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New iPhone Lock Screen Widgets in iOS 16: Which Are the Best?

Options for new iPhone lock screen widgets abound. Take a look at some of our top picks.

iPhone lock screen with temperature, AQI, Air Pods and Activity rings widgets
New lock screen widgets can sit above or below the time.
Apple

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET's collection of news, tips and advice around Apple's most popular product.

Last week, Apple released iOS 16 -- the latest version of its mobile software for iPhones (or at least the ones that can install it). App developers weren't far behind, with software updates that support the iPhone's new customizable lock screen.

With the new iPhone lock screen, you can tweak the background, change colors and fonts and add new widgets that stay on your screen when your iPhone is locked. Two types of widgets -- circular and rectangular -- sit below the displayed time, while a third type -- inline -- appears as a bar above the clock. 

You can add built-in Apple widgets from apps like Weather, Calendar or News, or tons of third-party widgets from your favorite apps, even Google (soon). Check out some of the coolest apps with widgets for the new iPhone lock screen with iOS 16 below. For more on iOS 16, here are the first things to do after you get up and running and why your iPhone may not have all of the cool iOS 16 features.

iOS 16 apps for designing your own lock-screen widgets

Widgetsmith

Screenshot of Widgetsmith widgets
Widgetsmith

Widgetsmith -- a robust iPhone app for creating and editing your own widgets -- debuted back in 2020 when iOS 14 added widgets to its home screen. Now, the app is adding its widget customization tricks to iPhone lock screens.

With Widgetsmith, you can create and customize all three types of lock screen widgets to add calendar items, text, weather updates, photos and much more.

ScreenKit

Screenshot of Screenkit widgets
Screenkit

ScreenKit is another widget customization app that takes the plunge into lock screens with iOS 16. The app includes tons of custom icons and other aesthetic features. 

ScreenKit makes it easy to create your own lock screen widget from scratch, and then customize it further by tweaking the background, colors or decorations.

Lock-screen widgets that trigger actions or other apps

Launcher

Screenshot of Launcher widgets
Launcher

Widgets from Launcher have been available for the home screen and Today View for years. The app lets you create shortcuts for quickly accessing bookmarks, playing music, starting up other apps or communicating with your top contacts via phone, message or FaceTime.

Now you can get most of Launcher's functions on your iPhone lock screen. Just tap the face of your favorite person to send them a message or phone call.

Launchify

Screenshot of Launchify widgets
Launchify/Screenshot by Peter Butler/CNET

Add quick shortcuts on your lock screen that go to your favorite iPhone apps or bookmarks with Launchify, a new app released on the same day as iOS 16. The app lets you import your own custom icons or use thousands from its own library. 

The free version of Launchify lets you add only two circular widgets to your lock screen -- a subscription for $17 a year or $2 a month unlocks additional widgets and the ability to add apps not included in the Launchify database.

Lock-screen widgets for utilities, trackers and social media apps

Flighty

Screenshot of Flighty widgets
Flighty

The popular flight-tracking app Flighty has already been updated to include support for lock screen widgets. Now you can just glance at your iPhone to get the latest updates on arrivals and departures. 

You can also add lock screen widgets with a countdown to your trip, the weather in your destination, an in-flight progress bar or other detailed information about your flight, including gate number, seat assignment and baggage claim info.

Facebook

The social media giant Facebook surprised users on the day of the iOS 16 launch by updating its iPhone app to include support for two lock screen widgets. You can add birthdays at a glance or top updates from your friends. 

The birthdays widget comes in both circular and rectangular versions. The top updates widget is only available as a wider rectangular widget, and it includes your most recent Facebook notifications.

Dark Noise

Dark Noise lock screen widgets
Dark Noise

The ambient sounds app Dark Noise has become a popular tool for iPhone users who like to have background noise for sleeping or focusing. Now you can access white noise directly from the lock screen. Dark Noise has added all three types of widgets for the various sounds and noises included with the app.

Apollo for Reddit

Apollo for Reddit lock screen widgets
Apollo for Reddit

Heavy Reddit users will appreciate the new lock screen widgets from this third-party app for tracking the popular message board site. Apollo for Reddit developer Christian Selig has already created several new lock screen widgets for monitoring Reddit activity at a glance while your iPhone is locked.

You can add widgets that show how your most recent post is doing, new messages in your inbox, your updated karma points, trending posts or bookmarks to your favorite subreddits, among many options.

WaterMinder

The health-focused iPhone app WaterMinder helps keep you hydrated, and now you can get reminders to drink more water -- straight from your iPhone lock screen. The app was recently updated to add eight styles of lock screen widgets.

You can now view your current water levels, see hourly and weekly graphs and log your drinks directly on your iPhone's lock screen.

Things

Screenshot of Things widgets
Things

Things is a popular personal task manager for iPhone that lets you create to-do lists and track your progress in completing them. A new update for iOS 16 puts much of the power of Things directly into your iPhone lock screen. 

Three new widgets from Things let you view the tasks on your to-do list, quickly add a new task or track your progress in completing your tasks. Things' lock screen widget defaults to the tasks in your Today list, but you can customize it to show other items like your inbox, deadlines or shopping lists.

Parcel

Screenshot of Parcel widgets
Parcel

The useful package-tracking app Parcel lets you monitor the progress of your deliveries from 300 services, including UPS, FedEx, DHL and the US Postal Service. With its latest update for iOS 16, the app now adds the ability to track a specific package directly from your lock screen. Parcel's lock screen widgets come in all three formats -- circular, rectangular and inline.

More new lock screen widgets for iPhones with iOS 16

Many more iPhone apps have updated or added lock screen widgets for use with iOS 16. Here's a list of the programs we've found that have new lock screen widgets:

For more on iOS 16 and the new iPhone 14, learn why your iPhone might not get all of the iOS 16 new features and how to remove the new search button from your home screen.