The iPhone 14 Pro comes with a host of new unique features such as a new 48MP sensor, Always on Display, and a new Dynamic Island. Dynamic Island is Apple’s attempt to blur the lines between hardware and software by covering the front display notch with a software overlay. This overlay is interactive and shows the current activity on your iPhone in real time. If you recently got your new device and want to make the most of the new Dynamic Island, then here’s how you can use it on your iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
When is Dynamic Island activated?
Dynamic Island comes to life every time there is some activity in the background that you would like to track in real time. These activities include things like incoming notifications, live activities, playing media in the background, and more. Depending on your nature, each supported action will be displayed in Dynamic Island, and then you can use special gestures to interact with it.
Apple uses existing APIs and software suites to display current activities in Dynamic Island. In addition, Dynamic Island has its own set of new animations designed to take advantage of the new ProMotion displays with refresh rates up to 120Hz. The animations feel much smoother compared to older devices, and the new physics for Dynamic Island help it feel alive when interacting with it.
How to use Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro
You can use Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max by running a supported background activity. Depending on your activity, you can use gestures to interact and manage ongoing activities directly from Dynamic Island without having to switch to a dedicated app, notification center, or control center. Let’s take a quick look at a few examples and how you can interact with and manage commonly used actions in Dynamic Island.
Step 1: Run a compatible action
The dynamic island remains static and non-interactive unless you have a compatible activity. So let’s try running a compatible action for this example. Let’s play some music for this example. Most music streaming apps are currently compatible with Dynamic Island as most of them use MPNowPlayingInfoCenter. For this example, we will play music on Spotify. However, you can use any music streaming app you prefer.
Once you have a song playing, just swipe up from the bottom to the top to minimize the app on your iPhone.
The dynamic island will now automatically come to life and show that music is currently playing in the background on your iPhone.
Now you can use the section below and interact with Dynamic Island on your iPhone.
Step 2: Use a dynamic island
As discussed above, Dynamic Island will come to life whenever a compatible activity occurs in the background. This includes Maps navigation, music playback, voice memo recording, call notifications, and more. Let’s take a look at some common activities and how you can manage and interact with them on your iPhone 14 Pro.
Music playback control
If your iPhone 14 Pro is playing music from a compatible app, you can minimize the app to view music playback in Dynamic Island. Dynamic Island will automatically expand to play music and show the album art for the current song to the left of your Dynamic Island. To the right of the dynamic island, a small signal will be shown that will correspond to the currently playing sound in real time.
Press and hold Dynamic Island to view playback controls for the currently playing song. Dynamic Island will expand and show you the music playback controls to help you control the media currently playing. Advanced Dynamic Island will show you the search bar, album art, waveform, play, pause, next, previous and Airplay icons. Now you can use these icons to control your music playback just like you would with any music streaming app.
You can click and drag the search bar to view the currently playing song.
Now, if you click on Dynamic Island, you will be automatically redirected to the app playing music on your iPhone. As soon as you pause or stop music playback, Dynamic Island will automatically return to its normal static state.
This is how you can control music playback with Dynamic Island on your iPhone.
Incoming call management
Incoming calls will be visible on your Dynamic Island when you use iPhone. Calls are usually displayed on the lock screen when you are not using your device. Once you receive a challenge, it will appear as follows on your Dynamic Island.
You can now click on the green icon to accept the call, or click on the red icon to end the call.
You can also swipe up on Dynamic Island to close the call notification.
Once you do this, the contact’s profile picture will be displayed to the left of Dynamic Island and the call indicator to the right. Your phone will continue to ring/vibrate as soon as you do this, depending on your current settings.
In addition, you can swipe left or right on a dismissed notification on your Dynamic Island to hide the contact’s profile picture for privacy reasons. The same gesture can help you switch between activities in Dynamic Island when you have two or more running in the background and end up getting a call.
To answer a rejected call, touch and hold your Dynamic Island.
Here’s how you can manage incoming calls with Dynamic Island.
During our testing, only Apple Maps supported interactive elements in Dynamic Island when navigating to a place. Google Maps and Waze show upcoming directions, but don’t yet have interactive controls or advanced views for Dynamic Island. This, however, may change with future updates, so if you prefer Waze or Google Maps, we recommend that you update your apps. Let’s take a look at how directions appear in Dynamic Island when using Apple Maps, and how you can interact with and manage them on your iPhone.
Open Apple Maps and start navigating to any location of your choice. Once you start navigating, swipe up from the bottom to collapse Apple Maps.
The app will automatically navigate to your Dynamic Island and display upcoming routes to the left of it.
Tap and hold on the Dynamic Island for a larger view. This will show you detailed directions and the option to ” Complete Route “.
Clicking ” End Route ” will end navigation instantly.
Tap Dynamic Island to return to the Apple Maps app if necessary.
This is how you manage routes on Dynamic Island when navigating with your iPhone 14 Pro.
Voice memo management
The Voice Memos app also allows you to use Dynamic Island to record voice memos whenever needed. This can come in handy if you want to jot down notes about what you’re viewing, writing, playing, etc. on your iPhone. This can be taken a step further by adding the Voice Memos Control Center module, which can then be used to navigate directly to the Voice Memos app from anywhere on your iPhone. Let’s take a quick look at voice memos in Dynamic Island.
Open the Voice Memos app and tap the Record button to start recording a voice note.
Now swipe up to minimize the app. The app will automatically navigate to your Dynamic Island.
A waveform confirming real-time audio input will appear to the left of your dynamic island. The recorded time will be displayed to the right of your dynamic island.
Now click on Dynamic Island to return to the Voice Memos app if needed. Press and hold Dynamic Island to view additional controls without returning to the Voice Memos app.
You will now be shown an expanded input sound form, as well as a stop button. Tap the stop icon to stop recording a voice memo if necessary.
While recording, the Dynamic Island window will be red. When you stop recording, the voice memo information in Dynamic Island will turn white. There will also be a check mark to the right of Dynamic Island, indicating that your recording has been stopped and saved.
This information will be automatically deleted if you do not touch it. Clicking on it will take you to the corresponding entry in the Voice Memos app.
This is how you manage your recordings in Dynamic Island when using the Voice Memos app.
Dynamic island gestures for multiple activities
You may wonder what happens when you have multiple supported activities running in the background. In such cases, your dynamic island will be divided into two parts, allowing you to view each activity separately. You can then use gestures to switch and interact with those actions as needed. Let’s see what happens when you play music while navigating on iPhone 14 Pro.
As you can see, the large cutout in Dynamic Island currently shows the directions, and the smaller tablet next to it contains the currently playing music. Actions are automatically prioritized in the background and assigned to a larger or smaller tablet depending on the data you might need immediately.
To switch or view an expanded view of any activity, touch and hold the corresponding tablet.
To close a secondary activity, swipe left on it.
As you can see, the currently playing music is no longer visible in Dynamic Island, although it is still playing in the background.
To view the secondary action again, swipe down from the dynamic island.
Similarly, you can make a secondary activity your primary by dragging the primary activity onto the secondary.
Note. Some actions in our testing, such as Navigation, take precedence and cannot be hidden by making the primary action a secondary one. So we’ve used music and a timer in the example below.
As you can see, the timer is now our main activity and the music is hidden in the background.