How to configure photos, emoji and widgets

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When Apple announced lock screen customization as one of the flagship features of iOS 16, I wasn’t so excited at first.

While I appreciate Apple’s attempts to make the iPhone more flexible and personal, I tend not to dwell long on my phone’s lock screen and am a minimalist when it comes to widgets. from the home screen. I couldn’t understand why customizing the lock screen was worth it.

Then I created an emoji wallpaper full of floppy disks and Atari-style joysticks, and everything clicked.

It turns out that the main attraction of iOS 16’s lock screen isn’t the utility, but the fun factor. Being able to easily (and automatically) shake your wallpaper makes using the iPhone a little more enjoyable. Widgets, of which only a handful currently exist, are just icing.

If you’ve made the jump to the iOS 16 beta, which has been surprisingly stable so far in my experience, here’s how to start customizing the lock screen yourself:

Step 1: Create a new iOS 16 lock screen

Instead of turning your iPhone screen off and on again, you can still access the lock screen by swiping down from the top left half of the screen, even when the phone is unlocked.

Once you’ve done that, long-press anywhere on the lock screen to bring up the personalization menu. Next, tap “Customize” to change the current lock screen, or + to add a new one.

Unfortunately, the lock screen you imported from iOS 15 isn’t customizable, at least in the initial public beta. If you want to add widgets or change the clock, you need to create a new lock screen from scratch.

Step 2: Choose your background

After pressing the + button, you will see an array of background options. To make the most of iOS 16’s customization potential, I suggest skipping the out-of-the-box templates and starting from scratch with the buttons at the top:

  • Pictures: Uses a single image from your library as your wallpaper.
  • People: Use a photo of a specific person as your wallpaper.
  • Shuffle photos: Automatically switches between photos of specified people, animals, places or objects at the frequency of your choice. You can also manually select a handful of photos to browse. Once selected, tap the “…” icon to change the random playback frequency.
  • Emoji: Tap any combination of emoji to create a lock screen pattern. After choosing emoji, swipe right to switch between patterns and tap the “…” to choose a background color.
  • Time: Displays an animated wallpaper that reflects current weather conditions.
  • Astrology: Uses space related images that reflect your current location. Swipe right to choose between Earth, Moon, and Solar System.

For Photos, People, and Photo Shuffle, you can also apply color filters to images. After selecting a photo, swipe right to switch between natural, black and white, duotone, and color wash effects. For duotone and color wash, you can further adjust the colors by tapping “…” and selecting “Color Style.”

Step 3: Choose your widgets

Once your background is set, you can customize the iOS 16 clock and lock screen widgets.

Start by tapping the date at the top, then change it via the pop-up menu below. Besides the date, you can view weather conditions, alarms, calendar events, reminders, and fitness data. These widgets also serve as quick links, so you can tap the alarm to access the Clock app or tap the weather to view more detailed forecasts.

For the clock, you can tap to choose between different fonts or colors, or tap the globe icon to select Indic or Davanagari Arabic numerals.

Under the clock, Apple has space for additional widgets, including news updates, smart home status, battery levels, and more detailed weather and fitness data. physical. Simply tap a widget to add it, drag and drop it to reposition it, and tap the minus button to remove it.

iOS 16 will support third-party widgets in the future, but I haven’t encountered any yet.

Step 4: Choose your home wallpaper

Once you’ve configured the lock screen to your liking, tap “Done” and iOS 16 will present two choices for your home screen wallpaper: “Set as wallpaper pair” uses a blurred version of the lock screen background, while “Customize Home Screen” provides a few more settings:

  • First point: Use a blurry and non-blurry version of the lock screen wallpaper.
  • Second point: use a gradient background color for the wallpaper.
  • Third point: use a solid background color for the wallpaper.
  • Photo icon: Choose an image from your gallery for the wallpaper. Similar to lock screen images, you can also choose color filters for this wallpaper.

Note that if you make any other changes to your lock screen, you’ll have to go through this home screen wallpaper selection process again. To quickly keep your previous selection, just tap “Personalize Home Screen”, then select “Done”.

Step 5: Use focus to switch lock screen automatically

Focus Modes is a feature introduced by Apple in iOS 15, allowing you to hide certain types of notifications based on your current activity. For example, you can schedule a “Sleep” focus that disables all notifications, or a “Work” focus that allows email or Slack alerts to pass.

In iOS 16, each Focus mode can have its own lock screen, so you can set up a dark wallpaper without widgets for Sleep mode, and a more colorful wallpaper with reminders and calendar events for Sleep mode. work mode.

To assign a focus mode to your lock screen, long press the screen, then tap the “Focus” button at the bottom and select the mode you want to use. If you haven’t configured any focus modes yet, you can do so under iOS Settings > Focus.

Step 6: Adjust your notifications

The last thing you can do to change the iOS 16 lock screen is to change the appearance of notifications. If you head to Settings > Notifications > Show as, you’ll see a few options:

  • Stack: The default display mode, which shows new notifications from different apps in an overlapping stack.
  • Listing: Closer to iOS 15, this displays new notifications in a non-overlapping list.
  • Count: This only shows the number of missed notifications without additional details.

In all three cases, swiping up will reveal the full list of notifications, which arrive from the bottom of the screen.

With that, your iOS 16 lock screen should be nicer to look at, and maybe even more useful. If you unlock your phone as often as I do, it’s probably worth it after all.

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