of Apple iPhone 14 Pro Y iPhone 14 ProMax it has a lot of shiny new features, but the most notable is that Apple lowered the “notch” cutout in the display, encircled it with the screen, and dubbed it Dynamic Island.
Surely, Apple gave the camera cutouts a name so that the press and the public would not end up naming it something worse than the notch, as we saw happen with the iPhoneX.
But what is so special about Dynamic Island? Well, Apple took what are actually two different cutouts (you can see them if you look closely at the screen as you rotate the phone) and created software to hide the camera modules, all while making it interactive.
Not sure what I mean by that? Let’s take a closer look.
What apps use Dynamic Island?
There is currently a small list of Apple apps that integrate with Dynamic Island, but it will surely grow in the future. You’ll see a fun animation inside the island when you use Face ID to unlock your phone or plug it in for charging. But those are just two of the most basic interactions.
Open your music app of choice, like Spotify or Apple Music, and start playing a song. Then exit the app to keep it running in the background.
Dynamic Island will begin displaying the album art for the currently playing song, along with a sound wave-like animation on the right.
I’m constantly discovering new apps that use Dynamic Island, but currently the list includes phone indicators, maps, clock, maps, FaceTime, Apple Pay, screen recording, hotspot status, and AirPods status.
How to interact with applications that use Dynamic Island
When you’re listening to music or have an active timer, the island not only acts as a place to provide a quick status update for that task, but you can also interact with the respective app directly from the island.
For example, when listening to music, you can touch the island to open the respective application and make changes such as skipping the track, going back or pressing the play and pause button.
That’s pretty simple, but where Dynamic Island really shows its potential is when you hold it down.
Using Music as the same example, holding down the island will open a shortcut to all the key controls you’d expect to control music playback, including the Airplay button.
But wait, there’s more. If you have two apps using Dynamic Island at the same time, say Music and a timer in the Clock app, the island will display animations for both tasks, with the timer represented by a small animation on the right. You can use the same touch or long press interaction for either app to interact with them.
With iOS 16.1, Dynamic Island gets better
With the release of iOS 16.1 on October 24, Apple added more to the iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island through a new feature coming to all iPhone models called Live Activities.
Live Activities adds what amounts to a live widget to the iPhone lock screen that is constantly updated. For example, apps like Uber can use Live Activities to update their driver’s location after requesting a ride. Or sports apps can put game scores on your lock screen, frequently updating the score or plays.
The screenshots above were taken from the FotMob application. When you bookmark an active game in the app, FotMob adds it to your lock screen. When you unlock your phone and are actively using it, you will still see your score in Dynamic Island. You can long press to see a larger version of the widget or touch it to launch the app. This is really cool and I can’t wait to see more apps that support it.
There is a hidden gesture for Dynamic Island in iOS 16.1
Speaking of iOS 16.1, once you update your iPhone 14 Pro to Apple’s latest and greatest software, you’ll get an additional option to interact with the island by swiping on it.
If you have two apps open and active on the island, you can swipe to the center of the screen to minimize one of the activities, or swipe again to completely hide everything on the island. Slide your finger to the edge of the screen to retrieve any of the activities.