Apple: Defying gravity with Dynamic Island
🤔 Is there anything you don't like about our company's products?
Although this question is a detour from the main focus of the blog, I'm happy to give it a shot. The latest iPhones — the iPhone 14, Plus, Pro, and Pro Max, look like standard iPhones, except for one interesting change in the Pro models:
The notch on top of the display is gone, replaced by a pill-shaped “Dynamic Island.” Apple calls it that because it does more than just sit there. It’s an animated thingy that adapts to different activities, showing you notifications and other information about what’s happening on your phone. The Dynamic Island is interactive, meaning you can touch it to expand it into a larger bubble with more information. (Source: mashable.com)
Clearing up a few things first. The aesthetics of this new thing and its interactions look far better than the notch. I appreciate the ‘notifications’ part of it but loathe the ‘interactions’ part of it.
Things were simpler before the ‘touch-screen’ phones. We had buttons. And guess where the buttons were placed? The lower half of the mobile phone. Why so? Apparently, people hold their phones in such a way that using their fingers in the lower half is convenient. Remember BlackBerry?
I still remember the 2007 presentation where Steve Jobs unveiled “one more thing”, the first iPhone. The company, Apple, has come a long way since then. The phone is now everything it could be, alas, not what it should be. The buttons are now everywhere on the screen. Try sending a simple text or email, editing a contact, or anything else, and you will find the “Done”, “Cancel”, “Send”, or similar mission-critical control in the upper corner of the screen. Even if not the worst thing, it certainly is a nuisance (aggravated by the discontinuance of the iPhone mini in favor of larger screen models).
And here is my problem with Apple’s Dynamic Island: it normalizes something that should be fixed.
I will still use an iPhone, but with something more to complain about. Android is the same. Blackberry is no more. The smartphone market is a tough one to crack, so it's not like new players can just jump in overnight. The real shake-ups are going to come from the big fish making some internal changes.
PS. Thank you for asking this and apologies if this came off as a rant. It's good to get things off our chests.