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Live Activities is a new iOS 16 feature meant to improve notifications

The biggest change since iOS 12

New Live Activities feature in iOS 16
Image: Apple

Apple has revealed the changes iOS 16 will make to notifications, its most significant update to the area since iOS 12 was released in 2018. That update allowed automatic grouping of app notifications, but now, with iOS 16, it’s getting even more organized.

There’s a completely redesigned lock screen, customizable with widgets that look just like Apple Watch complications. Notifications in the lock screen now roll in from the bottom and can be hidden on the bottom of the lock screen.

Notifications in iOS 16 appear on bottom of the lock screen in a new stacked view.
Image: Apple

The newest feature is called Live Activities. It can pin notifications that act like widgets, such as live sports scores from the Apple TV app that remain on the lock screen. Live Activities comes with a new API for developers to take advantage of and make new persistent experiences.

Notifications use bolder text and can include images as well for better visibility. You can now choose between three views for your notifications on the lock screen, including the new Stacked view that keeps the notifications at the bottom and out of the way. There’s also the Count view, which hides the notifications away, and finally the expanded list view that’ll use the full vertical space of the screen. The views can be toggled by pinching the notifications to expand or contract.

iPhone notifications have been, historically, a terribly managed system. With the new changes, Apple is finally catching up to Android in having a versatile way of managing notifications.