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In terms of hardware, the iPhone 14 Pro’s screen has two separate cutouts: one for the Face ID sensors and one for the front camera. However, Apple chose to use the OLED panel to make that area look like a single pill-shaped cutout by default. Dynamic Island can do more than that, though, as the cutout turns into larger maps that act as widgets.
Apple has worked on several implementations for Dynamic Island, and we’ve been able to reproduce them thanks to the iPhone Simulator – a tool that allows developers to try out iOS apps directly on a Mac.
How Dynamic Island works
One thing that’s impossible not to notice is how smooth Dynamic Island’s animations are. When you close an app that has Dynamic Island support, it goes directly to it. The cutout gets bigger depending on the action the app offers. For example, if you set a timer, iPhone will show real-time progress at the top of the screen.
A long press on Dynamic Island expands that app’s widget to include some basic controls. For timers, you can pause or stop them directly from Dynamic Island. The same goes for apps like Music and FaceTime. Some system actions, such as turning on a Focus mode or placing the iPhone in the charger, also trigger animations on Dynamic Island.
One of the non-detailed behaviors for Apple that we can see now is how Dynamic Island handles Picture-in-Picture videos. Unsurprisingly, you can’t drag a PiP window over the cutout. And even if you have a PiP window at the top of the screen, Dynamic Island will automatically move the content down.