September 7, 2023 · 3 min read
Devblog: Live Activity, Dynamic Island, and App Blocking
Hello everyone! We’re back with some exciting news. We’re thrilled to introduce you to the latest update to Flow, which adds support for Live Activity and Dynamic Island. We’ll also talk about our previous update, which added App & Web Blocking to Flow on iOS.
Live Activity | Update 3.2.0
In this update, we’re excited to introduce support for Live Activities, seamlessly bringing the Flow timer right to your lock screen. Make sure you’ve downloaded the latest versions of Flow and iOS to make use of this new feature. You’ll notice that once you start a Flow session, the Flow Live Activity will automatically appear on your lock screen. If you happen to have an iPhone with the Dynamic Island, you’ll also see Flow appear there, enhancing your Flow experience by allowing you to interact with it directly from your device’s home screen.
Should you prefer not to use this feature, you can simply disable Live Activity support for Flow in your system settings.
We’d also like to share a bit about the technical challenges we encountered to make this feature run smoothly. For the first time, we had to integrate Google Firebase in Flow to send push notifications to the Live Activity to keep its information up-to-date, especially when using auto-start options. It’s unfortunate that it’s not possible to update a Live Activity directly from the app once it’s in the background. Hopefully this system limitation of the API will change in the future. Despite the new costs associated with using Firebase, we’ve decided to make this feature available in the free version of Flow because Live Activities are a system feature that we wanted to support for all users.
App Blocking | Update 3.1.0
One feature we added in version 3.1.0 for Flow on iOS and iPadOS is the ability to block apps and websites with Flow. This feature uses the Screen Time API behind the scenes, making it a native and familiar experience. We’re super happy with how easy it is to use.
Looking ahead, our first priority is to ensure that Flow runs seamlessly on iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS Sonoma. Following these system updates, we have several changes in mind, including bringing the green break background to the Watch, utilizing the new corner icons on Watch, adding direct actions to Live Activity (without automatically launching the app on button press), and introducing widgets on Mac and Watch.
We’re also in the process of completely rebuilding our website from scratch with Framer. With the release of this major overhaul, we’ll be announcing changes to our domain name and support email. Stay tuned for our next devblog post and updates shared on Twitter.
As mentioned in our previous devblog post, we’re looking forward to implementing real-time sync across devices. Now that we’ve integrated Firebase for the Live Activity feature, we feel like we’ve already taken the first step. We hope to share more about this in our next post.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read today’s devblog! Stay awesome everyone! We hope to see you again in our next post.
And as always, if you enjoy using Flow and want to support its development, we’d be grateful for a review on the App Store. Every review is important and helps our tiny developer studio tremendously.
We appreciate you all very much. Cheers!