Apple has updated one of its original iPhone apps, the Clock app, in the first iOS 17.4 beta. Specifically, the update includes a small, but significant change to the Stopwatch function.
In the beta, the Stopwatch function now includes a timer in the Live Activities feature This feature appears in the Dynamic Island and the Lock Screen on supported devices. On the Dynamic Island, you’ll see a small timer; on the Lock Screen, you’ll see the full Stopwatch timer. If you press and hold on the Dynamic Island, you’ll see controls to pause the Stopwatch or start a new lap. The same controls are shown directly on the Lock Screen.
To clear the timer on the Dynamic Island, you need to tap on the X. On the Lock Screen, a simple swipe will do.
Since iOS 16, timers have been available on Live Activities. However, this is the first time the Stopwatch can be viewed outside the Clock app.
The Dynamic Island was created to offer users the convenience of being able to see content at a glance. Adding the Stopwatch to it and the Lock Screen makes it easier to keep track of time and makes it less likely to be forgotten.
This isn’t the only change coming to iOS 17.4. The update, which should be released to the public this spring, adds the ability to sideload apps and use third-party app stores on the iPhone — in the EU only.
If none of these updates sound exciting, just wait until later this year.
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has huge plans in store with iOS 18, which should be announced at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. According to Gurman, iOS 18 could be the “biggest” update in a long time.
If this pans out, it would be the most significant iOS update since iOS 14 launched in 2020. That update allowed for home screen widgets and app icon customization without a jailbreak for the first time. If iOS 18 is similarly noteworthy, we could be in for a wild ride.