Apple posts design guidelines for Live Activities

Live Activities on the Lock Screen in iOS 16
Live Activities on the Lock Screen in iOS 16 (Image credit: Apple)

If you're a developer and have been wanting to develop your app for compatibility with Live Activities, Apple is making things much easier for you.

The company has posted the design guidelines for Live Activities on its Human Interface Guidelines page. The new guidelines are there to assist developers in creating experiences surrounding Live Activities and ensure they follow the proper design principles for the experience to be approved on the App Store.

In addition to showing Live Activities on the iPhone's Lock Screen in iOS 16.1, the feature also interacts with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max's Dynamic Island in the following three ways:

  • Compact. The system uses the compact presentation when there’s only one Live Activity that’s currently active. The compact presentation is composed of two separate presentations: one that displays on the leading side of the TrueDepth camera, and one that displays on the trailing side. Although the leading and trailing presentations are separate views, they form a cohesive view in the Dynamic Island, representing a single piece of information from your app. People can tap a compact Live Activity to open the app and get more details about the event or task.
  • Minimal. When multiple Live Activities are active, the system uses the circular minimal presentation to display two of them in the Dynamic Island. The system chooses one Live Activity to appear attached to the Dynamic Island while the other appears detached. As with a compact Live Activity, people can tap a minimal Live Activity to open the app and get more details about the event or task.
  • Expanded. When people touch and hold a Live Activity in a compact or minimal presentation, the system displays the content in an expanded presentation.

Live Activities is coming with iOS 16.1

Live Activities will come to iPhone users when iOS 16.1 launches which is likely happening later this fall. The feature allows you to track real-time events like sports scores and more:

Live Activities is a new feature that helps users stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game, workout, ride-share, or food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen.

With the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, Live Activities will show up in the Dynamic Island in addition to the Lock Screen.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.