iPhone 14 Pro hands-on: Don’t call it a notch

Today was a farewell day at Apple’s Far Out iPhone launch event. Apple has not only done away with the iPhone mini variant, but also abandoned the notch on the iPhone 14 Pro in favor of a pill-shaped cutout. The company calls this the “dynamic island” at the top of the screen. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max also have brighter screens and offer an Always On Display so you can always see your most important information. I spent some time with the new devices at the Apple event in Cupertino and have to say that while the dynamic island still feels a lot like a notch, it also seems a lot more useful.

The difference is that the UI now makes better use of space by displaying various information on it. When I started a countdown in the Timer app or played a song on Apple Music, the island would show an orange dot to indicate something happened. Then when I exited the app, the island displayed a waveform to indicate that my voice recorder was still running or that music was playing. When I long-pressed the island during one of these activities, the panel expanded to reveal more controls.

For example, Apple Music has been enhanced to show the playback progress bar and rewind, pause, and skip buttons below it. Controls to stop countdowns and recordings have appeared for Timer and Voice Memo. The software cleverly camouflages the camera hole here so that it never interrupts the content and is hidden in this area of ​​empty black space.

When nothing was going on, a long press on the dynamic island resulted in a slight stretch animation and slight haptic feedback. If you look closely at the pill, you can also see the 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera underneath to the right.

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Russell Falcon

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