and both are trying to change the way we interact with our phones – but in very different ways. Samsung is revamping the physical form of the smartphone with its line of foldable Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip. Apple, on the other hand, is changing the shape of iPhone software and how it works with .
Apple introduced the iPhone 14 Pro line of itson Wednesday, and one of its notable new features is a redesigned slot area called . It’s a pill-shaped cutout for the front-facing camera and Face ID sensors, which Apple also repurposed as a miniature secondary display to show notifications and other content. At first glance, Apple’s Dynamic Island and Samsung’s foldable phones have little, if anything, in common. But the intent behind both is the same: to improve the way our phones display apps and surface information.
Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro explained
Theis essentially Apple’s answer to faster multitasking on the iPhone. While Android phone makers like Samsung support the ability to open multiple apps at once on the screen, Apple instead uses Dynamic Island to expand and collapse to display contextual information. It can expand to show warnings and can change shape depending on the application.
For example, Dynamic Island can show the song you’re listening to even when you’re on the home screen. If you have a timer running at the same time, it will split it into its own bubble next to the music playback info so you can view both without having to switch between apps. Likewise, you can see Dynamic Island’s turn-by-turn directions without having to jump from one app to another. The same goes for sports results.
Apple says the goal behind Dynamic Island is to clearly display information without distracting from the app you’re in. “With this change, we’ve reimagined the way you interact with your iPhone,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, during the company’s keynote on Wednesday.
How Samsung’s foldables and Dynamic Island are alike
Samsung’s foldable phones and the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island are fundamentally different. But both aim to change the way we interact with apps on our phones.
Samsung promotesFlexible mode, for example, which splits compatible apps between the top and bottom of the screen when folded in half. When you open the camera in flexible mode, the top half of the screen serves as the camera’s viewfinder, while the bottom half shows controls like the shutter button. You can also take photos and send canned replies in certain messaging apps on the Z Flip 4 without opening the phone using the flip screen.
TheSamsung’s book-shaped foldable is designed to provide more screen real estate in a device that still fits in your pocket. You can also open multiple apps on the Z Fold 4’s tablet-sized screen at the same time.
The common thread between the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island, the Galaxy Z Flip and the Galaxy Z Fold is that they all change the way apps appear on our phone screens — with the ultimate goal of making apps more useful. Dynamic Island and Samsung’s foldable devices are designed to make our phones more adaptable to the situation. Apple’s new notch replacement pins information from certain apps to the top of your screen and morphs based on what you’re doing. Samsung’s foldables let you change the size and position of your phone – and the apps running on it – to fit different scenarios.
It’s too early to tell if either approach will significantly affect the way we use our phones in the long run. Apple just announced the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max on Wednesday, and those phones. Foldable devices have been widely available for about three years, but they still represent a small portion of overall smartphone sales.
What is clear, however, is that Apple and Samsung are trying to improve the way we digest and manage the vast amount of information passing through our phones every day. Now that phones have matured to the point where most updates feel incremental, it’s refreshing to see changes that actually feel different.