 16 Lock Screen With Launch of ActivityKit Beta [Updated]

Alongside the fourth betas of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 that were released to developers today, Apple has provided an ActivityKit beta, which will let app developers start creating apps that are able to take advantage of the Live Activities feature introduced in iOS 16.

ios 16 live activities feature
Announced at WWDC, Live Activities are interactive notifications that stay up to date, allowing you to keep an eye on things happening in real time right from the Lock Screen. If you're following a sports game, for example, you can see the updated score on the Lock Screen, or if you're waiting for a Uber ride, you can watch for your driver to approach.

With the ActivityKit framework, you can start a Live Activity to share live updates from your app on the Lock Screen. For example, a sports app might allow the user to start a Live Activity for a live sports game. The Live Activity appears on the Lock Screen for the duration of the game and offers the latest updates about the game at a glance.

Developers can use ActivityKit to configure, start, update, and end a Live Activity. Apple says an app's widget extension creates the user interface of the Live Activity, but Live Activities are not widgets and ultimately use a different mechanism to receive updates.

On Apple's iOS 16 Preview page, Live Activities is listed as a feature that are not going to be available when iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 launch, but Apple is allowing developers to get a head start on adding the experiences into their apps. Apple says that Live Activities will come in an update to iOS 16 set to debut later in the year.

Developers will not be able to submit apps that support Live Activities until the feature launches in the future.

Update: In the sixth beta of iOS 16, Apple has disabled some Live Activity functionality, rendering TestFlight apps that include the feature unable to operate at the current time.

Related Forum: iOS 16

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Top Rated Comments

mcfrazieriv Avatar
25 months ago
Will that live preview for Uber show the car/ride/delivery vehicle spin in circles for twenty minutes before it cancels on you?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
25 months ago
This could be a very cool feature. I hope companies take advantage of this. I was exited about app clips when that was announced, and since then I came across 1(one)... Perhaps it's just my experience.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CARIB_APPLE Avatar
25 months ago

This could be a very cool feature. I hope companies take advantage of this. I was exited about app clips when that was announced, and since then I came across 1(one)... Perhaps it's just my experience.
Omg App Clips! What happened to those!? Never took off…
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
25 months ago

This could be a very cool feature. I hope companies take advantage of this. I was exited about app clips when that was announced, and since then I came across 1(one)... Perhaps it's just my experience.
App Clips rely heavily on in-person experiences. It came out just before the pandemic hit. Apple should reintroduce them when this is all behind us.

That said, I came across App Clips frequently in New York. Restaurants, coffee shops and museums use them. Great experience, for example booking a ticket and time slot at the Museum of Natural History, without having to download the app. A diner in the financial district had an App Clip that enabled me to pull up their menu and order breakfast before being seated. My food arrived quickly after they seated me. Great use of the tech.

I could see a combination of Live Activities with App Clips where you're on your way to a take out restaurant, Apple Maps shows the App Clip, which when opened shows the menu without downloading an app, then you order and it turns into a Live Activity showing you the status of your order. When it's ready, you'd see a Pick Up status with your name that you can show to at the counter and walk out with your food.

There are so many one time use apps that we have on our phones for when you'll maybe need it again. It's a bad experience. App Clips with Live Activity makes much more sense and I hope it replaces many apps we use today.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kylo83 Avatar
25 months ago
We want interactive widgets
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
25 months ago
I want one that shows the progress of the UPS truck to my door with my iPhone 14 Pro.

Apple, make it so.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)