Apple has turned the unpopular iPhone notch into a versatile new feature, courtesy of an intricate display quirk called Dynamic Island. Here’s everything you need to know about the new addition.
The feature, which works in tandem with the iPhone 14 Pro-exclusive A16 Bionic chip, is pretty self-explanatory. is one of the bigger changes to Apple’s latest flagship smartphone.
It is an island at the top of the iPhone display and it is extremely dynamic in the way it interacts with other functionality on the iPhone – whether it’s alerts, notifications or activities.
What does Dynamic Island do?
The feature is designed to surface useful information, like when AirPods are connected, or when the device is being charged. It’ll surface a tiny thumbnail of the album art from Apple Music, show when Apple Pay is being accessed, or when the do-not-disturb mode is switched on.
These icons appear as an expansion on either side of the sensors and, thanks to the way the pixels match the black sensors, the animations look impressively seamless.
However, Dynamic Island can also expand further into the wider iPhone 14 Pro display. Incoming calls and a running stopwatch appear in a banner that stretches out from the sensors, for example.
If you’re unlocking an app or using Apple Pay The Face ID indicator also drops down from the Dynamic Island rather than appearing in the centre of the display.
Dynamic Island is also interactive, so you can tap it to expand. For example, if you wish to check your AirPods battery, or cease a voice recording. Ongoing acitivites like Maps directions or sports scores can also be expanded by a simple tap and hold.
When you’re done, if you swipe up to dismiss the Apple Music album art for example, the activity will return as an icon to the Dynamic Island.
Apple is also inviting third-party apps to get involved too, meaning you’ll be able to interact with your pending Lyft ride, as just one example. These work alongside the Live Activities API that will be arriving later in 2022.
Which apps support Dynamic Island?
Apple showcased a few during the event, but it won’t be the exclusive list. Here’s what we’ve seen so far:
- Voice Memos
In terms of other features, you’ll see headphones (perhaps just AirPods) connectivity, do not disturb mode, silent mode, charging status, and more. It’ll also show sports scores for your favourite teams with team badges on either side of the sensors.
How does Dynamic Island work?
This is all made possible by the hardware changes within the iPhone 14 Pro and has two components: Firstly, the display design itself is key. The positioning of the cut out has moved and looks neater, while the proximity sensors have moved behind the display – the first time Apple has done this. Secondly, it’s possible (and exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro models) due to the presence of the A16 Bionic chip.
Which phones support Dynamic Island?
The new Dynamic Island is exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max and is made possible by the new positioning of the front-facing camera and Face ID sensors, which are now integrated within the display, rather than as a piece carved out from the top of the handset.