How to use Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
Good news! Apple has finally made an iPhone model without a notch. In its place on the latest generation iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models is something called Dynamic Island. Let’s see what it does and how to use it.
What is Dynamic Island?
Dynamic Island is a unique blend of software and hardware that uses a technology called subpixel anti-aliasing to create a dedicated space for various tasks, indicators, and live activities on your iPhone.
It’s nerd language for “Apple found a clever way to hide the front camera and Face ID array while adding additional software features to a pill-shaped region on the screen.”
How to interact with Dynamic Island
Dynamic Island provides a consistent, unobtrusive experience for tasks like setting a timer, answering an incoming phone call, checking in with Apple Pay, connecting your AirPods, and controlling your music. There are two main ways to interact with Dynamic Island while managing on-screen activities:
- A tap: Instantly opens the corresponding application for which Dynamic Island displays a status.
- A long press: expands to reveal commands relevant to the application for which the dynamic island is displaying a state.
Understanding Privacy Indicators in the Dynamic Island
In iOS 16, Apple places color-coded dot indicators in the middle of the dynamic island on the latest iPhone Pro models. It gives users more control over their privacy by notifying them when an app can access in-vehicle hardware sensors without their knowledge. Learn what each dot indicator represents and how to identify which apps are accessing your data:
- Orange dot indicator: An app is currently using your iPhone’s microphone.
- Green dot indicator: An app currently only uses your iPhone’s camera or camera and microphone.
To identify apps requesting sensor data from your iPhone:
- Access Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen.
- Tap the app name with privacy glyphs next to it to view a report. In this example, we tapped on “Instagram”, which revealed that the photo-sharing app recently requested access to our location and camera.
Tasks and activities that work with Dynamic Island
The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max currently support a total of 41 apps and features. App-specific controls and information will automatically expand when you need to access them and shrink when you’re done using them.
The powerful new display engine in the A16 chip works in concert with the high refresh rate display to make Dynamic Island animations incredibly compelling and up to three times sharper than other iOS animations.
In fact, there’s already evidence showing that the new iPhone 14 Pro Max beats the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in a number of silicon benchmarks. Here is a complete list of what you can do with the dynamic island:
System notifications and alerts
- Incoming call
- Connected AirPods
- Face ID
- Pay Apple
- car key
- Unlock the watch
- Low battery
- Silent ON/OFF switch
- NFC interactions
- Focus changes
- Airplane mode/no data alert
- SIM card alerts
- Accessories connect
- find my
- Call in progress
- Music/Apps currently playing
- Access maps
- Voice Memos
- Screen recording
- personal hotspot
- Microphone indicator
- Camera indicator
- Amazon Music
- NPR one
- youtube music
- the voice of google
Point: If your Dynamic Island displays a SIM card alert, you may need to transfer and activate eSIM on your iPhone 14. Note that iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models sold in the United States do not have dedicated SIM card slots and only work with eSIMs.
How to answer incoming phone calls with Dynamic Island
- When you receive a phone call, the dynamic island expands to reveal the familiar Accept and Decline buttons next to the caller’s name or phone number.
- If you accept the call, the dynamic island shrinks to reveal the duration of the call and a live audio waveform. The orange audio waveform represents your voice, while the green audio waveform represents the voice of the caller.
- You can tap the call banner to immediately launch the Phone app, or long-press it to reveal the “hang up” button and audio output controls, which include the ability to activate the speakerphone without having to open the phone. Phone app. The long press interface is highlighted below.
How to manage music playback with Dynamic Island
- When listening to a song in the Music app or any app that supports Apple’s now playing interface, swipe down the app from the bottom of the screen. Your content, including album art or thumbnails, will crash into a dedicated media player icon reminiscent of the old iTunes MiniPlayer.
- Tap the dynamic island to launch the corresponding app that plays the audio or long press it to display the playback controls shown below. You can access play, pause, forward, rewind and audio output settings from the long press interface. To connect to AirPods, Apple TV, or wireless speakers, tap the AirPlay icon (circled in red).
Point: If you want to test the playback controls in the Music app using Dynamic Island, learn how to get Apple Music for free.
How to manage two tasks at once using the dynamic island
You can use Dynamic Island to track multiple tasks at once by launching another supported application and then launching another activity. In this example, we’ve started a timer while a song is playing in the Music app. Notice how the timer icon detaches from the dynamic island to reveal an actionable button. You can press the pill-shaped or circular button to launch the Music app or the Clock app. Long press either button to show more commands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Dynamic Island with third-party apps from the App Store?
Not yet, but coming soon iOS 16.1 will allow third-party app developers to publish experiences purpose-built for Dynamic Island using Apple’s Live Activities API. Apple has already introduced expanded features for Dynamic Island, including rideshare status information for Lyft and live score tracking for sports games.
I see an orange square icon in the dynamic island. What does it mean?
The circular orange privacy indicator representing microphone access can sometimes appear as a square if users have enabled “Distinguish Without Color” in the Settings app. You can change the icon to a circle by visiting “Settings -> Accessibility -> Display & Text Size”.
I’m having trouble reaching the dynamic island. How can I make it more accessible?
When using your iPhone in portrait (vertical) orientation with one hand, the accessibility feature can lower the top half of the screen to help you reach user interface elements with your thumb. On iPhone models with Face ID, including iPhone 14 models, you can swipe down on the bottom edge of the screen to turn on Accessibility. Starting with iOS 16.1, which is due later this fall, you’ll be able to use Reachability to reduce Dynamic Island. Since the Dynamic Island is a mixture of hardware and software, Accessibility will temporarily clone the Dynamic Island using a software simulation to help you access it.
Image credit: James Yarema via Unsplash. All screenshots taken by Brahm Shank.
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