Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro: How to use iPhone’s latest software trick


Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro And iPhone 14 Pro Max There are plenty of shiny new features, but the most noticeable is that Apple has reduced the “notch” cutout in the display and wrapped it around the screen, naming it the Dynamic Island.

Of course, Apple gave the camera cutouts a name so that the press and the public didn’t name it worse than the notch, as we’ve seen. iPhone X.

But what is so special about Dynamic Island? Well, Apple actually took two different cutouts — you can see them if you look closely at the screen when you rotate the phone — and created software that hides the camera modules, while making it interactive.

Don’t know what I mean? Let’s take a closer look.

Further: Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro brings the ultimate to life

Which apps use Dynamic Island?

There’s currently a short list of Apple apps that integrate with Dynamic Island, but it’s sure to grow in the future. You’ll see a fun animation on the island when you use Face ID to unlock your phone or plug it in to charge. But those are just two very basic interactions.

Open your favorite music app like Spotify or Apple Music and start playing a song. Then exit the app to keep it running in the background.

Photo by Jason Cipriani

Dynamic Island will start displaying the album art for the currently playing song with a sound wave animation on the right.

I’m constantly discovering new apps that use Dynamic Island, but currently, Phone, Maps, Clock, Maps, FaceTime, Apple Pay, Screen Recording, Hotspot Status, and AirPods Status Indicators are on the list.

Further: iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Which should you buy?

Dynamic Island in Pro Max

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

How to interact with applications that use a dynamic island

While you’re listening to music or a timer is active, the island doesn’t just act as a quick status update for that task — you can interact with the relevant app directly from the island itself.

For example, when listening to music, you can tap on the island to open the respective app, skip a track, go back, or make changes by pressing the play and pass button.

It’s pretty simple, but the dynamic island really shows its potential when you long press it.

Using the same example with music, a long press on the island opens up a shortcut to all the main controls you’d expect to control music playback. Airplay button.

But wait, there’s more. If you have two apps using Dynamic Island at the same time — say a timer in the Music and Clock app — the island will show animations for both tasks, with the timer indicated by the small animation on the right. You can use a single tap or long press conversation to interact with them for any app.

Beautifully elegant.

Further: iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Is the new iPhone worth the upgrade?

Live Actions feature on iPhone 14 Pro Max Dynamic Island

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

With iOS 16.1, Dynamic Island just gets better

With the release of iOS 16.1 on October 24, Apple added even more iPhone 14 Pros Dynamic Island is a new feature coming to all iPhone models called Live Activities.

Live Activities adds a live widget to the iPhone’s lock screen that updates regularly. For example, apps like Uber can use Live Actions to update your driver’s location after calling for a ride. Or sports apps can put game scores on your lock screen, updating scores or plays frequently.

The screenshots above are taken from it FotMob app. If you want an active game in the app, FotMob will add it to your lock screen. When you open your phone and actively use it, you will continue to see the score on the dynamic island. Long press the widget to see a larger version or tap it to launch the app. It’s really cool and I can’t wait for more apps to add support for it.

Review: iPhone 14 Pro Innovation Scorecard: Homeruns and Strikeouts

iOS 16.1 has a hidden gesture for Dynamic Island

Speaking of iOS 16.1, once you update your iPhone 14 Pro to Apple’s latest and greatest software, you’ll get the added option of interacting with the island by swiping over it.

If you have two apps open and active on the island, you can swipe toward the center of the screen to minimize one of the actions, or swipe back to completely hide everything on the island. Swipe towards the edge of the screen to bring back any functionality.

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