Skip to main content

Apple comes clean with what it really thinks about iPhone 14’s Dynamic Island

Two Apple higher-ups have spoken candidly in an interview about their thoughts on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max’s new Dynamic Island. The new feature has been a major shakeup to the iPhone experience, and both Craig Federighi and Alan Dye — Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering and vice president of human interface design, respectively — seem to know it.

In an interview with Japanese publication Axis, Federighi said that the shock and surprise seen in the audience when the Dynamic Island was initially revealed at the Apple “Far Out” showcase was “the same as when we first saw the feature inside Apple.” He explains that after he was introduced to the Dynamic Island, he felt like the iPhone took on a “new, living identity.”

Three iPhone 14 Pro models showing the Dynamic Island, being presented by Apple's Alan Dye.

Federighi also said that the Dynamic Island is “the first major operation change in five years since the iPhone X came out.” When referencing the iPhone X, he explains how getting rid of the home button completely changed the way that users interacted with the phone on nearly every level. Without a home button, accessing the lock screen, the home screen, and apps was going to require Apple to spend a lot of time reworking some of its most tried and true systems.

In a similar vein, the Dynamic Island has also fundamentally changed the ways that users engage with their devices, and Dye says that it didn’t just happen overnight. He explains that the creative process at Apple leans heavily on conversation and that the discussions surrounding a major changeup to the top section of the iPhone have been happening for years.

Dye explains that the conversations that eventually led to the creation of the Dynamic Island were stuck for a long time on trying to redesign the status bar at the very top of the screen. The status bar provides crucial information such as battery life, the time, and your service connection, but, as Dye says, “the breakthrough moment was when I realized that the (Dynamic Island) animation didn’t have to be limited to the status bar area.” Essentially, the realization that the Dynamic Island could be able to grow and shrink depending on what it’s being asked to do was what really let the idea take off — which is also what makes it such a unique piece of iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island showing the timer and music playing.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

While it seems like it could solely be described as a major update to iOS, Dye views it as a sort of middle ground where software and hardware meet. He thinks Apple has done “a good job of erasing the boundaries between hardware and software” thanks to how fluid the transitions are with the Dynamic Island.

Overall, it seems like the pair are satisfied with how the new feature has turned out. Fan reaction to the Dynamic Island has been mostly positive, which is good, as it seems like it won’t just be reserved for Pro iPhone models in future releases.

Editors' Recommendations

Peter Hunt Szpytek
A podcast host and journalist, Peter covers mobile news with Digital Trends and gaming news, reviews, and guides for sites…
Does the iPhone 15 have an overheating problem? Here’s what we know
Someone holding the Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 series have been launched with much fanfare, but it seems that not all users are completely satisfied with the new handsets. Despite the many improvements and new features that come with these phones, users of both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 have taken to social media to complain about overheating issues.

While this may not be a cause for immediate alarm, it is certainly something that Apple and its team of engineers will need to monitor closely, assuming there is a system-wide problem, which there might not be. The last thing anyone wants is for the new phones to become a safety hazard or for users to suffer damage to their devices.

Read more
4 things Android phones still do better than the iPhone 15
Clockwise from top: natural titanium iPhone 15 Pro, Nothing Phone 2, green iPhone 15, and Obsidian Black Google Pixel Fold.

The Apple iPhone 15 lineup is here, which includes the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The Dynamic Island and USB-C are now available across the lineup, the standard models get a big camera boost to 48MP, the Pros get the new Action button, and the Pro Max even has a fancy new tetraprism telephoto lens for 5x optical zoom.

While all of this sounds impressive, Apple’s iPhone lineup is still behind the competition. Android phones have had some of these features for a while now — and even do some things a lot better.
Faster USB-C charging

Read more
Here’s what iOS 17’s coolest feature looks like in action
Apple NameDrop in action.

Apple has rolled out iOS 17 globally, and if you’ve already installed it, you might be surprised by the lack of visual pizazz that it offers. That observation isn’t far from reality. With the exception of StandBy mode, which essentially turns your iPhone into a glorified smart display while charging, there really isn’t much of a visual wow factor here.

But if you dig deeper, you will find that Apple really flexed its design muscles at the most basic level — telephony. With iOS 17, Apple introduced Contact Posters. Think of them as a digital identity card, one that allows a heap of styling and really lights up your call screen.

Read more