Complete Guide to Dynamic Island and Live Activities Explained

What you should know


  • Dynamic Island was introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro models, offering users a new way to access information and system notifications without being obtrusive, by changing its shape and form for different alerts and activities.
  • Live Activities feature allows iPhone users to receive real-time updates and interactive notifications for ongoing events, such as sports scores or delivery tracking, directly on the lock screen or within the Dynamic Island.
  • Third-party apps have creatively utilized Dynamic Island and Live Activities to enhance user experience, offering specialized information such as flight details, movement tracking, and quick access to frequently used apps or system stats.
  • With iOS 17.2, Live Activities can be initiated without having to open the app first, making it easier for users to stay updated on real-time events directly from their iPhone’s lock screen or Dynamic Island.


Full Story

Oh, 2022 was quite the year for Apple enthusiasts, wasn’t it? The launch of the iPhone 14 series alongside iOS 16 brought us some shiny new toys to play with. I’m talking about the Dynamic Island and Live Activities, of course. These features quickly became essentials for the iPhone experience.

Now, here’s the scoop. While every iPhone 14 could enjoy the perks of Live Activities, the fancy Dynamic Island was exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. But hey, 2023 said goodbye to the notch for good. Every iPhone 15 model embraced the pill-shaped cut-out, making the Dynamic Island a universal treat.

So, what’s the deal with this “Dynamic Island” and “Live Activities”? Let’s dive in and unwrap these features, shall we? I’ll also throw in some pro tips on making the most out of them.

First off, the Dynamic Island. It’s not just a cool name; it’s a game-changer. This feature transforms information access into a seamless, less intrusive experience. Real-time alerts, like unlocking your iPhone or using Face ID for an Apple Pay transaction, pop up here. You’ll also see low-battery warnings, AirPods connection and battery status, privacy indicators, and more. It’s like having a mini control center that morphs and adapts to show you what you need, when you need it.

But wait, there’s more. The Dynamic Island isn’t just about notifications. It doubles as an interactive widget. Imagine you’re jamming to some tunes on Spotify or Apple Music. A simple press and hold on the Dynamic Island expands it to show song details and playback controls. Super handy, right? And for those of us who are AirPlay aficionados, this feature is a godsend.

Ever use the Timer app? With Dynamic Island, your countdown is neatly displayed, and a quick press reveals pause and end buttons. I personally can’t start my day without it, thanks to my morning allergy med routine. The same goes for voice and screen recordings.

And navigation? Say goodbye to constantly switching apps. The Dynamic Island shows turn-by-turn directions right there. Though I admit, I’m old-school and stick to my navigation app, but the option is pretty neat.

The gist is, Dynamic Island makes multitasking a breeze. It’s about keeping you in the flow, without the need to hop in and out of apps.

Now, onto third-party apps that shine with Dynamic Island. Flighty is a traveler’s best friend, packing flight details into the Dynamic Island. Lock Launcher turns it into a quick-access app drawer. My Moves is perfect for tracking your hikes, and Dynamic X lets you customize Live Activities. For those into nature’s rhythms, Tide Guide and Alpenglow offer glanceable info on tides and sun cycles.

Switching gears to Live Activities, these are like persistent, interactive notifications for real-time updates. Whether it’s tracking a delivery or keeping up with sports scores, Live Activities have got you covered. And with the iOS 17.2 update, starting a Live Activity is even smoother, with no need to open the app first.

For sports fans, Sports Alerts is a must-have. Pestle turns your iPhone into a sous-chef, guiding you through recipes step by step. And CityMapper? It’s the urban navigator’s dream, making public transport a breeze with live updates right on your lock screen.

In conclusion, Dynamic Island and Live Activities aren’t just features. They’re about making iOS work smarter for you. They bring a level of convenience and accessibility that elevates the whole iPhone experience. Even if you’re not using them to their full potential, they’re a testament to iOS’s evolution into a more intuitive, user-friendly platform.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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