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With only a day following Apple’s “Far Out” event, questions still remain on the iPhone 14 notch, main among them being: what exactly is this new “dynamic island” concept?
The iPhone 14 line will indeed sport a notch, but its higher-end offerings will boast some additional features surrounding the long-standing cutout. For the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, a so-called Dynamic Island has become the new mainstay at the top of the screen.
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The pill-shaped iPhone notch has remained somewhat of a staple behind the product, but it does tend to diminish the smartphone’s overall screen real estate – if only a little bit. With iPhone 14, Apple is attempting to integrate new technologies together for a more interesting approach to the device’s interface. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but the premise does prove to be exciting.
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What is a notch on the iPhone?
For those unaware, the notch is simply the pill-shaped cutout found at the top of an iPhone’s display. The history behind it is actually quite interesting, as it spans several different smartphones before Apple integrated it into its own tech circa 2017.
The firm’s iPhone X would be its first product to feature the so-called notch, which hid within it various gadgetry, like a microphone, proximity sensor, front-facing camera, speaker, and more. The tech giant coined the notch its TrueDepth camera array.
While it has evolved over time, the iPhone notch has remained and while it might be a staple behind Apple’s products, it does tend to get in the way of the screen’s major real estate. Apple even reduced the size of the notch on its iPhone 13.
The iPhone X also alleviated the iPhone of its long-lasting home button, ensuring the device a far more elongated screen presence. Apple could be looking to do something similar with its iPhone 14 notch, simultaneously delivering a fresh new design in line with additional screen presence.
Does the iPhone 14 still have a notch?
The standard iPhone 14 line, which is dropping the “mini” designation in favor of keeping things a bit more streamlined, will feature a redesigned notch that rests closer to the top of the display. This means that when watching full-screen videos on either the base iPhone 14 or Plus model the cutout won’t be too obtrusive, which is a rather nice touch on Apple’s new hardware.
As for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, the firm has also announced a redesign that goes a bit farther in its tech wizardry.
What is the iPhone 14 dynamic island?
Apple debuted the new Dynamic Dsland feature for the iPhone 14 Pro line amid its “Far Out” event, highlighting how it takes the notch concept to a whole new level. Much like its predecessors, the cutout is shaped like a small pill at the top of the screen, yet this time it can mold into new sizes, showing users incoming calls, connected devices, GPS activity, and much more.
The Dynamic Island blends both hardware with software to deliver a fantastic new way of approaching the iPhone 14’s user interface. It also acts as a way for Apple to hide such technologies as the front-facing camera in a more interesting capacity, but as Linus of Linus Tech Tips notes, “it also pretty much guarantees that you’re going to have fingerprints all over your front-facing camera.”
Not too bad of a sacrifice for some interesting new feats at the top of your display. The Dynamic Island will, in theory, streamline various user activities across the device while in other apps, alerting users on AirPods battery life, currently playing music, sports scores, navigation, and so much more. The sky is practically the limit when it comes to Apple’s Dynamic Island.
iPhone 14 notch size
The size of the notch across all four models is relatively the same, only the standard and Plus options share a similar design ethos with the iPhone 13. The notch is connected to the top of the screen, so the cutout seems somewhat uniform with the outer shell, whereas, on the iPhone 14 Pro line, the Dynamic Island is a bit more pronounced and can literally change its shape when necessary.
Users themselves can also alter the shape of the island at any time for specific tasks. No longer is it just sitting there being an incumbrance, now Apple has integrated the notch into the iPhone 14 Pro experience.
iPhone 14 notch comparison
Comparatively, while the Dynamic Island concept proves to be quite interesting, the base iPhone 14 and Plus prove to be better equipped for full-screen viewing activities. Below is a gallery comparison of the two devices while viewing full-screen videos, and the new notch’s interference shows quite plainly.
While it’s nothing incredibly substantial, it adds weight to the Dynamic Island concept in that it could be even more dynamic when in full-screen video mode, with users being able to make it smaller for such use cases. And, it’s not like the notch on the mid-range iPhone 14s don’t also get in the way of the video, too, it’s just far less noticeable and a bit more pleasant of an experience.
All in all, they appear to be somewhat similar in size, but it’s clear iPhone 14 Pro users will be getting a lot more out of the notch. It might not be for everyone, but it definitely adds some newness to the concept and may well ensure to make everyday usage all the more streamlined.
We’ll see how far Apple’s new Dynamic Island can go when the iPhone 14 Pros drop on September 16th.