Dynamic Island Interactions are Backwards

I was listening to the latest episode of The Talk Show this morning and Nilay Patel laid out exactly what bothers me about the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pros: the interactions are backwards.

I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly it was that was bothering me until he said it and then it made sense. When I touch on an app in the Dynamic Island, I believe it should open the smaller, interactive widget version of the app that is currently only accessible with a long touch. The point is the island is to have quick interactions with running apps that need your attention. The best way to do that is by a simple touch. Instead, as a Pro Max user, I have to adjust my hand for balance and a long touch to interact with the island. It’s not exactly convenient.

In Patel’s review on The Verge he says:

Here’s where I think Apple missed the mark a little: in the keynote and all the ads, the island is shown as a thing that’s worth interacting with — it’s always moving around and going back and forth between the main view and the expanded view. In reality, well, it’s not like that at all.

The island isn’t a primary interface element; it sits over whatever app you’re actually using, and apps are still the main point of the iPhone. In fact, tapping on the island doesn’t open that expanded widget view; it just switches you back to whatever app that controls the widget. To get the expanded widget that’s shown in all the ads, you have to tap and hold. This feels exactly backwards to me. I think a tap should pop open the widget, and I also think you should at least be able to choose between the two behaviors.

I hope this is something they consider changing, or at least a toggle, because it’d be much better if touching opened up the mini app and a long touch opened the app itself.

shep @shep