The iPhone’s iOS 16 Lock Screen Needs Some Improvements



The new lock screen features in iOS 16 are some of the operating system’s best. Still, there are some basic features missing…


According to most tech pundits and the general consensus on social media, Apple’s iOS 16 operating system for the iPhone is a hit. iOS 16 doesn’t feature any radical user interface improvements or massive new features – it’s mostly a refinement of apps that have existed for years.

For example, one of the best new features is for the Messages app, which itself is 15 years old. I’m talking about the ability to finally edit sent messages. Another existing app – Mail – gets some cool upgrades, such as the ability to unsend an email (if you’re quick enough).

But if there’s one feature that is more visible than any other in iOS 16 – and gets a majority of the attention in iOS 16 – it’s the new Lock Screen. However, as of iOS 16.0.2 (the latest version of the operating system as of the time of this writing), it’s clear the Lock Screen feature in iOS 16 needs some improvements.

Here’s what you need to know…

The iPhone’s iOS 16 Lock Screen Needs Some Improvements
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iOS 16 Lock Screen: Main Features

What the Lock Screen features in iOS 16 allow you to do is essentially two main things:

  1. Add widgets to your lock screen and customize the color and font of the clock.
  2. Create multiple lock screens that you can easily switch between.

At first, I wasn’t too bothered by the new Lock Screen feature. I thought it was fine, but nothing to get that excited about. However, after creating about five different lock screens in iOS 16, I can now see why people love the new feature.

It’s fun to have a library of different lock screens that you’ve configured and that you can easily switch between (almost as easily as swiping between home screens). 

Yet after using iOS 16 new lock screens for nearly three weeks now, it’s clear Apple has come improvements to make…

iOS 16 Lock Screen: Improvements Needed

While the Lock Screen mechanics in iOS 16 is a terrific feature, it still very much feels like the first iteration of a product that should have had a bit more thought put into it. Here’s what I (and many on social media) think iOS 16’s Lock Screen features are missing:

  • The ability to move the clock anywhere on screen: While it’s nice you can now adjust the color and font of the lock screen clock, it would be great if you could move the clock around to different areas on the screen.
  • The ability to move widgets anywhere on screen: As with the clock, while the ability to add and customize widgets on the lock screen is nice, it’s a bit frustrating that they are relegated to a defined space. It would be great if widgets could be moved anywhere on the screen.
  • More widgets, please: Another needed improvement – let us add more than 2 large, 1 large and 2 small, or 4 small widgets to the lock screen. How about giving us another row at least?
  • Rearrange lock screen order: A frustrating thing with iOS 16 lock screen is you can’t rearrange their order in the lock screen library once they are created. This seems like an odd omission. It would be great if we could tap and hold on a lock screen in the customization settings and move their order around.
  • Lock Screen thumbnails: Related to the above, it would be nice if you could shrink all your lock screens down into a thumbnail view so you could quickly scroll through them like you do your photos. Tapping a lock screen thumbnail would automatically set it as the current lock screen.

Those are just some iOS 16 lock screen gripes – and Apple is almost certainly already planning to address some of these issues. Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait until iOS 17 to see improvements.

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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