When Apple announced the iPhone 14 Pro models, it surprised many with its innovative integration of software functions with the pill-shaped cutout at the top of the screen, labelled the “Dynamic Island.” This article describes what it does, how it functions, and how you can interact with it to perform actions.
What Is Dynamic Island and How Does It Work?
We learned early in the rumour cycle, before the iPhone 14 Pro was announced, that Apple was working on a notch alternative that included a pill-shaped cutout and a hole punch cutout to house the TrueDepth camera hardware.
We didn’t exclusively report these cutouts would appear as one contiguous, longer pill shape when the iPhone 14 Pro was in use until late August, a week after Apple’s iPhone event invitations went out, and that Apple also planned to integrate software functions around the pill until late August, a week after Apple’s iPhone event invitations went out.
As we now know, display pixels around what Apple calls the “Dynamic Island” on the iPhone 14 Pro models merge it into a single pill-shaped area that changes size and shape to accommodate various types of alerts, notifications, and interactions, transforming it into a kind of front-and-center information hub.
Which iPhone Models Feature Dynamic Island?
The Dynamic Island is only available for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The notch on the standard iPhone 14 models remains the same as it was on the iPhone 13 models.
What Can Dynamic Island Do?
Here’s a list of the various functions Dynamic Island can perform.
Dynamic Island: Display Outputs and Alerts
- Apple Pay transaction confirmations
- Privacy indicators when microphone or camera is in use
- AirDrop file transfers
- AirPods connection status and battery life
- iPhone charging status and battery life
- Low battery alerts
- Silent mode turned on or off
- Face ID unlocking
- Carkey locking/unlocking
- Apple Watch unlocking
- NFC interactions
- AirPlay connections
- Focus mode changes
- Shortcut actions
- Airplane mode/no data alerts
- SIM card alerts
- Accessories connect
- Find My alerts
Dynamic Island: Background Activities
- Upcoming and turn-by-turn Maps directions
- Incoming phone call and duration of call
- Time remaining of playing song
- Active timers
- Live Activity sports scores
- SharePlay sessions
- Screen Recording
- Voice memo recordings
- Personal Hotspot connection
Can I Interact With Dynamic Island?
Certain types of content displayed in the Dynamic Island can be interacted with. For example, if it displays something related to an app’s background activity, you can tap the Dynamic Island to go directly to that app.
In some cases, such as when media is playing, long pressing the Dynamic Island will bring up a widget with playback controls.
The Dynamic Island can also display multiple background activities at the same time, such as when a timer is counting down and you’re listening to music. When this occurs, the island divides into a larger pill-shaped area and a smaller circular area, allowing you to see and interact with both activities. You can switch between them and tap into them in the same way that you do with the standard Dynamic Island interface.
Overall, the Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro models is the type of impressive software-hardware integration that Apple is known for, and the ability of third-party developers to tap into its potential means we can expect new and unexpected features to emerge.
Furthermore, Dynamic Island will work with Live Activities in third-party apps when iOS 16.1 is released later in 2022, so there is plenty to look forward to.
Hardwick, T. (2022, September 19). IPhone 14 pro: What Dynamic Island does and how to use it. MacRumors. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from https://www.macrumors.com/how-to/use-dynamic-island-iphone-14-pro/