With iOS 16, Apple added a feature called Live Activities as part of a broader update to notifications and the lock screen. Live Activities are a little different from a standard push notification or widget — they offer a way for apps to put real-time information in a persistent notification bubble on your lock screen. They’re especially useful for sports scores if you want to keep tabs on a game without committing your full attention to it (there are, after all, 162 games in a baseball season). Better yet, if you have an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, you’ll see live scores in the Dynamic Island when you’re following a game.
Enabling Live Activities to follow a game on your lock screen isn’t hard, but it’s not exactly intuitive, either. The good news is that you probably don’t even have to download an additional app to get started, so you’re just a few taps away from keeping up with your team — as long as you have at least iOS 16.1 installed. I tested these steps on an iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 14 Pro, both running iOS 16.4.1.
Enable Live Activities
To start, you’ll need to make sure Live Activities can access your lock screen. To do this:
- Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enter your passcode
- Scroll down and make sure Live Activities is toggled on.
Apple TV is on most iPhones by default, so unless you’ve removed the app, you just need to find it and open it to start following a game. You don’t need a paid subscription to Apple’s TV Plus service, either. You can use Apple’s app to follow MLB, NBA, and Premier League games — support for other sports may follow, but those are available right now. Here’s how it works:
- Open the Apple TV app
- Enable notifications if prompted
- Tap the Watch Now tab at the bottom of the screen
- Scroll down and tap Live Sports
- Find the game you want to follow and tap to see more information
Assuming the game you want to follow is underway, you’ll see an option labeled Follow. Tap this icon, and when you leave the Apple TV app, it will appear on your lock screen. If you’re using an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, the score will also show up in the Dynamic Island along with two team logos. Long-pressing the Dynamic Island will bring up an expanded view, including the last play, if you want to see more.
There’s also an optional setting you can check to make sure you’re seeing the most up-to-date information available, though it might drain your phone battery faster.
To enable this:
- Go to your iPhone Settings > Apple TV > Live Activities
- Make sure the More Frequent Updates option is toggled on
Live Activities sports scores are also available from some third-party apps, like the MLB app, and it will no doubt start appearing in more places as more developers take advantage of it.