Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models.

iPhone Notch
Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before arriving at the current Dynamic Island design, according to information obtained by MacRumors. We recreated the images below based on our source material to provide a never-before-seen look at some of the concepts that Apple considered.

Before the Dynamic Island, Apple explored a popover menu on the right side of the screen that would have provided users with quick access to the time, cellular signal and Wi-Fi strength, display brightness, volume, and battery charge level. The menu essentially looks like a second notch, and it would disappear when not in use.

Another idea that Apple considered was hiding the notch with an all-black status bar area at the top of the screen. OLED displays show the color black by turning off individual pixels, so this design would have contributed to battery life savings.

Alternate Notch Design Mock Feature
Apple later came up with the idea of the Dynamic Island, and it explored a variety of different designs for this, as pictured below.

Apple initially made the Dynamic Island permanently elongated across the top of the screen, before deciding that it would be less intrusive if it changed size as necessary. Apple also considered showing volume and a full row of system shortcuts in the Dynamic Island, tested a never-used layout for ongoing phone calls, and more.

Alternate Dynamic Island Design Mock Feature
Apple has since expanded the Dynamic Island to all iPhone 15 models, while it continues to sell the iPhone 13, iPhone 14, and iPhone 14 Plus with a notch. Rumors suggest that Apple eventually plans to move the iPhone's front camera and Face ID sensors under the display, but this transition is not expected to begin until next year at the earliest.

Top Rated Comments

ps3zocker Avatar
9 weeks ago

Who ever does Apple‘s software design esthetic needs to be fired for coming up with those option…?
I don't think you have any idea how prototyping software and hardware works. It's those options that make you come up with the final, perfect design.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erikkfi Avatar
9 weeks ago
I know it means less screen real estate, but I much prefer the right-side purple one. Yes, I've "gotten used to it," but the notch is still a design crime.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mescagnus Avatar
9 weeks ago

Man hiding the notch with an all-black status bar area at the top of the screen was the best option.
I thought that looked like the display of a cheap android phone...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mescagnus Avatar
9 weeks ago
Apple definitely decided on the best implementation: a Dynamic Island that resizes to its content.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dmk1974 Avatar
9 weeks ago
Personally, I think expanding the notch would have been the winner (without the radii). Close to the rounded one near the top of the original post.



Attachment Image
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Iconoclysm Avatar
9 weeks ago

I think in 10 years we will look back at the notch and really say WTF..

It's truly ugly but we just dealt with it because Apple can do no wrong.
How about we dealt with it because of function over form?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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