Dynamic Island or the old-school notch? We have had this debate since the iPhone 14 Pro broke cover and so far, we couldn’t arrive at a solution. The Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro models was largely a fun thing to look at but all the functional benefits that Apple promised hadn’t arrived. Other than Apple’s own app, the Dynamic Island was mostly a large pill expanding to show the Face ID icon, or the musical player shortcut.
Ever since the iOS 16.1 update released, developers could now make use of the live tracking feature, and some apps have already started doing so. In India, the biggest app that has made use of this facility is Zomato. I just used it on our iPhone 14 Pro Max and I now get to see why this Dynamic Island could be the next big thing for smartphones.
The Dynamic Island has been largely considered to be a new notification bar-like element, offering quick shortcuts to basic functions of the apps. With the live tracking function, this small pill now offers a lot of practicality in daily use.
Earlier in the day, I used the Zomato app to order some steaming hot Biryani and for all the parts until I made the payment. Once the order was confirmed, I came out of the app only to find the tracking counter on the Dynamic Island. This looks interesting and new. Zomato had is logo on one end and a ticking timer on the other; tapping on them takes you to the tracking page. A long-tap on this bar opens up the tracking widget, showing the food preparation status and delivery details as well.
While using other apps in the meantime, the constant timer on the Dynamic Island kept giving me a faint idea as to how long would the food take to arrive. It was offering the same sense of satisfaction that you get from a battery meter – you know how long is it gonna take.
The lockscreen widget is helpful too and this is when I also switched on the Always On display. Having this tracking widget sitting above app notifications is a big relief and a quick glance also offers a lot of assurity.
This may all seem irrelevant but using an Android phone to make the next order on Zomato felt incomplete. I missed the hanging timer and the tracking detail on the phone’s lockscreen. Yes, Android apps allow floating windows for a preview of the tracking page, but the Dynamic Island’s implementation removes the extra taps to get this basic information. On the iPhone, it is just there, in front of you, all the time, and goes away once the activity ends.
With the apps starting to embrace this pill cutout, I think all smartphones should have this Dynamic Island to let apps with live activities do notifications easily. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max currently offer this luxury, and I hope it expands to more iPhones in the future. On the Android side of things, I also expect brands to create something similar on their devices.
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