Even when most smartphones ditched notches in displays, Apple refused to kill its wide notch. That changed with the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. The notch is no longer attached to the top of the display but is now floating a few millimetres below. Though it's not an innovation worth writing about, what Apple has done with the floating notch deserves all the attention.
Apple is calling it Dynamic Island and it's the smartest makeover given to an otherwise dull notch. Sure, it still packs the FaceID setup, but that's not what we're here to discuss. Apple has also managed to put the proximity sensor under the display, which could be an indication that someday the entire FaceID setup would go underground and make the notch disappear. That's a story for another day.
New way to interact
There's a lot happening around the new Dynamic Island, complete with crafted animations and transitions. The island expands softly to display notifications, which can even be interacted with. With one feature, Apple has eliminated the need to pull down the notification panel and even launch running apps from the background.
Dynamic Island is always running and shows background activities. If music is being played, it will show a tiny music animation on one side and the artist's picture on the other end. When you tap and hold it, you'll get controls like pause, skip forward, etc. That same goes for various apps like Maps, timer and many third-party apps in IOS 16 that provide information like sports scores and ride-sharing with Live Activities.
"With the introduction of Dynamic Island, the TrueDepth camera has been redesigned to take up less of the display area. Without impeding content on the screen, the Dynamic Island maintains an active state to allow users easier access to controls with a simple tap-and-hold," Apple says.
Interestingly, when there are two apps running live in the background, the Island splits to show separate notifications.