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Shawn Mordecai

Shawn Mordecai

Shawn Mordecai

Shawn Mordecai

1 month ago

The Apple iPhone 14 Pill is Easier to Swallow

Is iPhone's Dynamic Island invention or a marketing ploy?

First of all, why the notch?

When Apple debuted the iPhone X with the notch, some were surprised, confused, and amused by the goof. Let the Brits keep the new meaning of top-notch.

Apple removed the bottom home button to enhance screen space. The tides couldn't overtake part of the top. This section contained sensors, a speaker, a microphone, and cameras for facial recognition. A town resisted Apple's new iPhone design.

iPhone X with a notch cutout housing cameras, sensors, speaker, and a microphone / Photo from Apple

From iPhone X to 13, the notch has gotten smaller. We expected this as technology and engineering progressed, but we hated the notch. Apple approved. They attached it to their other gadgets.

Apple accepted, owned, and ran with the iPhone notch, it has become iconic (or infamous); and that’s intentional.

The Island Where Apple Is

Apple needs to separate itself, but they know how to do it well. The iPhone 14 Pro finally has us oohing and aahing. Life-changing, not just higher pixel density or longer battery.

Dynamic Island turned a visual differentiation into great usefulness, which may not be life-changing. Apple always welcomes the controversy, whether it's $700 for iMac wheels, no charging block with a new phone, or removing the headphone jack.

Apple knows its customers will be loyal, even if they're irritated. Their odd design choices often cause controversy. It's calculated that people blog, review, and criticize Apple's products. We accept what works for them.

While the competition zigs, Apple zags. Sometimes they zag too hard and smash into a wall, but we talk about it anyways, and that’s great publicity for them.

Getting Dependent on the drug

The notch became a crop. Dynamic Island's design is helpful, intuitive, elegant, and useful. It increases iPhone usability, productivity (slightly), and joy. No longer unsightly.

The medication helps with multitasking. It's a compact version of the iPhone's Live Activities lock screen function. Dynamic Island enhances apps and activities with visual effects and animations whether you engage with it or not. As you use the pill, its usefulness lessens. It lowers user notifications and consolidates them with live and permanent feeds, delivering quick app statuses. It uses the black pixels on the iPhone 14's display, which looked like a poor haircut.

iPhone 14 Pro’s ‘Dynamic Island’ animations and effects / GIF from Tenor

The pill may be a gimmick to entice customers to use more Apple products and services. Apps may promote to their users like a live billboard.

Be prepared to get a huge dose of Dynamic Island’s “pill” like you never had before with the notch. It might become so satisfying and addicting to use, that every interaction with it will become habit-forming, and you’re going to forget that it ever existed.

WARNING: A Few Potential Side Effects

Vision blurred Dynamic Island's proximity to the front-facing camera may leave behind grease that blurs photos. Before taking a selfie, wipe the camera clean.

Strained thumb To fully use Dynamic Island, extend your thumb's reach 6.7 inches beyond your typical, comfortable range.

Happiness, contentment The Dynamic Island may enhance Endorphins and Dopamine. Multitasking, interactions, animations, and haptic feedback make you want to use this function again and again.

Motion-sickness Dynamic Island's motions and effects may make some people dizzy. If you can disable animations, you can avoid motion sickness.

I'm not a doctor, therefore they aren't established adverse effects.

Does Dynamic Island Include Multiple Tasks?

Dynamic Islands is a placebo for multitasking. Apple might have compromised on iPhone multitasking. It won't make you super productive, but it's a step up.

iPad’s Split View Multitasking / Photo from WinBuzzer

iPhone is primarily for personal use, like watching videos, messaging friends, sending money to friends, calling friends about the money you were supposed to send them, taking 50 photos of the same leaf, investing in crypto, driving for Uber because you lost all your money investing in crypto, listening to music and hailing an Uber from a deserted crop field because while you were driving for Uber your passenger stole your car and left you stranded, so you used Apple’s new SOS satellite feature to message your friend, who still didn’t receive their money, to hail you an Uber; now you owe them more money… karma?

We won't be watching videos on iPhones while perusing 10,000-row spreadsheets anytime soon. True multitasking and productivity aren't priorities for Apple's iPhone. Apple doesn't to preserve the iPhone's experience. Like why there's no iPad calculator. Apple doesn't want iPad users to do math, but isn't essential for productivity?

Digressing.

Apple will block certain functions so you must buy and use their gadgets and services, immersing yourself in their ecosystem and dictating how to use their goods.

Dynamic Island is a poor man’s multi-task for iPhone, and that’s fine it works for most iPhone users. For substantial productivity Apple prefers you to get an iPad or a MacBook. That’s part of the reason for restrictive features on certain Apple devices, but sometimes it’s based on principles to preserve the integrity of the product, according to Apple’s definition.

Is Apple using deception?

Dynamic Island may be distracting you from a design decision. The answer is kind of. Elegant distraction

When you pull down a smartphone webpage to refresh it or minimize an app, you get seamless animations. It's not simply because it appears better; it's due to iPhone and smartphone processing speeds. Such limits reduce the system's response to your activity, slowing the experience. Designers and developers use animations and effects to distract us from the time lag (most of the time) and sometimes because it looks cooler and smoother.

Dynamic Island makes apps more useable and interactive. It shows system states visually. Turn signal audio and visual cues, voice assistance, physical and digital haptic feedbacks, heads-up displays, fuel and battery level gauges, and gear shift indicators helped us overcome vehicle design problems.

Dynamic Island is a wonderfully delightful (and temporary) solution to a design “problem” until Apple or other companies can figure out a way to sink the cameras under the smartphone screen.

Tim Cook at an Apple Event in 2014 / Photo from The Verge

Apple Has Returned to Being an Innovative & Exciting Company

Now Apple's products are exciting. Next, bring back real Apple events, not pre-recorded demos.

Dynamic Island integrates hardware and software. What will this new tech do? How would this affect device use? Or is it just hype?

Dynamic Island may be an insignificant improvement to the iPhone, but it sure is promising for the future of bridging the human and computer interaction gap.