Adding a photo widget on the lock screen is a walk in the park with Widgetsmith!
Widget support on the iOS Lock Screen is one of the most impressive features of iOS 16. However, at the time of writing this article, iOS does not support a photo widget on the Lock Screen. Thankfully, you will not have to wait till Apple introduces the widget for Photos on the Lock Screen.
You can do it right away with the help of a third-party app. For this guide, we’ll use Widgetsmith to place a widget on the lock screen. The app quickly became a favorite a couple of years back when Apple first introduced Home Screen widgets. Now, you can use it for lock screen widgets, as well.
Download Widgetsmith on your iPhone
As mentioned earlier, you can use ‘Widgetsmith’ on your iPhone to place a Photo widget right on your Lock Screen. Additionally, you can also choose a specific album to display photos from. You can even access all the photos placed in it with a single tap on your Lock Screen.
If you don’t have the app, you’ll need to download it first. Otherwise, you can skip straight to the next section. Open the App Store from either the home screen or the app library of your device.
Then, tap on the ‘Search’ icon from the bottom right corner of the screen to proceed.
Next, type WidgetSmith in the search bar and hit the ‘Search’ button to continue.
Once the results are loaded, tap on the ‘Get’ button to download the app. You will be required to provide authentication on your iPhone to download the app.
Create the Photo Widget in Widgetsmith
Once downloaded, launch the app from the Home Screen or App Library of your device.
After that, ensure you are on the ‘Widgets’ tab from the bottom left corner.
Then, head to the ‘Lock Screen’ tab.
Next, scroll and tap on the ‘Add rectangular widget’ or ‘Add Circular widget’ option to proceed. The process is the same for both types of widget. Here, we’ll illustrate using the rectangular widget. This will bring an overlay pane to your screen.
Now, tap on the ‘Photo’ option if you only wish to display a single photo in the widget. If you want to add a slideshow, move on to the instructions ahead.
Then, tap on the ‘Photo’ tab.
You can choose a photo from your gallery, files, or drop the photo from any other in the place provided using drag and drop in iOS.
A preview of the photo will appear. You can pinch to zoom the photo or move it around to adjust. There are also options to zoom to faces or isolate people by removing the background.
Once satisfied, tap the ‘Save’ button.
In case you wish to display a slideshow, tap on the ‘Photos in Album’ option in the Widget tab.
After that, tap on the ‘Album’ tab to proceed.
This will bring an alert to your screen requesting permission to access photos on your iPhone. Now, tap ‘Allow access to all photos’ if you wish the app to have access to all your photos. Otherwise, tap the ‘Select photos’ option and select the photos you wish to provide access to.
Once done, select the album you wish to display in the widget by tapping it. The albums will have access to the photos as per the permissions provided. When displaying multiple pictures in the widget using an album, you won’t be able to adjust the pictures in the thumbnail.
Finally, tap on the ‘Save’ button from the top right corner to continue.
Add the Photo Widget to Lock Screen
Now exit the app and lock your iPhone. Then, wake the screen and unlock again using Face ID or Touch ID. You can also open the Notification Centre instead of locking and unlocking the device again. Tap and hold on to the lock screen to bring up the Lock Screen selector page. After that, tap on the ‘Customize’ button to proceed.
Next, tap on the Lock Screen preview thumbnail from the left to continue.
After that, tap on the ‘Add Widgets’ block to add a widget. This will bring an overlay pane to your screen.
Next, locate and tap on the ‘Widgetsmith’ option. This will again bring an overlay pane.
Then, swipe from left to right to navigate to the ‘Rectangular Widgets’ option and tap on it to add.
That’s it, you will now be able to see the Photo widget on your lock screen. The widget will display the picture/album you had chosen earlier in this guide. Tap on the ‘X’ button to close the overlay pane.
Then, tap on the ‘Done’ button from the top right corner to save the changes.
You can also simply tap on the widget to display all the pictures stored in the album. However, do note the photos will be displayed in the Widgetsmith app and you will need to require authentication if you have a passcode enabled on your device.
Lock Screen widgets are definitely an amazing addition to iOS. And you can further tweak them by having a photo widget on your screen. Whether your purposes were purely aesthetic or you are required to frequently access a set of photos again and again in your routine, it’s got your back! The only thing is the colors of the photos will appear slightly washed out.