iOS 18 Will Let You Activate Third-Party Camera From iPhone’s Lock Screen or Action Button

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iOS 18 includes a new LockedCameraCapture framework for developers, which will bring some useful new functionality to third-party apps with camera features. The update will let a third-party camera app be opened directly from the Lock Screen.

iphone locked camera capture
The expansion of Control Center in ‌iOS 18‌ allows for third-party apps to be added to Control Center for quick access, and Control Center integrates with both the Lock Screen and the Action button. With this integration, third-party camera apps such as Halide will be able to create a Control Center camera button, which can then be added to the Control Center and stored in the new Control Center gallery.

The Lock Screen’s standard Camera and Flashlight quick access buttons can be replaced with other Control Center integrations, including third-party ones, plus the Action button can be set to a Control Center control. So the ultimate result of all of this interconnection is the option to have a quick access camera button for a third-party camera app on the Lock Screen, rather than being limited to Apple’s built-in Camera.

Further, 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 the standard Camera app.

Use the LockedCameraCapture framework to create an extension that allows people to launch your app’s camera experience and capture content quickly when the device is locked. This extension makes your camera experience accessible to people from Control Center, the Lock Screen, or the Action button.

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. Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and similar social networks could use this option to create a Control Center camera button able to be added to the Lock Screen that will allow for the quick capturing of photos and videos that could then be uploaded after unlocking a device.

Note that this would not upload content directly, as there is wording in the framework that requires the ‌iPhone‌ to be unlocked to view or complete a task with the video or photo captured from a locked ‌iPhone‌.

This option will also be useful for ‌iPhone‌ users who prefer to capture images with a third-party camera app like Halide, as it will make the Halide camera feel much more like a default camera app able to be opened up by means other than activating it from the Home Screen.

Developers will need to add this framework to their apps, so it is a capability that we’ll start seeing in action following the public launch of ‌iOS 18‌ this fall.

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