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How the iPhone 14 Pro’s dynamic island works
No man is an island, but your next iPhone just might be.
The iPhone 14 Pro's notch replacement - the dynamic island - is easily the new handset's most interesting feature. Blending hardware and software, the weirdly-named pill-shape effectively becomes a persistent UI element, foregrounding what you’d typically call a background task.
iPhone 14 Pro 128GB plans (36 months)
iPhone 14 Pro 128GB plans (24 months)
iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB plans (36 months)
iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB plans (24 months)
For example, if you're listening to a song in the Music app, the dynamic island will widen to show you the album art and a waveform.
Tapping the dynamic island will then open up the Music app, or alternatively, long pressing it will bring up a pop-up with playback controls. Importantly, this pop-up won't take you out of what you're currently doing.
Starting another dynamic island compatible task will see it appear in a circle to the right of the pill. Take, for example, the timer below.
If you have more than two apps that support the dynamic island working away in the background, the two more recent apps will be highlighted in the island. In this instance, navigation directions have taken over the main pill, while a shortcut to Apple Music sits on the right.
The dynamic island is also the new home to the green and orange lights that appear if your phone camera or microphone are being used.
What apps support the dynamic island?
Initially, it seems like it will largely be Apple-made apps that support the dynamic island. Third-party developers will also be able to make their apps utilise the dynamic island, and we know flight tracking app Flightly and US ride-sharing app Lyft will both do so. You'll also be able to use the dynamic island to keep track of sports scores.
In addition to apps, the dynamic island also works with some system functionality. For example, it will morph into a square when you're confirming an Apple Pay payment, it will show charging information, you can use it to see your AirPods battery, it's where you'll answer or decline incoming phone calls, and it's the new home of Siri.