Understand how Dynamic Island works, the great novelty of the iPhone 14 Pro

With the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, Apple has finally introduced its end-of-the-notch solution, Dynamic Island, a pill-shaped cutout on the screen fully integrated into iOS 16, which shows notifications, alarms or activities, without get you out of what you’re doing in the app that’s open.


Dynamic Island shows call in progress / Disclosure: Apple

The interesting thing is that Dynamic Island not only allows the user to instantly know various information, but it is also a contextual feature, which displays what is relevant at the right time, and also allows the user to interact with this information directly in it.

Dynamic Island works not only with Apple apps like Maps, Clock or Apple Music, but also with third-party apps that can use the feature to display notifications. That way, it’s easy to know when Uber is coming, or your purchases will be delivered, as well as tracking sports scores.

Dynamic Island shows link with active notification / Disclosure: Apple

For example, when someone calls you, Dynamic Island will occupy the side extension of the iPhone to catch the user’s attention, but without taking away his main focus of work, the app he is currently working on. Likewise, when using Face ID to make an authentication or payment, Dynamic Island also extends.

The video below shows how Dynamic Island works.

Dynamic Island is only made possible by the iPhone 14 Pro’s new TrueDepth camera

In previous generations of the iPhone, the TrueDepth camera set took up more space, which required the presence of the notch. With the notch, the amount of information that could be shown on the top bar of the iPhone was reduced, which ended up affecting the functionality of the device itself.

The new generation of the TrueDepth camera used in the Pro models of the iPhone line eliminated the notch, but also added new features and interaction possibilities. Thus, I believe that the solution found by Apple with Dynamic Island was as elegant as it was functional.

A brief history of the notch

Apple used the notch for the first time in 2017 with the iPhone X, to house the selfie camera and also the new feature of this model, Face ID, which replaced Touch ID. It was kept pretty much the same dimensions, but the iPhone 13 had a slightly smaller notch, but nothing too significant.

In March of that year, we learned that it would be replaced in the iPhone 14 Pro line by a leak, which showed two cutouts, one in the shape of a pill and the other circular, for the selfie camera, a prediction that proved to be correct.

What no one imagined was that Apple would choose to keep the two cutouts together by leaving their brains black on the screen, as well as the new animations and forms of interaction.

Dynamic Island with screen off shows two clippings

Dynamic Island comparison with screen on and off
Dynamic Island comparison with the screen on and off / Disclosure: Apple

Dynamic Island may look like a single pill-shaped cutout, but in fact there are two, one in this horizontal format, in which Face ID is located, and the other, a traditional circular cutout with the new TrueDepth camera, for the first time reduced the enough to fit in that space.

Thus, all the “magic” of Dynamic Island happens with the screen on, and it is done by software, that is, by iOS 16 and by its OLED screen, which shows black colors that are indistinguishable from the hardware cutouts. Of course, I need to test the new iPhones 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max to see how this new feature works in practice, but I can already say that I found the solution quite ingenious, and for me Apple nailed it with Dynamic Island.

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And when will Brazilian users be able to test the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max with Dynamic Island? We already know how much they will cost around here, but the exact release date has not yet been announced by Apple. On its website, Apple says that “iPhone 14 Pro has arrived, check availability soon”, so it shouldn’t take too long.

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The article is in Portuguese

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