Some Android Manufacturers Are Already Thinking About Copying the iPhone’s Dynamic Island

Realme and Xiaomi have been asking whether their users would see the need for a version of Apple’s Dynamic Island on their phones in future phones.

When the iPhone 14 Pro was announced, the feature that got the most attention was the so-called Dynamic Island, the pill-shaped cutout for the selfie camera that Apple had turned into a somewhat useful feature.

Upon seeing it, it left many of us wondering how long it would take an Android manufacturer to rip off the idea. And it seems it might not be that long. Two of the biggest Chinese manufacturers, Xiaomi and Realme, have reportedly begun asking their users whether they’d be interested in seeing a similar feature in the future.

Dynamic Island on Android?

Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro is a clever way of adding functionality to—or at least disguising—the otherwise dead space at the top of the screen where the selfie camera sits.

It’s like an enhanced notification system that grows and morphs into various shapes to show certain types of glanceable information. This could be background activity like playlists and timers, or system info like connecting AirPods. And when you tap on it, it expands to show music controls or navigation details.

So where does Android fit in? As reported on Android Police, Realme has been asking users on its community forum whether they’d be interested in a feature that they refer to as a «dream island». Although they don’t mention it by name, it’s clear what they’re talking about:

«Can you imagine what if Realme UI added a software trick to turn the camera cutout into a multifunctional feature? The UI around the camera hole could morph into different shapes and sizes to display incoming phone calls, alerts, notifications, and more.»

The company has even invited users to submit sketches showing how they think it should look, and what it would do.

Similarly, Xiaomi China’s Present Lu Weibing asked on Weibo whether users would want a «smart island» in Xiaomi phones. That, however, was in response to a question about whether the company would be adding one, so could be a sign that it’s less certain about the idea.

Although it’s unlikely to come soon, introducing an equivalent to Dynamic Island on Android ought to be relatively straightforward. It would be a software feature, so could in theory come to existing devices without needing any additional hardware.

A developer has already created a theme for the MIUI skin on Xiaomi phones that features a Dynamic Island-style notification system which is downloadable from the Xiaomi theme store.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Android

While the iPhone 14 was a pretty modest update this year, the iPhone 14 Pro did at least offer a number of new features and improvements over the previous model. As with the Android space, the Pro and Ultra devices are now the true flagship phones that are showing the most innovation, and introducing ideas that inspire the rest of the industry.

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