- Everyone’s iPhone lock screen looks exactly the same.
- Apple could make the iPhone lock screen way more personal — and useful — by taking a page from the Apple Watch.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
With the exception of wallpapers, every iPhone lock screen looks exactly the same.
You have the time and date in the top-center of the phone, some information like battery life and signal strength at the very top, and a couple of quick-access controls for the flashlight and camera at the bottom.
This is fine, but wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually customize your iPhone’s lock screen, so it could look and feel the way you want it to?
Apple wouldn’t have to look very far for inspiration here. Specifically, the Apple Watch has the right idea.
Let’s break it down.
SEE ALSO: The 20 best iPhone tips and tricks to make your life easier
This is the current iPhone lock screen — mine, to be exact.
This is an iPhone X running iOS 12.
You can see the time and date in the top center, information about the phone above that, and a couple of quick-access controls in the bottom corners.
Here’s Steve Jobs demonstrating the very first iPhone lock screen. It doesn’t look much different!
Watch the audience react to the first iPhone’s “slide to unlock” gesture here.
By contrast, here’s what I see when I lift my Apple Watch to my face.
You get all kinds of information and controls here!
Directly from my Apple Watch’s main screen, I can:
- See the time and date
- Message or FaceTime my wife
- Check the weather forecast for the day
- Start a workout
- Glance at my activity for the day
I can customize watch face styles, and make as many as I want. If I swipe left or right from my main “lock screen,” I can see an entirely different style!
This watch face looks similar to my previous one, but has quick-access messaging and FaceTime controls for the rest of my family, and shows the weather forecast in a different way.
I can also opt for a style that’s more minimalist.
Because sometimes you only really need your watch to tell you the time, you know?
And best of all, I can create and manage these watch faces directly from my iPhone.
In the Apple Watch app, you can look at all of the watch faces you’ve made, browse new styles to try out, and adjust any faces on the fly.
Here, you can see how easy it is to adjust the color of your watch face text. It updates in real-time!
Just look at the variety of Apple Watch face styles. You don’t get any of this on the iPhone.
The wildest part is, these are all Apple-made faces, since Apple doesn’t allow third-party watch faces on the Apple Watch.
When you choose a new style to try out, you can adjust all of the quick-access controls, or “complications,” as you see fit.
Imagine your iPhone’s lock screen having more shortcuts than just your camera or flashlight. And imagine being able to choose them.
Maybe you want the time and date to appear in a different color. Maybe you want your calendar, or the news, or weather conditions to appear in the middle of the screen. On the Apple Watch, you can already do that.
There’s no reason the iPhone can’t have these things.
Many of the controls I’m describing exist as “widgets” on the iPhone — swipe left from the lock screen to see them.
But, in my opinion, swiping is one too many steps. If I’m navigating my phone, this information is no longer “at a glance.” I want to be able to see this kind of information immediately once I raise or wake my phone.
Here’s hoping Apple decides to upgrade the iPhone’s lock screen in iOS 13.