Dynamic island DynamicSpot for Android
First, take a look at dynamicSpot, which makes Apple’s Dynamic Island available for Android phones.
With its yearly releases of high-end iPhone hardware, Apple has proven that it is a design expert and has cemented its position as the industry leader in terms of design trends. Consider what happened when the business removed the headphone jack: practically every significant Android vendor rushed to do the same.
For its front-facing cameras, manufacturers like Samsung have abandoned the notch in favor 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 cutout in the display around the selfie camera and Face ID hardware just sort of floats there like an island in a sea of pixels, giving the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island feature an apt moniker. The pill-shaped cutout appears to physically enlarge when you press a notification because it reacts by animating and changing size (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.
Last week, theme creators demonstrated 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 dynamicSpot, new software in early access that may be the answer to your craving for the Dynamic Island visual experience on Android phones, particularly those with center-aligned hole-punch cameras like the Google Pixel 6 or Samsung Galaxy S22 series. Jawomo, a developer best known for their notification light app for OnePlus phones and the Bixby button remapper app, is the creator of the software.
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. The developer points out that the software doesn’t access the internet directly, which sounds excellent for privacy. But the lack of other permissions, such as Bluetooth and GPS, means it is unable to show alerts when Bluetooth devices connect—a feature featured on the iPhone 14 Pro.
The dynamicSpot app is already extremely capable of being in early access. With granular controls for each program and quick action buttons for some of them, it offers notifications for all installed apps.
The notification island’s sleek UI in the customizing app contains a switch to turn it on or off, 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 app does not support phones like the OnePlus Nord 2 that have selfie-cam cutouts in the corners since it lacks a slider to change the island’s horizontal orientation.
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 may enable alerts for when the battery is 15 percent or more low on power and when the phone is fully charge
DynamicSpot already exhibits an incredible level of polish for an app that was probably created in such a brief period of time. We are aware that this is a work-in-progress beta, so users should anticipate some kinks while they acclimate. For example, at first, you’ll notice notification pop-ups next to your pill icons, producing a duplicate, but the fix is easy — turn off floating notifications for installed apps. 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 small annoyances include the charging indicator displaying the wrong system time and date, several notifications lacking quick action buttons, and the playback progress bar showing the wrong media duration on either side.
One of the largest behavioral deviations from Apple’s implementation is that going back to the home screen on your phone doesn’t minimize an active app to the island. Since Android launchers like Nova Launcher are in charge of controlling app launch animations, it would be wonderful to see applications like this one gain from closer cooperation.
Apps like this one are already on the path to being the theming and customization enthusiast’s go-to answer for an iOS-style look on a budget, although it would be unfair to expect Android copycats to have the dynamism and polish of iPhone islands. The developer says they’ll improve app support, provide more personalized animations, and increase app interaction, but we also hope they’ll fix any minor problems. You only need an Android handset with an OLED display to install dynamicSpot on if you like the way this all sounds and are interested in giving it a try. All the top Android phones come with one.