You probably already know that, earlier this month, Apple unveiled its latest iPhones — four of them to be exact. There are the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Basically, you can choose big or bigger, regular or Pro.
Usually, the difference between regular and Pro has to do with the cameras. There are more of them, for example, and they are usually more capable and of better quality.
This year, however, the Pro iPhones have something the regular version doesn’t, and it’s the biggest change to the iPhone since the iPhone X. That’s because the company replaced the iconic “notch” that housed the FaceID sensor and front-facing camera, and the replaced with what he calls Dynamic Island.
It’s basically a resizable blob that shows you information like directions or what song is playing or if you have a timer running in the background. It’s way cooler than I just made it sound.
Here’s how the company’s head of human interface, Alan Dye, described it during the keynote:
Our goal was to design a space that clearly and consistently displays notifications and background activity in a rich and pleasing way. The result is an entirely new and intuitive way to interact with iPhone — one that truly blurs the line between hardware and software.
It’s really cool, and it’s only going to get cooler as apps can take advantage of the new Live Activities feature in iOS 16.1, which is expected to be released in the near future. Apple is so proud of the feature, it even airs an ad during NFL football games to showcase it.
Think about it for a minute, Apple decided to run an ad showing off a feature of the iPhone 14 Pro, and the first thing it chose to promote isn’t the new 48MP camera, the always-on display, the new lock screens, or any of that. The first ad is about the cutout for the FaceID sensor and the front camera.
I think this is notable, given that Apple didn’t advertise the notch on previous versions of the iPhone. I’m sure it was never referred to by that name.
Of course, to be fair, Dynamic Island is a software feature, not a hardware design. It’s not the cutout, it’s what Apple does around the cutout. It’s a user interface that lets you take a look at information or even interact with apps running in the background.
The thing is, it’s a whole new way of interacting with your iPhone, and it’s something that no other smartphone has. Which is why having it as the focus of Apple’s first ad campaign is so surprising — is it the coolest new thing in smartphones since, I don’t know, Touch ID?
The ad does a fantastic job of portraying how playful and enjoyable it is. It almost makes your iPhone feel like it has a personality. It looks really cool because is very cool
Look, the iPhone is obviously Apple’s most important product. In some ways, it is the most important product made by any company. On its own, the iPhone is bigger than every other tech company except Amazon and Google. More people in the US own an iPhone than any other smartphone. She is almost entirely responsible for making Apple the most valuable company in the world.
The reason people love their iPhones is because of the overall experience of using one. This is because of the way everything works together. It’s because Apple is able to design the entire device and how the hardware and software work together—something no other smartphone maker can do. Well, technically Google makes both Android and the Pixel, but almost no one actually buys them, despite the fact that it’s a great device.
Here’s the thing – Dynamic Island really is the best of what Apple does. It’s the obvious thing to do with a sensor cutout, and yet, no one had ever thought of it before. Mainly, this is because no other manufacturer believes that device and software create a single experience.
It’s also the obvious thing to do with many of the interactions we have on an iPhone on a regular basis. If you’re listening to a podcast or music while doing anything else on your iPhone, there’s no direct way to control that experience. It requires you to pull down from the top to either access the Now Playing controls on the lock screen or to pull down the Control Center.
Or, if you’re emailing or scrolling through Twitter while waiting for an Uber, it only makes sense to be able to see when it’s arriving without having to open another app.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that Apple paid good money to highlight a feature you can only get on an iPhone 14 Pro. It’s Apple showing what only Apple can do, with a feature you can only get on their best flagship device. This is brilliant.