The Dynamic Island may seem like some revolutionary new feature, and while that’s true to a certain extent, the fact remains that LG got there first with the LG V10. In an effort to provide users with a different way to interact with their notifications, LG introduced the “Second Screen.” With the Second Screen, users could set shortcuts for contacts, view incoming notifications, and control whatever music was playing, all without using the main display.
Since Apple’s official unveiling of the iPhone 14 range has not yet settled, several of the announcements caught us off guard. Although I’ll reserve my opinions on the Apple Watch Ultra for another time, I do have some thoughts on it. Instead, I’m going to discuss a few features that the iPhone 14, namely the Pro and Pro Max, “stole” from earlier Android devices. The debut of the Dynamic Island along with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max was perhaps the announcement made during Apple’s “Far Out” event that sparked the most heated debate. Since the release of the iPhone X, everyone has been requesting that Apple remove the notch, and they have finally done so. On the iPhone 14 and iPhone, it’s still there.
Instead of adding a screen entirely, Apple’s implementation of Dynamic Island simply works in a different way entirely. When you start playing music and leave the app, the “Island” will show “Dynamic” information, such as the song’s album artwork. It also transforms basic notifications such as when FaceID is needed into a drop-down graphic that is attached. Speaking of the notch, we knew Apple wouldn’t stick with it forever. It was only a matter of time before the company decided to do something “revolutionary,” and it decided on going with a hole-punch selfie camera cutout. Due to the various sensors that are embedded in the notch, Apple had to not only redesign the modules it uses, but there are technically two cutouts. One of which is for the selfie camera, and the other houses the likes of the proximity sensor, and whatever else Apple uses for Face ID.
It was one of those instances where LG tried to do something different, but the overall implementation and lack of support doomed the Second Screen from the start. The LG V20 kept the Second Screen around, providing essentially the same implementation, but it was still met with mixed results. Some V20 owners found this to be extremely convenient, while others found that “it doesn’t really add much to the experience.”
Then, one of the iOS 16 Developer Beta builds kind of spilled the beans, as some users found that their iPhone lock screens were showing an unrecognizable interface. As it turns out, this was just Apple implementing the necessary software to support the Always-On Display. In true Apple fashion, this isn’t available on all four iPhone 14 models, as the AOD is reserved solely for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Huawei was the first company to implement a hole-punch selfie camera, ditching the notch entirely with the Huawei Nova 4. But since then, you would be hard-pressed to find a smartphone that doesn’t have one. This includes many of the best Android phones, such as the Galaxy S22 series, Pixel 6, ASUS ZenFone 9, and others.Talk about Apple waiting forever to release something that it should have implemented years ago. The Always-On Display (AOD) has been on Android phones for an eternity, giving users a quick and easy way to glance at the time and any pending notifications. The writing was on the wall following the announcement of iOS 16 and its introduction of lock screen widgets.
For almost as long as Android users have had the luxury of faster refresh rates, and dynamic refresh rates, it’s still surprising that it took Apple so long. We knew that Apple was going to slap some fancy marketing term on to use instead of “dynamic refresh rates,” and ProMotion was born. This was first introduced with last year’s iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, but it only refreshed the screen between 24Hz and 120Hz.
With the introduction of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, along with the Always-On Display, Apple thought it was high time to turn things down even further. Instead of bottoming out at 24Hz, the iPhone 14 Pro lineup with its ProMotion display can now dynamically refresh the screen all the way down to 1Hz. The obvious reason is to help keep the iPhone’s battery from draining whenever the AOD is showing, as stagnant content doesn’t need to be refreshed as frequently. The OnePlus 9 Pro and Oppo Find X3 Pro were two of the first phones to offer dynamic refresh rates between 1Hz and 120Hz, thanks to the LTPO display. And as you might expect, this has made its way onto more devices, including the Galaxy S22 Ultra and now, the iPhone 14 Pro series.
If you managed to sit through the entire “Far Out” event, you might have tuned out a bit with all of the different promotional videos detailing the ways that the Apple Watch and iPhone have impacted the lives of its users. But there is one new feature that everyone should really thank Google for implementing with the Pixel back in 2020. Car Crash Detection was first added to Android as part of the March 2020 Feature Drop for Pixel 2, 3, and 4 owners. This was made possible by using the different motion sensors and ambient audio built into your Pixel phone. When a car crash is detected by your phone, an alarm can be sounded, which will then prompt you to determine whether you are in need of more help. If no response is received, emergency services will be dialed, and your Pixel will provide the location for those services.