How the iPhone 14 Pro’s dynamic island works

No man is an island, but your next iPhone just might be.

Alex Choros
Group Reviews Editor
Read More
September 09, 2022
1 min read

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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

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.

Dynamic island

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.

Dynamic island

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.

Dynamic island

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.

Dynamic island

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.

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
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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.

Which devices have a dynamic island?

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max both have a dynamic island. The standard iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus have the classic non-interactive notch instead.

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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