The iPhone's dynamic island almost didn't look like the one that shipped with the iPhone 14 Pro

A new report claims that Apple's iPhone 14 Pro nearly had a very different Dynamic Island than the one that shipped to customers in 2022.

1 minute & 41 seconds read time

When Apple announced the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max back in September of 2022 there was one big change that captured the attention. The Dynamic Island had been leaked to some extent, so its arrival wasn't entirely unexpected. But we didn't know quite what it would do or what it would look like. That's ancient history today and while the iPhone 14 missed out on the Dynamic Island, it was present in the following year's iPhone 15. But according to one new report, the Dynamic Island could have been very different indeed.

That report comes via MacRumors and is reportedly based on information gleaned from unspecified sources. According to the report, Apple was very much undecided on how the Dynamic Island would work and in one example, it wasn't even part of the area that hides the selfie camera and Face ID mechanics, either. The Dynamic Island that shipped dynamically adjusts its size and shape to both hide the holes in the display for various cameras and sensors as well as give Apple somewhere to place notifications and information. But one example put all of that down the side of the phone.

The iPhone's dynamic island almost didn't look like the one that shipped with the iPhone 14 Pro 01

That ditched Dynamic Island idea moved the time, cellular signal strength, Wi-Fi, and more to the side of the phone via a software-based notch that protruded from the side of the device. When not visible, the area would disappear leaving users without anywhere to see such information at a glance - including the time.

Apple also considered moving the entire iPhone display down by placing a software-based bezel around the top of the display. That was ultimately ditched, too.

The report says that Apple also considered a Dynamic Island that was permanently elongated at the top of the screen before deciding that it would make better use of space if it could shrink when it wasn't needed.

Ultimately, the Dynamic Island that shipped appears to have been the better of the options Apple came up with so it's no surprise this is the route it took. As for what comes next, rumors suggest that Apple is working to put the camera and Face ID technology beneath the display, opening up the top of the display for an even more useful Dynamic Island that wouldn't be constrained by having to hide the cameras and sensors. That isn't expected to happen until at least next year and even then it's likely to be a tweak that is limited to the Pro iPhones initially.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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