iOS 7: the Lock screen

By , Jun 13, 2013

iOS 7 Lock screen featured

The iOS 7 Lock screen is another significant departure from its predecessors when it comes to looks. The overall functionality remains similar, but it’s a whole new ball game when it comes to visuals.

First and foremost, the font for the clock and the date has been replaced with a thinner variety of font. You’ll also notice that the clock, status bar, and slide to unlock backgrounds have been nixed for a cleaner look that doesn’t obscure the Lock screen wallpaper.

Take a look inside as I go hands-on with the new iOS 7 Lock screen, including demonstrations on how to enable or disable the new and improved Notification Center, and the new Control Center options.

The first thing I notified about the new Lock screen is the new fade in animation. Instead of being met with an abrupt look at the Lock screen like on the current version of iOS, the iOS 7 Lock screen fades into view in a sleek manner. I don’t know any other way to explain it other than the fact that it makes the device feel more high end.

One of the cool new features about the iOS 7 Lock screen is the new way that slide to unlock works. In previous versions of iOS, you could only slide to unlock on the actual slide to unlock knob. In iOS 7, it’s now possible to slide to unlock using any portion of the Lock screen. That may sound a bit arbitrary, but this about it; this makes it so that you don’t necessarily have to even be looking at your device to successfully unlock it.

Another big feature is the ability to invoke Notification Center directly from the Lock screen. In past iterations of iOS, the only way you could invoke Notification Center via the Lock screen was by means of a jailbreak tweak. Not only can you use Notification Center from the Lock screen, but you can also take advantage of the new Control Center feature. This makes it entirely possible to toggle important functions like Airplane mode, Bluetooth, etc., without needing to unlock your device.

Lock screen notifications iOS 7

Like the clock, status bar, and slide to unlock features, incoming notifications that appear on the Lock screen have also been revamped. Gone are the days of that ugly Lock screen bubble when receiving a singular notification, and gone are the days of the backgrounds on your Lock screen notifications. Instead, Lock screen notifications — when there are more than one of them — are separated by a thin, unobtrusive line. You can still slide on the notification to perform an action, such as reply to an incoming message notification.

One of the final big differences between iOS 7 and iOS 6 when it comes to the Lock screen, is the album art and Lock screen music controls. On iOS 7, the album art isn’t zoomed in like on earlier versions of the OS, so it can be framed by the Lock screen wallpaper.

There’s also a lack on any track details or artist details without invoking the Music controls with a double press of the Home button. Before, all of these details appeared on the screen whether you invoked the Music controls or not. Lastly, there’s a new track scrubber option found on iOS 7′s new Lock screen music controls, which has been long awaited, and will surely be a welcomed addition.

There are other subtle differences between the new Lock screen compared to previous iterations of the Lock screen. What have you noticed? Does anything in particular stand out to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • jobcoombz

    They need to fix the lock screen music for iPhone 4S, the album art cover is too high so you can’t read the song name etc…

    • Burge

      It’s still a beta ..give it time

    • himynameisBLiNK

      have you reported your findings back to Apple? that’s how it’s supposed to work

      • Ian

        How do you report?

      • Siddharth Desai

        I’m sure developers have a way to provide feedback through Dev. Portal.

      • Ian

        Ah, okay. Thanks.

      • Siddharth Desai

        Also, Having “Automatically Send Data” might be a good option to use. I know people feel uncomfortable using that sometimes, but for betas i think it would benefit all of us.

    • mehrab

      True dat

  • Sentry

    “One of the cool new features about the iOS 7 Lock screen is the new way that slide to unlock works. [...] it’s now possible to slide to unlock using any portion of the Lock screen.”

    But lets think about this some more. While really a great new way to unlock the screen without any hassle, it has a UX flaw. They are quickly teaching the user that they don’t need to slide directly over the ‘slide to unlock’ text. Once the user knows this, they will generally opt to sliding anywhere instead of over the text. Naturally.

    The issue arrises with notifications. When you have a screen full of them, or even just a few, you are required to reserve your slide to the very bottom (over the text) or else you will accidentally launch into the app for a notification. This can be done on accident on numerous occasions when you quickly turn on your phone and wish to unlock it by sliding anywhere.

    While the obvious solution may be to reserve the sliding on the notification to just sliding on the app icon (i.e. iOS 6-style) that also breaks their philosophy with what ‘slide to …’ means in iOS 7; slide anywhere, not on a knob or an icon, to perform the action.

    That’s just one of the small issues with the lock screen, among many (such as the control center and camera, poor visual indicators of what does what, etc). All in all I do love the lock screen, it looks very clean, but it still needs some work.

    /morningrant

    • Raul Henriquez

      good point but the solution is to reverse the slide to view notifications.

    • Jay Kay

      wait, this is what i understand although Im not beta user, and this could only be clarified by the beta user, i think the notification on lock screen will show up once and then will stay in notification center not on top of your lock screen, so you dont get cluttered lock screen, and in that case there will be no problem and no use of going down to the slide to unlock font to unlock your phone, I believe this is how its going to work. if the all the notifications will stay on the lock screen than what is the purpose of notification center accessibility on lock screen, they wanted the lock screen to be very clean.

      • felixtaf

        Am using beta. Notifications will show in lock screen. But when u pull down notification center from lockscreen, the lockscreen notifications will be gone and can only be accessed via notification center. So, lockscreen will be clean after you pull down the notification center.

    • Ismail ‘marco’ Azeem

      if the lockscreen allows to slide anywhere on the screen will become a Copyright issue by Samsung right?

      • felixtaf

        Not everything Samsung uses in their devices is their tech. But if they have patent for this feature, they can take it to court….

      • Kye

        well, seeing as apple invented the whole ‘slide to unlock’ thing, i think not.

      • felixtaf

        Apple never claimed that they INVENTED slide to unlock. People these days confuse invention and innovation. As soon as someone hear about a new Apple tech, they will start talks about Apple and invention. Apple may not have invented anything, but seriously Apple has its own innovation and class that it differs itself from competitors. A simple slide to unlock is not an invention (as its a common practice), but implementing it in a touchscreen device to unlock the device is innovation. I guess you got my point…

      • Siddharth Desai

        You mean Android?

      • John

        No, only TouchWiz (Samsung’s Android Skin) has that…

    • Siddharth Desai

      This has yet to cause a problem to me, but I see what you are saying. I guess I’m still used to the “Slide to unlock” knob from iOS 6, naturally, my thumb goes to that spot first.

    • Adham

      Very valid point! It’s good this is a beta though, maybe we see little changes here and there.

    • santoscork

      I disagree, the moment someone figures out how to unlock, they learned that text is interactive.

  • Evangeloz Tsalikidis

    @ Jeff – is it possible you could give us IDB readers a “jeffs thoughts” on iOS 7′s icons, and what you think could be improved ?

    • Mario Saldana

      He did in this weeks “Let’s Talk Jailbreak”.

  • Bobdole

    So i guess, other that enabling/disabling the control center on the lockscreen, you can’t do any other customizations to it…
    too bad…

    • Siddharth Desai

      This is sadly true. I really hoped that they would at the least add some sort of information accessible from the lockscreen. May be by the final release, they’ll add widgets to Notification Center.

  • somaxd

    can someone just give me this lockscreen theme on cydia pls.. i miss my lockinfo typography time add on…

    • Marc

      no.

      • somaxd

        haha! it was more a hypothetical question than anything… mainly because i didnt want to make it myself… but i guess i will, let me know if you want it…

  • Jonathan

    so if you have a passcode, you can still enable Airplane mode?
    doesn’t that take some of the functionality away from Find My iPhone?

    • EpicFacepalm

      You can always remove SIM in order to disable Find My iPhone anyways. If the thief is smart you can do nothing about it

      • Siddharth Desai

        While this is true, he/she will not be able to activate it with their own sim. Even if they try to restore the device, the original users Apple ID will be required to activate.

        EDIT: Also, you can disable Control Center on the lockscreen.

  • nvr

    @iDownloadBlog hey on ios 7 during a call if i press double lock button, the call will not end, any ideas ?

    • RyanB

      Hang up normally.

    • Bradley Wyatt

      thats a beta issue with your device because mine works fine

  • PHD

    You forgot to say that when a timer is set, the remaining time is shown on the lock screen next to the clock.

  • Greyhound Mom

    I love the new lock screen for iOS 7. I pretty much love everything they’ve done except the ugly icons.

    • ExRoot

      Off topic: Why greyhound mom? Do you actually have hounds?

      • Greyhound Mom

        Yes. That’s why I picked that name. Why?

      • Sunzliu

        hi,I want to control music playing on lock screen,but I can not find the api to do it.Can you tell what to do that in ios7?Thank you!

    • Jay Kay

      actually they aren’t that ugly, they seems ugly if you choose non contrasting wallpaper, all you have to do is choose better background picture and then you will love it.

  • Kyle McD

    Question, do you only recommend upgrading to iso7 beta to develop apps on a device that’s only really for developing? or do people update there everyday phones? Don’t what to update and there be something that’s not functioning properly

    • Tempest

      Don’t think of updating on your everyday phone. Some apps are not compatible for iOS 7. So only if you are a dev or have an unused phone to try out the iOS 7, that would be the more feasible idea.

      • Kyle McD

        Thanks dude

  • http://www.destroypixels.com/ Nicolas Arteaga

    And how does the camera work? Tap / slide / hold ?

    • Royce12

      Slide up on the camera icon. Anywhere else will give the the control center

  • Pranav Shankar

    Sliding across the whole screen is uncalled for. I like things more precise and definite..like slide to unlock this knob. I open my door by using a door knob which is at a fixed convenient place!

    • Siddharth Desai

      But this isn’t a door.

  • Royce12

    Also.. When you plug your phone in while locked you dont get that big ugly lock screen battery in the middle of the screen. A smaller battery appears showing you your charge percentage and then fades away to your regular lock screen. Your charge percentage then shows up beneath the time where the date is normally at. It displays for about 3 seconds and then fades back to the date. Very elegant transitions.

  • Curt

    If you move your phone around while on the lockscreen the wallpaper will move slightly.

  • Barry Wilson

    So a thief can just access your control panel and put you iphone into airplane mode preventing you from finding it. Also apple should have a “prevent shutdown from lockscreen option” so glad i have a jailbreak to fix these problems. The tweak icaughtupro also gives me a bit more hope of getting my phone back should it get stolen.

    • Jay Kay

      there isn’t end to negative thoughts, this could happen, but lets be positive and think that thief should have no orientation with iOS 7.

      • Patrick

        speaking about this apple must of done something to prevent this because a kid could think of that, so im guessing when you triggered find my phone through icloud the notification bar will not pull up or it might not let you click the airplane mode at that time, if we really want to know we have to wait till September to try it out ourselves

      • Siddharth Desai

        There is an option to disable control center on the lockscreen. It’s your choice.

    • felixtaf

      Finding it is difficult. But once they restore or update, they need the original iCloud account and password to activate the phone. They cant use it without that. Before that a simple DFU restore will solve the problem. But now that will not solve it, Coz u wont be able to activate your phone.

  • Curt

    Also because you slide to unlock anywhere on the screen, I find that you have to be very precise when hitting the track scrubber.

  • Curt

    One more thing unrelated to the lock screen. Is in the music app there is no way (that I can find) to play all albums from one artist. I haven’t looked in to how to submit to Apple yet, but I wanted to post here and see if anybody found a way.

  • ic0dex

    I so pissed off because they made iOS 7 to look good with a white iPhone 5. I have the black one and it looks like crap.

    • Cameron Nelms

      They should make it where there are two different colors, and when you update, you tell which color you want, they could even make it have different colors like blue or red etc…

    • Patrick

      i’m guessing it depends what wallpaper you use because the galaxy (stars wallpaper) one looks fantastic on the black iPhone and on my white one i have that bubble wallpaper the dynamic one, so just change the wallpaper dude

  • micro

    I don’t like that ugly lane from springboard, that is beneath the 4 icon’s, it is to large. It would be better if they would remove that, because on 4s it obscures the wallpaper.

    • Tempest

      The dock? If it is seems like it is a glitch or software problem. The dock is supposed to be close to transparent or tranluscent in the final build.

      • micro

        Yes the dock, i don’t like that effect because it is to large for ip 4s and it obscures to much the wallpaper. It would look nice without that effect so that the wallpaper will be 100% visible like it is on lock screen, or if they make it smaller like in ios6. On ip 5 look good because it has 4 inch screen, and i think they did this thing with the effect, to make users that have ip 4 or 4s to buy ip 5.

  • Ian

    Jeff, how do you record your iPhone screen without it being jailbroken? I’d love to do the same.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Display out?

      EDIT: as in display output with a VGA, DVI, cable etc?

      • Ian

        Hmm… that could be a possibility. I’ll toy around with it.

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    One bug with the lockscreen that I have observed is to do with having a complex passcode set. If you do and you tap shift then shift constantly stays active (unless you tap shift to disable it) regardless of whether or not you’ve double tapped it…

  • n0ahcruz3

    Love the lockscreen looks so clean. Guys it is still beta im sure they’ll patch all the loopholes in time for the release.

  • Aaron de Silva

    They need to make it more obvious how to unlock the phone. The control center arrow is too misleading since it’s just beneath the “Slide to unlock”. Also anyone else notice the subtitle change in the messages app? Messages you sent goes lighter when it’s on top while it is draker at the bottom.

  • Markus Seiler

    Hopefully the notifications etc. stay on the lockscreen after unlocking the phone like in “lockinfo”

  • Nick Schellig

    I wonder if the control center will cause any issues while gaming, thinking of fruit ninja for example?!

    • micro

      That’s exactly what i was thinking about when i saw the presentation from WWDC ;)) They could implement an option to use grabber in different app.

  • Derik Stroisch

    my thoughts on ios 7 is it’s a great improvement over ios 6. I do agree that the icons could be a bit better. but question about the beta. has anyone else had problems with their phone licking up. going dim. and jumping out to the lock screen while running some apps?

  • Uday Kapoor

    I want to know what software you use for making these videos, Jeff ?

    They are beautiful.

  • chumawumba

    This is a little off topic but,

    How do you guys get a screen capture on iOS 7 without a jailbreak?
    Is there a software you guys use or what?

  • Tegin Thomas®

    What happened to Tap to tweet and tap to post????

  • brooks whiffen seale

    Anyone notice the new spotlight search? I like it.

  • Siddharth Desai

    As Jeff and Sebastien talked in the Podcast, Apple should’ve given the user the ability to customize Control Center. It’s definitely nice to have, but choosing what settings to have appear on it should be upto the user.

  • Michael Chiola

    On the iPhone 4s does the IOS7 animated wallpaper work or is this feature just for the iphone 5/5s

  • David Collazo

    They still need to integrate ‘Quick Reply’

  • Britt Nicole Johnson

    Why is my lock screen photo blurry!! It’s driving me crazy and I can’t figure out how to change it!!!

  • Scott Hanks

    How can I make the font of the lock screen easier to see? I can hardly see the clock now, especially if the background is a light color.

  • Becky Hastings

    is it possible to lock your screen during a call and still remain connected?

  • Elizabeth Escobar

    after the iOS 7 update my phone locks to often… yesterday I had to reboot it 4 times… Is Anyone else experiencing this??? (I have the iPhone 5)

  • Old people

    I can’t make the time bigger on unlocked screen