Apple surprised many with its innovative integration of software functions with the pill-shaped cutout at the top of the screen, which it called the "Dynamic Island." The article explains how it works and how you can interact with it.

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What Is Dynamic Island and How Does It Work?

We were told that Apple was working on an alternative to the notch that included a pill-shaped cutout and a hole punch cutout to house the TrueDepth camera hardware.

It wasn't until late August, a week after Apple's event invitations went out, that we exclusively reported these cutouts would appear as one contiguous, longer pill shape when the iPhone 14 Pro was in use.

On the iPhone 14 Pro models, the "Dynamic Island" is merged into one pill-shaped area that changes size and shape to accommodate various types of notifications and interactions.

Which iPhone Models Feature Dynamic Island?

Only the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are allowed on the Dynamic Island. The same notch is offered in the standard iPhone 14 models.

What Can Dynamic Island Do?

There are many 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?

The Dynamic Island has some types of content that can be interacted with. If it shows something related to an app's background activity, you can use the Dynamic Island to switch into the associated app.

When media is playing, you can long press the Dynamic Island to bring up a screen with controls for replay.

The Dynamic Island can display multiple background activities at the same time, such as when a timer is counting down and when you're listening to music. You can see and interact with both activities when the island splits into two areas. The Dynamic Island interface allows you to swap between them and tap into them.

Final Thoughts

The ability of third-party developers to tap into the potential of the Dynamic Island means we can expect new and unexpected features to come out of it.

There will be more to look forward to with the release of Dynamic Island and Live Activities in third-party apps.