This is how Apple is making the iPhone notch less obtrusive

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First introduced with the iPhone X, the notch is one of Apple’s most divisive design decisions. But with the iPhone 14 Pro, the cutout that houses Apple’s front-facing camera and other sensors received an overhaul that should make it less distracting.

Introducing the Dynamic Island

No innovative iPhone feature would be complete without Apple branding, and for this redesign, Apple opted for the “Dynamic Island” moniker. Instead of a cutout that extends to the top of the screen, the new design uses a pill-shaped cutout in the iPhone 14 Pro’s OLED panel that now houses a variety of components.

iPhone 14 Pro cutout for Dynamic Island
Apple

That includes the front-facing FaceTime camera for selfies and video calls and all the TrueDepth sensors needed for Face ID (Apple’s facial recognition authentication system) and Portrait camera features to work.

To make this possible, Apple reduced the size of its TrueDepth sensors by 31% to make the cutout as small as possible. The proximity sensor now detects incoming light (and if your phone is pressed against the side of your face) from behind the screen, saving more space.

So far, this design doesn’t sound too different from what you’ll find on many competing Android smartphones, albeit with a few more sensors. But what makes Dynamic Island special is the way Apple has used its software to make the design useful.

Third-Party App Integration for iPhone 14 Pro
Apple

This is an advantage that Apple has over its rivals as it tightly controls the ecosystem. Only Apple software can be installed on an iPhone, allowing the company to improve the user experience by developing hardware and software in unison.

View Alerts, Control iPhone Features

Dynamic Island is an area at the top of the iPhone 14 Pro that expands to include the cutout at the top of the screen, making the entire face of the iPhone’s design useful. The cutout itself is a “dead” space in which nothing can be displayed on top of it, but it’s the way this void was incorporated into the design that makes the feature so remarkable.

Incoming call from iPhone 14 Pro on Dynamic Island
Apple

The area expands and collapses to display notifications and alerts, just as the notification area does on older devices. The dynamic island can also be used to control various features, such as Now Playing controls. Incoming calls will be displayed with answer and reject buttons, and during a call you will see the call indicator and a counter to show how long you have been talking.

iPhone 14 Pro AirPods connection indicator
Apple

If you’re using AirPods, you’ll see the “AirPods connected” indicator here too, along with the battery status on the other side of the cutout. The same goes for the Face ID that is displayed on iOS when you need to authenticate purchases and other apps. Turn-by-turn directions (both upcoming and those that require your immediate attention) will also appear here.

iPhone 14 Pro Now Playing Controls
Apple

Third-party apps can also make use of the area, allowing you to monitor the progress of background processes like requesting a rideshare (Apple used Lyft as an example). Over time, more apps will take advantage of this area to show you live updates on sports teams, breaking news, and more.

While the design isn’t exactly revolutionary, it’s a clever way to get the most out of the screen with software adaptations. Apple made a big splash by going “full screen” with the iPhone X, and Dynamic Island further realizes that ambition.

iPhone 14 Pro step-by-step directions
Apple

In addition to the great usefulness of the function, it also looks good. Smooth animations are used to zoom in and out at just the right time. Since the iPhone 14 Pro uses an OLED display, the area immediately surrounding the notch appears pitch black. This helps the sensor array “disappear” on the screen (although it’s not likely to be completely invisible, you’ll see the FaceTime camera looking back at you if you look close enough).

Apple’s big plan for the future?

Apple refers to Dynamic Island as “the biggest change to the face of the iPhone” since the iPhone X first appeared with its Face ID sensor array notch at the top of the screen. Now every iPhone sold except the iPhone SE has a notch that houses the front camera and TrueDepth sensors.

High-end flagships always get the cutting-edge features first. When the iPhone X redesign arrived, Apple launched it alongside the iPhone 8. We now have two levels of iPhone, with the iPhone 14 Pro (and its oversized sibling, the Pro Max) being the first to receive the Dynamic Island treatment.

iPhone 14 Pro Authentication Dynamic Island Face ID
Apple

With only two iPhone models using this feature, it could take a while for app developers to take full advantage of it. If the iPhone X redesign is anything to go by, it’s probably safe to assume that Apple plans to roll the feature out to all new iPhone models eventually. We might even see a smaller sensor array in future revisions.

Whether this will make it in time for next year’s iPhone 15 remains to be seen, but it’s hard to deny the usefulness of the feature. It’s a big step forward for multitasking on iPhone, letting you get useful information or control features of one app while using another.

Most of all, it should help quell some of the criticism Apple has faced over the notch, and even influence the design of future MacBook models, since both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro now have a notch.

Only on iPhone 14 Pro (for now)

If you want the latest and greatest iPhone features, you’re going to have to pay a lot for the latest and greatest model. For now, that’s either the $999 iPhone 14 Pro or the $1099 iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone 14 Pro camera system
Apple

This isn’t the only advantage you’ll get from spending big on Apple’s flagship device, as the iPhone 14 Pro is also the only 2022 iPhone model to receive a new system-on-chip in the form of the A16 Bionic, plus the best system. of camera that Apple has presented in an iPhone with a sensor of main camera of 48 megapixels.

The iPhone 14 Pro is arguably the best buy compared to the iPhone 14 if you want to upgrade your device often, as it has some real advances that are missing from the standard model.