iOS 16 Lock Screen — Apple just revealed 5 surprising features


A major overhaul of the iPhone’s famous lock screen is coming with iOS 16, which will allow users to personalise and customise the minimalist design that has dominated the first 15 years of its existence.

This isn’t simply an attempt to duplicate Android’s free-for-all customization possibilities, and Apple has given the modifications a great deal of consideration. Apple’s SVP of Engineering, Craig Federighi, and VP of Design, Alan Dye, spoke with our sister site, TechRadar(opens in new tab), and revealed some of their ideas.

Here are five of the most important design decisions made by the two men.


Segmentation is key

Since the original iPhone was released in 2007, the clock has appeared atop whatever photo you select.. While Apple may have pondered doing away with it, it was eventually determined to be too iconic to remove.

However, this does not imply that it has remained unmodified. Like old-school publications often do with their headers to create an eye-catching look, sections of your Lock Screen photo can now overlap time in iOS 16.

(Image credit: Apple)

We wanted to create something that felt almost editorial and gave users the ability to create Lock Screens that looked like great magazine covers or film posters, but we did it in a way that’s hopefully really simple to create, very fun to do and even with quite a bit of automation there,” says Dye from the Design Team.


In order to achieve “segmentation,” Apple refers to the automated overlaying of photos, which is no simple feat. As Dye puts it, “We’ve been striving to get this aesthetic, but the segmentation’s gotten so excellent, that we actually feel comfortable putting [into there]. “The illusion is broken unless the segmentation is really outrageously brilliant.”

The outcome is nearly immediate thanks to the AI Neural Engine in Apple’s newest CPUs, such as the A15 Bionic that powers the iPhone 13. To paraphrase Federighi, the phone is capable of “taking a shot we’ve never seen before and figuring out what the topic is, then segmenting it so quickly that we can do it the instant your finger strikes the glass.”

The Apple Watch influence is real 

Personalizations, or “widgets” as they’re known in the Android world, are also present for the first time and may appear familiar to Apple Watch wearers.


“Of course, we took a lot of influence from the intricacies on the Apple Watch while building these widgets,” says Dye.

As a result of working with a single design team on all of our products, we’ve learnt a lot about how to convey information quickly and effectively across a number of visuals,” he said.

You’ll be nudged towards aesthetically pleasing choices

In contrast to Android implementations, iOS 16 is said to be encouraging you to make more visually appealing options when you’re locked out of your device.


Firstly, there is a limit to the amount of personalizations that may be set on the lock screen. Federighi argues, “This is totally purposeful.” When it came to saying “Hey, drag anything wherever,” it would have been a cinch for us.” Theoretically, this wouldn’t have been difficult at all.”

(Image credit: Apple)

Second, iOS 16 will surface photographs that the AI has predetermined would be effective. About a dozen neural networks analyse the photo to determine whether it’s a desired topic, whether there are individuals in the shot and how they’re cropped and positioned, as well as their facial expressions,” adds Dye. Everything that allows us to emerge automatically really amazing, compelling alternatives for users and then to show them on the screen in a way that makes them seem virtually fresh.”

There is “so much more to these filters,” Dye says. In addition, if Apple does not believe that a suggestion would work, it will not provide a recommendation. You get something far more interesting than simply slathering on a filter,” Federighi says.


Notifications are side-lined for a reason  

In contrast to Android, which places alerts at the top of the Lock Screen, Apple has placed them to the bottom, where they can be safely ignored and, most importantly, do not interfere with the artwork you’ve selected.

image credits: apple

When it comes to personalising, Dye explains, “We didn’t want alerts to cover over your Lock Screen photo as they used to,” which is why the notifications flow in from the bottom of the screen.

Change is optional 

No matter how beneficial a change may be, it can be intimidating to those who are not used to it. Apple is well aware of this, given that the Lock Screen has remained mostly untouched for the past 15 years.


Federighi asserts that users upgrading to iOS 16 won’t encounter any significant changes.

For those who want to update their lock screen photo on a regular basis, he suggests going to settings and finding the screen where you may do so.

While part of this isn’t in the seed build right now, we make customers aware of their options to either modify what they have or add another [lock screen].”


The entire interview can be seen on TechRadar (opens in new tab). Check out our WWDC 2022 summary for more information on the newest Apple software releases.

Leave a Comment