I was wrong about the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island – here’s why

The iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island was probably the biggest surprise of the iPhone 14 launch event in early September. We knew the iPhone 14 would have a new pill-shaped notch for the event. But we had no idea how Apple would “arm” it with software.

The pill notch is a necessary design compromise. But the dynamic island turned it into the most talked about new iPhone 14 feature. It’s a feature that Android app developers have already started copying.

Still, I said at the time that I’d rather turn off the screen distractions on my iPhone 14 Pro. I can do without the interactions that appear in the dynamic island. Two months later, I realized how much I actually like it, to the point where I took it for granted.

The dynamic island displays content from up to two apps with ongoing background activity. Many of Apple’s iPhone apps support Dynamic Island. More third party apps will do so and developers will adapt to the new technology.

In addition, there is support for Live Activities, which arrived in the iOS 16.1 update. This should further convince developers to customize their apps to display content on demand on the iPhone 14 Pro’s dynamic island.

Examples of dynamic island animations on iPhone 14 Pro.
Examples of dynamic island animations on iPhone 14 Pro. Image source: Apple Inc.

I’ve said before that I hardly ever interact with the dynamic island, but I’ve come to appreciate those interactions. The information displayed does not always require interaction either. Whether you like the animations or not, you get used to the dynamic island expanding and contracting.

Over time, I’ve come to appreciate it and take it for granted for a reason I hadn’t considered before: multitasking. The apps that appear in the iPhone 14 Pro software notch are often apps that require your attention.

For example, you might want to check the Uber you just booked without going into the iPhone’s multitasking menu. I can repeat the process as many times as I need for updates and then go back to what I was doing on the iPhone.

The same goes for tapping a new song’s album to find out what song it actually is. No more searching for the music app in the long list of open apps.

iPhone 14 Pro at Apple's September event.
iPhone 14 Pro at Apple’s September event. Image source: Apple

They may seem insignificant, but these rare interactions with the dynamic island are just awesome. The whole thing just works. The dynamic island saves you time and lets you focus on the app or activity you’re busy with.

Sure, it’s just a few seconds you shave here and there, but it’s still a nice feature that appeals to human nature. Ideally, we want everything to be done quickly and easily. We are also lazy and willing to use any available shortcuts.

That’s why I got it wrong on Dynamic Island when I thought I’d want to turn it off. It’s now an iPhone 14 Pro feature I take for granted, one I’d certainly miss if I switched to a regular notch model. And it’s a feature I don’t want to turn off anymore.

More iPhone Coverage: For more iPhone news, check out our iPhone 14 guide.