iOS 16.1 Live Activities — 11 apps you should try right now

Live Activities in iOS 16
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The arrival of iOS 16.1 brings another change to your iPhone’s lock screen in the form of Live Activities. And app makers are jumping at the chance to incorporate support for the new feature into their own apps.

Live Activities are alerts that appear on your lock screen and stay there, relaying updates to you about ever-changing statuses. Wondering where that cheeseburger you ordered through a food delivery app may be or how the Warriors are faring against the Lakers? Live Activities can bring that information to your lock screen, with updates as the cheeseburger delivery draws ever nearer of the Warriors go on another run against the hapless Lakers.

The arrival of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max adds another destination for Live Activities. Both of those phones have got rid of the notch that’s appeared on iPhones since 2017, replacing it with the Dynamic Island. And while its main purpose seems to be housing the phone’s front camera and Face ID sensors, the Dynamic Island can also be a place where notifications appear, giving you another area to interact with Live Activities.

While iOS 16 came out in September, Apple held back Live Activities until the iOS 16.1 update. But once iPhones users could upgrade to the new version, a bunch of app updates soon followed, as third-party developers looked to show off how their software can take advantage of Live Activities.

Countdown timers have proven to be a popular Live Activity for many apps, from productivity tools to workout apps. But we’ve also seen Live Activities that can share weather data, flight information and sports scores. 

We’ve spent some time going through App Store updates to find apps that take advantage of Live Activities. While not a complete list, the 11 apps below certainly caught our eye while giving you a general flavor of how Live Activities will work with the lock screen and Dynamic Island to bring more glanceable information to your attention.

Structured

Live Activities in Structured

(Image credit: Leonard Mehlig)
Live Activities in other Productivity Apps

Forest (opens in new tab)
GoodTask (opens in new tab)
Reality Tasks (opens in new tab)
Subjects (opens in new tab)

Structured is a day planner and time management app that puts all your tasks and calendar items in one place, turning them into a clear outline of what you have to do in a given day. The app has added a countdown clock showing you how much time is left for a specific task that’s accessible from the Lock Screen (or the Dynamic Island if you’ve got an iPhone 14 Pro.)

You can download Structured for free, but some of its features, including notifications and integration with the built-in Reminders app, require a subscription. You can sign up for a monthly ($1.99) or annual ($7.99) subscription while a $29.99 purchase gives you a lifetime membership.

Download Structured (opens in new tab)

Flighty

Flighty Live Activities in iOS 16.1

(Image credit: Global Flight, Airport, & Airline Status Tracker LLC)
Live Activities in Other Travel Apps

The Flight Tracker (opens in new tab)

The Flighty flight tracking app puts a lot of information at your fingertips — everything from the flight route to delay predictions and weather forecasts. For iOS 16.1, Flighty brings that information to the lock screen and Dynamic Island with a Live Activity alert that shows arrival and departure times, gate info and flight status.

Flighty is a free download, and that version already includes a lot of vital flight information. More advanced features like delay predictions, push alerts and live inbound plane tracking require a Flighty Pro subscription ($5.99/month or $49.99/year).

Download Flighty

Smart Gym

Live Activities in SmartGym on iOS 16.1

(Image credit: Mateus Abras)
Live Activities in Other Fitness Apps

Bolt Workout & Gym Planner (opens in new tab)
Coachy (opens in new tab)
Fat Burn Tracker (opens in new tab)
Liftin' Workout Tracker (opens in new tab)
Steps (opens in new tab)

If you use SmartGym to keep track of your workout routines, you’ll want to grab the latest update, which adds Live Activity support. With Live Activities, you can start a timer to display the lock screen, and you can also get guidance for your next set or exercise. Dynamic Island support lets you track rests and execution during a workout.

You can try out SmartGym for free, with support for two routines, 10 histories and two measures. A subscription ($9.99/month or $59.99/year gives you unlimited access to all those things, plus the ability to sync data to SmartGym’s cloud service.

Download SmartGym (opens in new tab)

Wakeout

Wakeout live activities in iOS 16.1

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Live Activities in Other Timer Apps

Sticky Timers (opens in new tab)
Time's Up!

Wakeout has been a godsend for desk-bound workers who don’t want a sedentary occupation to creep into their lifestyle. The app comes up with exercise breaks you can do at your desk to stay active and alert, and it also helps you focus on tasks at hand with a countdown timer to help you stay on task until the next Wakeout break. With Live Activities, that timer moves to your phone’s lock screen.

You can give Wakeout a try for a week before your subscription kicks in. A month of Wakeout costs $12.99/month with a lower monthly rate available when you sign up for a year.

Download Wakeout (opens in new tab)

Carrot Weather

Carrot Weather live activities in iOS 16.1

(Image credit: Grailr)
Live Activities in Other Weather Apps

Alpenglow (opens in new tab)

An update to Carrot Weather for iOS adds a Rain Starting Soon Live Activity that pops up on your lock screen when rain’s expected in the next hour. A rain chart appearing with the Live Activity lets you keep track of the incoming storm.

While you can download Carrot Weather for free, the Live Activity for Rain Starting Soon requires you to sign up for the app’s Premium Ultra tier, which costs $29.99/year.

Download Carrot Weather (opens in new tab)

Grocery

ios 16 live activities for Grocery app

(Image credit: Conrad Stoll)
Live Activities for Other Food Apps

Crouton (opens in new tab)
Crumbl Cookies (opens in new tab)
Mela (opens in new tab)
Pestle (opens in new tab)

Grocery provides you a place to jot down what you need the next time you make a run to the store, and a new Live Activity for the app keeps that list visible on your lock screen or in the Dynamic Island of your iPhone 14 Pro. If you happen to store recipes on Grocery — you can, you know — there’s a countdown timer that appears as a Live Activity.

Grocery is a free download, though a membership unlocks premium features like sharing among families and pantry tracking. That will cost you $3.99/month or $9.99/year. A $29.99 payment gives you lifetime access.

Download Grocery (opens in new tab)

Just Press Record

Just Press Record Live Activities

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Live Activities in Other Utilities

Calzy (opens in new tab)
Passcodes (opens in new tab)
TV Remote (opens in new tab)

Just Press Record cuts right to the chase when it comes to one-tap recording, and its take on Live Activities is just as straightforward. When you’re recording a memo, lecture, interview or just about anything else, a controller will appear on your iPhone’s lock screen, giving you quick access to pause or stop the recording.

Just Press Record is a $4.99 download with features that go above and beyond what iOS 16’s built-in Voice Memos app offers.

Download Just Press Record (opens in new tab)

Sports Alerts

Sports Alerts live activities

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Live Activities in Other Sports Apps

FotMob (opens in new tab)

Sports updates figure to be popular fodder for Live Activities, and one of the first apps to jump on that is the aptly named Sports Alerts app. Currently supporting the Big Four sports leagues in the U.S. — MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL — Sports Alerts lets you start a live activity up to six hours before game time. The Live Activity will stay on your lock screen letting you know of any score changes without having to unlock your phone.

You can download Sports Alerts for free. A $4.99 in-app purchase gets rid of any ads for one year.

Download Sports Alerts (opens in new tab)

Tide Guide

Tide Guide Live Activities iOS 16

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Live Activities in Other Outdoors Apps

Landscape (opens in new tab)
Paddle Logger for Watersports (opens in new tab)
Slopes (opens in new tab)

Tide Guide excels at giving you tidal information and solunar charts in an easy-to-glance format. An update for iOS 16.1 lets you display the current tide height, solar or lunar altitudes and info on when the next tide is coming in, whether that appears on your lock screen or in the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models.

You can download Tide Guide and use it for free for three days before a subscription kicks in. Tide Guide charges $4.99/month or $29.99 for a full year.

Download Tide Guide (opens in new tab)

MoneyCoach

MoneyCoach Live Activities

(Image credit: MoneyCoach)
Live Activities in Other Budget Apps

CardPointers for Credit Cards (opens in new tab)

The budgeting app MoneyCoach helps you manage your spending and track your bills, with an eye toward creating healthy money habits. With Live Activities, you’ll see transactions appear on the lock screen, along with how much you’ve spent on that particular category for the currency tracking period and a comparison to previous spending. iPhone 14 Pro owners can see that data in the Dynamic Island.

You can download MoneyCoach for free, while a $34.99/year subscription unlocks the app’s Premium features.

Download MoneyCoach (opens in new tab)

Lumy

Lumy Live Activities

(Image credit: Raja V)

Lumy keeps track of sunrises and sunsets, with an eye toward helping photographers and videographers get a perfectly lit shot. (Your clue that this is a photo-focused app? One of the chief things Lumy tracks is when the Golden Hour arrives and lighting is at its most photogenic.) The app’s update for iOS 16.1 lets you keep track of any sun event, from the golden to first light, on either your lock screen or from the Dynamic Island.

A $6.99 purchase gets you full access to Lumy and all of its features.

Download Lumy (opens in new tab)

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.