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iPadOS 16 beta has a debug menu that enables a new lock screen

One of the main new features of iOS 16 is the new customizable lock screen, which not only contains widgets, but also allows users to add live wallpapers and change the color of text. Unfortunately, the new lock screen is only available on the iPhone, but iPadOS 16 has a secret debug menu that lets you enable it on the iPad, sort of.

The new lock screen features have not been implemented directly in Springboard, which is the process that handles both the lock screen and home screen on iOS. Instead, Apple has created a new in-house app called “PosterBoard” that redirects the user to lock screen customization options.

This app, like many other iOS tools, is hidden by default and can only be accessed through specific options. In this case, by tapping on the iPhone lock screen. However, even though iPadOS 16 does not have the new lock screen, it is hidden in the system and there is a way to access it.

As discovered by Federico Viticci, Apple forgot to hide PosterBoard from the list of apps available to users via shortcuts. As such, all you have to do is create a shortcut that opens the PosterBoard app and you’ll have access to the lock screen customization options on the iPad.

Opening the PosterBoard app from the Shortcuts app brings up a debug menu used by Apple designers and engineers to test all the new options available on the iOS 16 lock screen. share how options like adding new live wallpapers or changing colors would work on the iPad. But of course, there is a catch.

The new lock screen is not iPad ready

iPadOS 16 beta 1 has a secret debug menu that enables the custom lock screen.

At this point, it’s clear that there’s a basic implementation of the new lock screen on the iPad. It works with new wallpapers, it can merge the background photo with the time, and it even allows users to change the font and colors. However, several features are broken, especially the widgets – which don’t work at all.

The only thing you can actually do through this debug menu is change the font and color of the time in the default lock screen. Applying other lock screen options does not work.

It seems that Apple didn’t have enough time to prepare the new lock screen for iPad, but they are working on it. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll see lock screen customizations coming to iPadOS 16, even in a future beta. Apple will likely keep the feature for iPadOS 17, just like they’ve done with the Home screen widgets and App Library in the past.

If not, they would have at least announced it at WWDC or shown marketing images with the feature. Apple has made it clear that this year the new lock screen is a feature for iPhone users.

If you’re running iPadOS 16 beta 1 on your iPad, you can try the hidden debugging options yourself. But keep in mind that Apple will likely remove all of these options, which are for internal development, with the upcoming iPadOS 16 beta.

iPadOS 16 will be available next month in public beta. Its official release is scheduled for this fall. Developers can now try out the iPadOS 16 beta by downloading it from the Apple Developer website.

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