The Dynamic Island is the next big thing for iPhone fans. A simple yet clever way to mask the two unusual cutouts for the camera and its related sensors is all the hype among iPhone users. Even I was excited for this Dynamic Island, especially after witnessing the sizeable display notch on the iPhone 13 Pro Max for almost a year. But is the Dynamic Island as big a deal as Apple and all its fans make? Is it something that other Android phone brands should be copying over the next year?
Before we deep dive into the experience, you should know that the Dynamic Island is only available on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. For the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, Apple sticks to the small display notch that was introduced in the iPhone 13. Rumours hint about the entire iPhone 15 series getting the Dynamic Island treatment next year, but it is only the Pro models that get it for now.
I have spent a week with the iPhone 14 Pro Max as my main phone and life on the Dynamic Island has been… the same. You can totally avoid it and you will still be comfortable with the iPhone experience on the Pro and Pro Max. That said, going back to the notched iPhones from the Dynamic Island will be tough.
Here is how the Dynamic Island fuses into our daily lives.
- When locked, the Dynamic Island only expands to show the lock status, as well as showing the Face ID unlock animations. Nothing else happens on it on the lockscreen. It simply looks like a pill-shaped cutout.
- When in the homescreen, the Dynamic Island stick to being a simple blacked out pill. You open apps or play games, the Island remains in its usual shape and size. No changes.
- While using Apple Music or Spotify, the Island accommodates two icons – one showing a waveform animation and the other one having a small album art. Tap on them and it opens the music app. Long press on them to expand the playback controls, which looks the same as controls on the lockscreen. Note that you can see these animations when you are in the homescreen, or using another app.
- When you receive a call, the Island expands to show the answer and reject buttons. Once accepted, it elongates to show the timer and waveform animation, thereby giving a quick shortcut to the call screen. This replaces the small green pill we used to have on older notched iPhones.
- When authorising payments or logins via Face ID, the Face ID unlock animation expands from the Island instead of coming up dead center.
- Using some of Apple’s first party apps that keep doing their functions in the background, the Dynamic Island expands to provide shortcuts to them.
Compared to the notch, it certainly is. I love how Apple found a clever way to use that dead space in the display to enhance productivity. Other than the fun animations, what I love about the Island is its constant taskbar-like presence that allows you to control background apps and functions easily.
It is now up to the app developers to make better use of this space and enhance the experience. Imagine WhatsApp allowing quick responses with emojis, or Instagram embedding camera shortcuts to the pill – the possibilities are endless.
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