iOS 16 upgrade will make Live Activities even better, but there's a cost

Space Black iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

Apple is making a change with the release of iOS 16.2 that will allow people to choose to have Live Activities update more frequently.

The option, which will be part of an iOS 16 upgrade later this year, will give people the ability to allow apps to provide their Live Activities with more timely information, updating them more regularly. But while that's good news for people who want to get the very latest data at a glance, Apple warns that they should expect a battery life hit as a result.

Apple's iOS 16.2 update is now in beta, although the feature hasn't gone live in the latest release and will presumably be added later.

Code wrangling

The upcoming feature was spotted by the code divers at 9to5Mac, with the feature accompanied by a stark warning from Apple — "Allowing more frequent updates lets you see more real time information, but can drain your battery faster."

It sounds like we can expect that warning to appear in the Settings app beside a switch that people will be able to toggle to enable and disable the feature. However, it isn't yet clear whether this will be an option available on an app-by-app basis, or if users will have a global setting that covers every app with Live Activities support.

Having Live Activities update more regularly makes plenty of sense. The feature is designed to allow apps to avoid sending multiple notifications for the same thing — like when people are waiting for an Uber or food delivery, for example. More frequent updates will allow that Live Activity to be more .. live. So long as people don't mind dealing with the battery drain it will incur.

Live Activities is one of the best new iPhone features that came as part of the iOS 16.1 release earlier this month having missed the iOS 16 release in September.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.