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First, take a look at dynamicSpot, which makes Apple’s Dynamic Island available for Android phones.

Apple’s Dynamic Island is so close yet so far away.

 

Apple has shown to be an expert in design, and the company’s yearly releases of high-end iPhone models have cemented its position as the industry’s trendsetter. Consider what happened when the business removed the headphone jack: practically every significant Android vendor rushed to do the same. Sometimes, though, the roles are reversed, and Android phones end up being the ones to set the standard for iPhone features. For its front-facing cameras, manufacturers like Samsung have abandoned the notch in favour of circular hole-punch cutouts. With the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max only adopting a pill-shaped cutout known as the Dynamic Island this month, Apple may be fashionably late to the trend, but boy, does it still manage to make a big impression. We’re looking out dynamicSpot, an app that attempts to replicate the Dynamic Island experience on Android, to see how effectively Android developers have been able to replicate the software side of Apple’s approach.

 

The rectangular pill-shaped notch in the display that houses the selfie camera and Face ID technology on the iPhone 14 Pro feels like it could be called Dynamic Island because it floats there like an island in a sea of pixels. The pill-shaped cutout appears to physically enlarge when you press a notification because of the animated response and size change (helping accommodate indicators for notification icons, ongoing background tasks, and incoming alerts). The OLED displays used in iPhones (as well as a large number of Android devices, both mid-range and flagship models) are a visual treat for these effects since they can achieve far deeper blacks than LCD displays.

 

Theme designers demonstrated last week how a Dynamic Island may seem on a Xiaomi phone. While promising, that was a solution that only applied to a single manufacturer’s products, and as of our last check, the theme was still awaiting approval. However, XDA Developers discovered a brand-new app called dynamicSpot that is currently in early access. We took a look at it and believe it to be the ideal solution for Android users who long for the Dynamic Island visual experience, particularly those who own devices with center-aligned hole-punch cameras like the Google Pixel 6 or Samsung Galaxy S22 series. The app was created by Jawomo, a developer best known for their notification light app for OnePlus phones and the Bixby button remapper app.

 

When the little app is installed, a black pill-shaped bar with notification symbols surrounds the camera cutout on your screen. A lengthy tap on the pill expands the island, while a short tap takes you to the notification app. If those exchanges appear to be in reverse to you, a little IAP allows you to reverse them. Swipe to dismiss, just like you would with any other Android notice, and if the pill vanishes before you can access the alert, open your go-to notification shade.

 

You must give dynamicSpot permission to read your notifications and draw over other apps before you can use it. We also advise disabling power-saving constraints to prevent the process from being terminated silently. The app’s developer points out that it doesn’t directly connect to the internet, which sounds excellent for privacy, but without additional permissions like Bluetooth and GPS, it can’t show alerts when Bluetooth devices connect, a feature seen on the iPhone 14 Pro.

 

Even though it is currently in early access, dynamicSpot is a really capable programme. With granular controls for each programme and quick action buttons for some of them, it offers notifications for all installed apps.

 

The simple user interface of the customising software includes a switch to turn on or off the notification island as well as options that let you adjust its vertical position, width, and height to properly line up with your hole-punch camera. You don’t even need to wait for a friend to ping you in order to use the handy test button to see how your notifications will look. The OnePlus Nord 2 and other phones with corner-mounted selfie cameras are not supported by the app since it lacks a slider to change the island’s horizontal position.

 

You may choose how long the pill remains after receiving a notification and how the island acts when the screen is off if you fork out the little cost for the Pro edition. Additionally, you can enable alerts for when the phone is fully charged and when the battery level dips to less than 15%.

 

The amount of polish that dynamicSpot already exhibits is astounding for an app that was probably developed in such a short period of time. We are aware that this is a work-in-progress beta, so users should anticipate some kinks while they acclimate. A simple fix is to turn off floating notifications for installed apps, for instance, if at first you notice notification pop-ups next to your pill icons, generating a duplication. Although dynamicSpot offers a setting to accomplish this for you, it is another Pro feature that is paywalled, and it also doesn’t appear to be functioning, so you should probably set that manually.

 

If you intend to use the pill by yourself, you must disable the floating notification.

Other minor annoyances include erroneous media duration being displayed on either side of the playback progress bar, several notifications lacking quick action buttons, and the charging indicator displaying the wrong system time and date.

 

One of the greatest behavioural changes from Apple’s implementation is that going back to the home screen on your phone does not minimise an active app to the island. Because Android launchers like Nova Launcher manage app start animations, it would be wonderful to see apps like this one gain from closer integration with them. We also wouldn’t be surprised if the creators of next launchers included a feature akin to an island in their own applications.

 

Apps like this one are already on the path to becoming the theming and customization enthusiast’s go-to answer for an iOS-style look on a budget, though it would be unrealistic to expect iPhone island-level fluidity and polish from Android copycats produced within a week or two. The creator pledges to increase the number of unique animations and interactions and to enhance app support, but we also hope that they fix any minor glitches. You only need an Android handset with an OLED display to install dynamicSpot on if you like the way this all sounds and are interesting in giving it a try. All the top Android phones come with one.

 

 

Himanshu Mahawar

Himanshu Mahawar is the Editor and Founder at Flaunt Weekly.

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