In the latest iOS 16 update, Apple made the decision to remove live wallpapers, which were a feature introduced in iOS 11. Live wallpapers allowed users to add a live photo to their lock screen, which could be activated with a long press. Apple even provided official dynamic wallpapers that moved on the lock screen, and they quickly gained popularity. However, this feature has now been removed from iOS 16 without much fanfare.
So, Why Did Apple Remove Live Wallpapers in iOS 16?
The reason for the removal of live wallpapers in iOS 16 has to do with the action required to trigger the wallpaper’s movement on the lock screen. To activate the animation, users had to long press on the display. However, this became problematic when Apple wanted to introduce a customizable lock screen, which was already triggered by a long press on the Apple Watch.
To unify the user experience across devices, Apple decided to either introduce a new gesture to trigger the custom lock screen or remove the live wallpapers feature altogether. Since Apple prioritizes consistency and seamlessness, they opted to remove live wallpapers.
Additionally, there is speculation that not many users were using live or dynamic wallpapers as time passed, so their removal was not likely to cause much disappointment. This situation is similar to the discontinuation of 3D Touch, a headlining feature of iPhone 6S, four years later with iPhone 11, as very few people were using it.
Is There a Live Wallpapers Alternative?
Although live wallpapers are no longer available on iOS 16, there are still options for dynamic and animated wallpapers that can add some movement to the lock screen.
For example, there are wallpapers with colored circles that create a parallax effect when the phone is moved, or the weather wallpaper that plays a short animation after waking the phone.
While these alternatives may not be a complete substitute for live wallpapers, they still offer some degree of interactivity to the lock screen. It is possible that Apple may bring back live wallpapers or similar features in the future.