Apple’s Dynamic Island

Amanda Silberling, TechCrunch:

That awkward cutout is a still-awkward, pill-shaped cut-out at the top of the iPhone 14 Pro screen. But now, the notch actually serves a dual purpose. In this new design, Apple dubs the cut-out/notch a “dynamic island.”

As Gavin Nelson says, this is a great example of working with a constraint rather than ignoring it. It is a smart, effective way to use the area around and between the cutouts.

Interestingly, until just before WWDC, the Human Interface Guidelines read:

Don’t mask or call special attention to key display features. Don’t attempt to hide a device’s rounded corners, sensor housing, or indicator for accessing the Home screen by placing black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Don’t use visual adornments like brackets, bezels, shapes, or instructional text to call special attention to these areas, either.

Apple’s advice to developers was to, in effect, simply ignore the notch and pretend it does not exist. But then WWDC this year brought a brand new HIG and, while we were all distracted by its redesign, Apple subtly updated its layout guidance to remove restrictions on how to deal with sensor housings. Now, Apple simply advises designers and developers to “[r]espect key display and system features in each platform” by following its recommended safe areas.