Like everybody else, I laughed when Apple called its new notch replacement "Dynamic Island": it sounds like somewhere crypto bros would go to for a conference, or where Instagram influencers go on their holidays.
But Dynamic Island has grown on me, and while it's more invasive than the dreaded notch – it sits lower down in the display, and as a result doesn't fade into the case as the notch does – Apple's playful approach to it, with it becoming a status indicator and a Face ID notification and no doubt all kinds of amusing things once app developers get to play with it, has already won me over on my iPhone 14 Pro. It's fun, and I love it when tech is fun.
Why Dynamic Island should be on every iPhone 15
According to display analyst Ross Young (as spotted by MacRumors (opens in new tab)), the Dynamic Island will come to every iPhone 15 – although there will still be differences between models to justify the higher price tags of the Pro and Ultra. The smooth ProMotion tech may not filter down to the entry level models just yet, and that could mean Always On is reserved for the Pro/Ultra.
Standardising on the Dynamic Island definitely makes sense, though. I've spotted some interface weirdness in iOS 16 on my iPhone 14 Pro where places such as the widget screen aren't yet optimised for the new display, leaving a bit of a mess. For Apple, and more importantly for app developers, it's much easier to cater for different display sizes if you don't also have to design for and test on completely different display layouts.
Today, iOS 16 supports iPhones going back to the 2nd generation iPhone SE and the iPhone 8 – and that means developers have to design not just for screens of 4.7 inches, 5.5 inches, 5.85 inches, 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches but also phones without notches, phones with big notches, phones with smaller notches and phones with Dynamic Island too. The number of screens will reduce over time as Apple phases out more models; it'd make sense to standardise the layouts too. Why should Pro buyers have all the fun?