The new Dynamic Island is arguably one of the iPhone 14 Pro‘s most interesting features, so with the new iPhones now in the hands of customers, we thought we’d take a deeper look at the Dynamic Island, how it works, and what it does.
During the iPhone 14 rumor cycle, we knew that Apple was working on an alternative to the notch that incorporated a pill-shaped cutout and a hole punch cutout for the TrueDepth camera hardware, but what came as a surprise is the clever way that Apple has integrated this new space into the iPhone‘s interface.
Pixels around the Dynamic Island merge it into one pill-shaped area that changes size and shape to accommodate various types of alerts, notifications, and interactions, turning it into a kind of front-and-center information hub. It can do everything from showing you Maps directions to confirming Apple Pay payments, with a list of some of the possibilities below.
- Expanded into a large rectangle to show upcoming Maps directions without having to open the Maps app.
- Displaying Maps directions in a smaller pill-shaped interface for when you just need a quick glance at the next turn.
- Square shaped for an Apple Pay payment confirmation.
- Showing a music waveform and time remaining on a song that’s playing.
- Tracking the time of arrival of a Lyft.
- Displaying privacy indicators when the microphone or camera is in use.
- Displaying a small bar with the phone icon and the length of the phone call.
- Displaying an AirDrop interface when transferring files.
- Showing a timer.
- Keeping track of sports scores.
- Accessing music controls and a music player.
- Showing AirPods connection status and battery life.
- Displaying iPhone charging status and battery life.
- Low battery alerts.
- Turning the iPhone’s silent mode on or off.
The Dynamic Island works with Live Activities, and right now you can test it out with the Timer and with live sports if you happen to be running the iOS 16.1 beta. Live Activities are going to launch in iOS 16.1. Developers can create experiences for the Dynamic Island too, so we can expect to see innovative apps that take advantage of the new interface.
You can interact with content displayed in the Dynamic Island by long pressing to get to a widget for expanded controls, or tapping to go right into the app.
The Dynamic Island is capable of displaying multiple functions at once, and when that happens, it splits into a larger pill-shaped area and a smaller circular area so you can see two things at once. You can swap between them and tap into them like you can with the standard Dynamic Island interface.
Make sure to check out our video to see Dynamic Island in action with all kinds of apps and functions, and if you have an iPhone 14 Pro, let us know in the comments below what you think of the new interface.