Display Upcoming Events on the iPhone Sleep Screen Without Hacks or Apps

Moving from a Nokia N95 to an iPhone 3g (eventually), one of the things I will miss is the list of upcoming events on the home screen.  Essentially, it’s just a simple list of events in my calendar that occur in the next few days.  So how can we emulate this functionality on an iPhone (or iPod Touch) without resorting to Hacks or Apps?  Actually, it’s quite easy and just involves some lateral thinking.

The first thing we do is go into our calendar and change the view to “List”.  This should give you a view similar to the one to the right.  Essentially, it’s a list of events.  You can scroll up and down the list until today appears at the top, with the next few day’s evens appearing below.  Before moving on to the next step, be sure you’re comfortable that all the events you want to see are visible, this is important.

We will be taking a picture, or screen shot, of this list and using it as our wall paper, hence the positioning is key.

Taking screenshots is functionality built into the Version 2.0 firmware for iPhone (original and 3g) and iPod Touch, so everyone can do it.  If you want to take a picture, you have to press the home and power buttons at exactly the same time, and keep them held down for approximately 3 seconds and then leave go.  When you do this the screen will fade to white and then back to normal.  This is the indication that the screenshot has been successfully taken.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll find the screenshot you’ve just taken in your photo album.  We can now move on to the next step.

Once you’ve got the photo in your album, all we need to do is set it as wallpaper so it appears on the “Unlock” screen.  To do this, browse to the photo in your album, open it and then tap it to bring up the controls (as seen in the screenshot to the left – click to enlarge).  When setting this image as a wallpaper you get a chance to position and scale it carefully, so play around with it until it’s right.

Once you’ve set the image as your wallpaper, every time you view the iPhone’s “Unlock” screen, which if you’re anything like me is very often, you’ll also see a list of your upcoming appointments.

There are, obviously, some limitations.  For example, if you push appointments to your calendar, they won’t show up.  You’ll have to manually update the image for changes to show up.  Whether this is a workable solution for you or not depends on how you use your calendar, and how often it changes.  But even so, it can serve as a very useful prompt, if nothing else.