iPhone 15 Dynamic Island — 15 best apps you should try first

Apple iPhone 15 held in the hand.
(Image credit: Future)

iPhone's Live Activities feature isn't what you'd call new, but the launch of the iPhone 15 means there are new devices ready to take advantage of it.  That's all thanks to the Dynamic Island, which is making the jump from the iPhone Pro models to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.

For the most part, Live Activities are alerts that live on your iPhone's lock screen, sticking around to display important information about something with an ever-changing status. Deliveries, sports results, timers, you name it. That way you know what's happening at a glance, and how close the delivery guy is to pretending you weren't home.

Having a Dynamic Island means that Live Activities updates can appear at the top of your phone screen as well. That way the cutout becomes more than just a home for your selfie camera and Face ID sensors. And with Dynamic Island coming to iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, it means even more people can interact with Live Activities in a completely new way.

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 15 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.


sportify lock screen widget for ios

(Image credit: Spotify)

Spotify's Dynamic Island support lets you access the music streamer without actually having to open the app. Tapping the island opens up a mini player at the top of your screen, letting you see what's playing and giving you the option to pause, skip forward or back through your queue or AirPlay the track to another device.

You'll need to open the app to physically search for new tracks, but at least this way you've got quick and easy control over what's playing at any given moment.

Download Spotify


uber dynamic island

(Image credit: Uber)

Uber is arguably one of the best-known services of its kind in the world — dabbling its hand in ride-sharing, transportation and food delivery. The Uber app on iPhone supports the Live Activities feature too, and can use the Dynamic Island to show you the status of your ride.

The Dynamic Island is able to show you how far away your ride is, while the Live Activity widget offers a little more detail. That includes pickup times, and details about the car you're supposed to be getting into — all without having to open the app.

Download Uber

United Airlines

united airlines dynamic island screenshot

(Image credit: United Airlines)

Flying is stressful, with the whole process is made infinitely worse when you don't know what's going on. With the number of slow-loading web pages and travel apps out there, it's great to be able to slap all your flight info into the Dynamic Island the way United Airlines has done.

Integration with Live Activities shows off live information about your flight, including gate details, seat numbers and a countdown to departure time. What's more it gives you quick access to your boarding pass.

Download United Airlines


Live Activities in Structured

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

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 includes 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.

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 ($2.99) or annual ($9.99) subscription while a $29.99 purchase gives you a lifetime membership.

Download Structured


Flighty Live Activities in iOS 16.1

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

The Flighty flight tracking app puts a lot of information at your fingertips — everything from the flight route to delay predictions and weather forecasts. Flighty can bring 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 $47.99/year).

Download Flighty

Smart Gym

Live Activities in SmartGym on iOS 16.1

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

If you use SmartGym to keep track of your workout routines, you’ll want to make sure your app is up-to-date with 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


Wakeout live activities in iOS 16.1

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

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

Carrot Weather

Carrot Weather live activities in iOS 16.1

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

Carrot Weather for iOS features 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


ios 16 live activities for Grocery app

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

Grocery provides you a place to jot down what you need the next time you make a run to the store, and the Live Activity functionality for the app keeps that list visible on your lock screen or in the Dynamic Island. 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

Just Press Record

Just Press Record Live Activities

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

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’s built-in Voice Memos app offers.

Download Just Press Record

Sports Alerts

Sports Alerts live activities

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


Sports updates have proven to be popular fodder for Live Activities, and one of the first apps to jump on that was 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

Tide Guide

Tide Guide Live Activities iOS 16

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

Tide Guide excels at giving you tidal information and solunar charts in an easy-to-glance format. Thanks to Live Activities support, you can 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.

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


MoneyCoach Live Activities

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

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 and iPhone 15 owners can see that data in the Dynamic Island.

You can download MoneyCoach for free, while a $9.99/month or $59.99/year subscription unlocks the app’s Premium features.

Download MoneyCoach


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 now 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


citymapper dynamic island screenshots

(Image credit: Citymapper)

Navigating a strange city isn't fun, but Dynamic Island support means your Citymapper routes will be visible and accessible from your home screen. The Island tells you exactly where you need to go next, whether that's walking directions, waiting for a bus, or getting off the subway at the right stop.

Download Citymapper

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Philip Michaels

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.

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