Apple’s iOS 18 Lets You Open Third-Party Camera Apps From Lock Screen

Three iPhone screens displayed side-by-side. The left screen shows a home screen with widgets and apps, including a clock and weather widget. The middle screen displays a text conversation. The right screen showcases the Photos app, featuring recently taken pictures.

Apple’s iOS 18 will allow users to launch a third-party camera app directly from the lock screen.

Apple announced its new update iOS 18 at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2024 keynote event last week.

The new iPhone operating system will include several new features including more ways for users to customize their home screen as well as an updated Photos app.

According to MacRumors, iOS 18 will also let users launch a third-party camera app such as Halide directly from the lock screen.

Before this change, users could add a camera button to the lock screen, but this would only open Apple’s own first-party camera app.

iOS 18 will now offer users more flexibility to have access to their pro camera app and start taking photos immediately.

Therefore if a user installed iOS 18 beta right now, they could replace the flashlight and Apple camera buttons on the lock screen with other controls — including an option to open any third-party app they want. This allows users to replace Apple’s Camera app with a third-party app like Halide.

According to MacRumours, with the specific “LockedCameraCapture framework,” the third-party camera app will be able to be opened into camera mode while an iPhone is locked, mimicking the functionality that’s available with Apple’s standard Camera app.

The framework allows for a button that opens directly into the camera of an app, even if the camera is not the app’s only feature. Therefore social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok could use this option to create a Control Center camera button that can be added to the Lock Screen that will enable the quick capturing of photos and videos that could then be uploaded after unlocking a device.

Apple is also expanding the Action button’s capabilities so that it will be able to open one of the third-party apps Control Center items.

The Control Center on an iPhone gives users instant access to the things they do the most such as turn on Wi-Fi or take a photo. For iPhone X and later, users can swipe down from the top-right corner of their screen to open the Control Center.

Therefore, if a user has added a third-party camera to the Control Center, they’ll be able to assign that item to the Action button, giving them an easy path to launch a camera app without needing to first unlock their phone and swipe their way over to it.

Interestingly, Halide released an update last year that already lets users turn the iPhone 15 Pro’s action button into camera control.