The iPhone's Stopwatch app could receive new improved functionality in the iOS 17.4 update that will make it easier for users to keep track of timers they’ve set.
According to MacRumors, the Stopwatch update, which has been spotted in the beta version of the next iOS update, will allow timers to be added to Apple's Live Activities.
Once the Stopwatch is activated via the Clock app it will cause the timer to appear on both the Dynamic Island and the lock screen, but they’ll look slightly different. The Dynamic Island version of the timer will only show a to-the-second count, while the lock screen, will display the full-timer.
This would be a very useful addition, as previously the Stopwatch could only be seen in the Clock app. By adding the Stopwatch to Live Activities users will be able to check timers at a glance on their lock screen, making them much more convenient to use, and helping to ensure they’re not missed or forgotten about.
Both versions use the same controls – tapping the timer will give the user the option to either pause or start a new lap, but users will need to be careful not to accidentally pause or cancel the timer by mistake.
Once the Stopwatch is paused, swiping on it from the lock screen or tapping the ‘x’ in the Dynamic Island will clear it.
While it may not sound like a major update, the Stopwatch’s inclusion on the lock screen and the Dynamic Island, and its improved visibility, should be very handy for gym-goers or in the kitchen, among other things, and timing also continues even if the user's iPhone goes to sleep or another app is opened.
It’s always good to see phone manufacturers continuing to bring useful enhancements to legacy apps to improve their usefulness, and hopefully, we’ll see a similar feature added to the Apple Watch in the future.
PhoneArena reports that the iOS 17.4 is expected to arrive on March 4, and will also include several other changes to iOS, Safari, and changes to the App Store necessitated by new European Union regulations. One notable upgrade is how iOS 17.4 will make Stolen Device Protection even better.
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James Ide is a writer for TechRadar specializing in phones and tablets, having previously worked at The Daily Mirror since 2016, covering news and reviews.
James loves messing with the latest tech, especially phones due to their incredibly rapid pace of development.
When not surrounded by various devices and/or tinkering with gadgets while putting them through their paces, James has a love of handheld consoles.
He is almost the textbook definition of a geek, who loves sci-fi, comics, games and of course, all things tech. If you think you have a story for him or just want to challenge him at Smash Bros, get in touch.