The iPhone’s Dynamic Island is a bit boring, but boredom is okay

Last fall, Apple gave us Dynamic Island with all the usual hyperbole.

The new floating pill-shaped notch in the iPhone 14 Pro has been described as “magical”. It would enable “an entirely new iPhone experience.” While we take everything with a grain of salt from the company that introduced the Digital Crown as the eighth wonder of the world, the dynamic island looked promising at the time.

Looks good for beginners. In the right light, it really looks like the slit is expanding and contracting. It wasn’t widely shown in leaks or rumors leading up to the event either, so it surprised us. But after our first week with the dynamic island, it was hard to know what to do with it. Sure, it does a good job of telling you how long you’ve been on the phone or whether your AirDrop was successful. But other things – A bold new way to interact with your phone Stuff – depends on third-party app makers approving live activities and putting time-sensitive information into the Dynamic Island, and this won’t happen until later in the year.

At midyear, the concept was still promising, but its limitations were also more apparent. Watching the timer countdown at the top of your screen while you do other things on your phone is definitely helpful. Monitoring the arrival of your Uber car is also useful. But it became clear that despite Apple’s claims, the dynamic island was never meant to be a destination in itself.

For one thing, it’s often overshadowed by another feature introduced in the 14 Pro: the always-on display. When you have a timer or match score displayed in the dynamic island and you lock your phone, this information is delivered to the home screen. Most of the time, if I’m watching a match or watching a timer, that’s where I see it – not on the island.

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It’s just a useful tool that makes using your phone less annoying

And based on anecdotal evidence gathered from talking with friends and co-workers, the always-on display has been the most notable feature by far. People either hate it and disable it or find it distracting for a few days and then they get used to it. But they all are I noticed In a way they didn’t see the dynamic island, which they mostly noticed the first few times they plugged in their Airpods or scanned for Face ID. Then he faded straight into the background.

I don’t think we’ve seen everything a dynamic island can do. More apps will start using it, especially if the entire iPhone 15 lineup adopts the feature as rumors suggest. But it’s definitely not an exciting new way to interact with your phone — it’s just a handy tool along with some other new features that make using your phone less annoying. that’s good.

Browse the web and keep an eye on your timer – stylish! Do not change life.

All in all, it’s a step in the right direction. Apple is sometimes known to sacrifice ease of use for aesthetics, but Dynamic Island manages both: it looks beautiful And It’s useful. It would be good for Apple to remember the other, less attention-grabbing things we want, too. You know, a battery doesn’t degrade to 90 percent after a year. Or adopt a messaging protocol that allows me to send videos to my mom that don’t look like nonsense. Or more help managing the 9,000 app notifications I get every day.

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Impressive new UI features are the stuff keywords are made of, but the real magic is in the less exciting details. I hope there will be a lot of those in the iPhone 15, the excitement is overblown anyway.

Photography by Alison Johnson/The Verge

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