By | September 18, 2022
iPhone's lock screen at your command: Try iOS 16's best new widgets now

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice on Apple’s most popular product.

The latest operating system for Apple iPhonesiOS 16 — was released last week, and third-party apps were right behind it, with many launching new versions on the same day. The biggest feature addition for apps in iOS 16 is the ability to provide information or functionality from iPhone’s new customizable lock screen.

With the new iPhone lock screen, you can adjust the background, change colors and fonts, and add new widgets that stay on your screen when your iPhone is locked. Two types of widgets – circular and rectangular – sit below the displayed time, while a third type – inline – appears as a bar above the clock.

You can add native Apple widgets from apps like Weather, Calendar or News, or tons of third-party widgets from your favorite apps, even Google (soon). Check out some of the coolest apps with widgets for the new iPhone lock screen with iOS 16 below. For more on iOS 16, here the first things to do after you get started and why your iPhone might not have all the cool iOS 16 features.

iOS 16 apps to design your own widgets

Widgetsmith

Screenshot of Widgetsmith widgets

Widgetsmith

Widgetsmith – a robust iPhone app for creating and editing your own widgets – debuted back in 2020 when iOS 14 added widgets to its home screen. Now the app adds its widget customization tricks to iPhone lock screens.

With Widgetsmith, you can create and customize all three types of lock screen widgets to add calendar items, text, weather updates, photos, and more.

ScreenKit

Screenshot of Screenkit widgets

Screen kit

ScreenKit is another widget customization app that makes the leap into lock screens with iOS 16. The app includes tons of custom icons and other aesthetic features.

ScreenKit makes it easy to create your own lock screen widget from scratch and then further customize it by adjusting the background, colors or decorations.

iOS 16 apps that trigger functions or other apps

Launcher

Screenshot of Launcher widgets

Launcher

Widgets from Launcher have been available for the home screen and Today View for years. The app lets you create shortcuts to quickly access bookmarks, play music, launch other apps, or communicate with your best contacts via phone, message, or FaceTime.

Now you can get most of Launcher’s features on your iPhone lock screen. Just tap the face of your favorite person to send a message or phone call.

Start

Screenshot of Launchify widgets

Launchify/Screenshot by Peter Butler/CNET

Add quick shortcuts to your lock screen that go to your favorite iPhone apps or bookmarks Starta new app released on the same day as iOS 16. The app lets you import your own custom icons or use thousands from its own library.

The free version of Launchify only lets you add two circular widgets to your lock screen — a $17 per year or $2 per month subscription unlocks additional widgets and the ability to add apps not included in the Launchify database.

iOS 16 tools, trackers and social media apps with lock screen widgets

Flighty

Screenshot of flying widgets

Flighty

The popular flight tracking app Flighty has already been updated to include support for lock screen widgets. Now you can just look at your iPhone to get the latest updates on arrivals and departures.

You can also add lock screen widgets with a countdown to your trip, the weather at your destination, an in-flight progress bar, or other detailed information about your flight, including gate numbers, seat assignments, and baggage claim information.

Facebook

The social media giant Facebook surprised users on the day of the iOS 16 launch by updating its iPhone app to include support for two lock screen widgets. You can add birthdays at a glance or top updates from your friends.

The birthday widget comes in both circular and rectangular versions. The best updates widget is only available as a wider rectangular widget, and it includes your latest Facebook notifications.

Dark noise

Dark Noise lock screen widgets

Dark noise

The app for ambient sound Dark noise has become a popular tool for iPhone users who like to have background sounds to sleep or focus. Now you can access white noise directly from the lock screen. Dark Noise has been added all three types of widgets for the various sounds and sounds included in the app.

Apollo for Reddit

Apollo for Reddit lock screen widgets

Apollo for Reddit

Heavy Reddit users will appreciate the new lock screen widgets from this third-party app to track down the popular message board site. Apollo for Reddit developer Christian Selig has already created several new widgets for the lock screen to monitor Reddit activity at a glance while your iPhone is locked.

You can add widgets that show the progress of your latest post, new messages in your inbox, your updated karma points, trending posts, or bookmarks to your favorite subreddits, among many options.

WaterMinder

The health-focused iPhone app WaterMinder helps you stay hydrated and now you can get reminders to drink more water – right from your iPhone lock screen. The app was recently updated to add eight styles of lock screen widgets.

You can now see your current water levels, see hourly and weekly graphs and log your drinks right on your iPhone’s lock screen.

Things

Screenshot of Things widgets

Things

Things is a popular personal task manager for iPhone that lets you create to-do lists and track your progress in completing them. A new update for iOS 16 puts much of the power of Things right on your iPhone lock screen.

Three new widgets from Things let you see the tasks on your to-do list, quickly add a new task, or track your progress in completing your tasks. The Things lock screen widget defaults to the tasks in your Today list, but you can customize it to display other items like your inbox, deadlines, or shopping lists.

Package

Screenshot of package widgets

Package

The useful package tracking app Package lets you monitor the progress of your shipments from 300 services, including UPS, FedEx, DHL and the US Postal Service. With its latest update for iOS 16, the app now adds the ability to track a specific package right from your lock screen. Parcels lock screen widgets come in all three formats – circular, rectangular and inline.

More apps with new lock screen widgets for iPhones with iOS 16

Many more iPhone apps have updated or added lock screen widgets for use with iOS 16. Here’s a list of the apps we’ve found that have new lock screen widgets:

Read more about iOS 16 and the new iPhone 14 why your iPhone might not get all iOS 16 new features and how to remove the new search button from your home screen.


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