The Dynamic Island UI seen in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max was the end result of years of discussion, revealed Apple VP of Human Interface Design Alan Dai.
Software engineering head Craig Federighi said that the new user interface was biggest change to iOS since those required for the iPhone X …
Dynamic Island UI
With the iPhone 14, Apple shrunk the module containing the front camera, Face ID tech, and more. The company also moved the module from a notch at the top of the screen to two cutouts in the status bar. Most of the time, the Face ID and camera cutouts are disguised as a single pill-shaped area, which Apple calls the Dynamic Island.
The genius of Apple’s design was turning a necessity – a lost area of display – into a clever user interface feature. The island expands sideways, downwards, or both, to display dynamic content based on both system alerts and live activities.
We recently listed the 30 different uses Apple makes of the Dynamic Island, and provided a detailed look at how the feature works.
Result of years of discussion
The two execs were interviewed by Japan’s Axis.
Alan Dai said that the company had been planning for years on reducing the size of the module, and asking itself how they could best take advantage of the change.
At Apple, it’s very difficult to trace the source of ideas. Because our work is based on a huge discussion with different groups of people. However, one of those discussions was that if the sensor area on the screen could be made smaller, what could be done with the surplus space? It’s not an argument that has come out in the past year or so, but it’s one of the topics that has been discussed for many years.
Dai added that the company had already been thinking about how to get more creative with the status bar.
If you think about it, this status bar is small, but it plays a role in providing important information that users always use. It is an area where our hard work put into around a few pixels has a very big effect. So, there was a story about doing something more special in this area anyway. Something that is very elegant, yet very useful.
Biggest iOS change since the iPhone X
Federighi looked back to the launch of the iPhone X, which required the company to rethink quite a few aspects of how the user interface would work without a physical Home button. He said that the Dynamic Island was the biggest change to iOS since then.
Five years ago, we lost the home button with the iPhone X. This has fundamentally changed various iPhone operation methods, such as how to unlock the lock screen, return to the home screen, and how to switch apps.
This new feature has also changed the appearance of the iPhone, and it made me think again about how to run multiple apps, notifications, and how to manage the ongoing behavior in the background. It was a very exciting challenge for us to consolidate what is happening on our iPhone into this small interactive place.
The video below shows a number of the Dynamic Island UI animations.