First look at DynamicSpot: Bring Apple’s Dynamic Island to your Android phone

Apple clearly knows a thing or two about design, and year after year its release of premium iPhones has earned it a prominent position at the forefront of the smartphone industry. Just think – when the company discontinued the headphone jack, we saw nearly every major Android manufacturer scramble to follow suit. Sometimes, though, things go the other way around, and Android phones end up setting the bar for iPhone features. Brands like Samsung have ditched the notch in favor of circular punch-hole cutouts for the front cameras. Apple may be fashionably late in the trend, with only the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max moving to a pill-shaped cut called Dynamic Island this month, but boy, did it still quite make an impression. Android developers have been quick to try and replicate the software aspect of the Apple app, and today we’re checking out how well an app called DynamicSpot has been successful in bringing the Dynamic Island experience to Android.

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Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro sure sounds like an apt name for what we’re getting — the rectangular, pill-shaped aperture in the display surrounding the selfie camera and Face ID just floats like an island in a sea of ​​pixels. When you click on a notification in the dial, it responds by moving and resizing, creating the illusion that the pill-shaped slot is actually expanding (helping accommodate indicators of notification icons, running background tasks, and incoming alerts). These effects are a visual delight on the OLED screens that iPhones use (not to mention dozens of Android devices, mid-range and flagships alike), since they’re capable of much deeper blacks than you might get on an LCD screen.

Last week, theme developers showed what the Dynamic Island could look like on a Xiaomi phone. While this was promising, it was also a one company hardware solution, and the last time we checked, the topic was still waiting for approval. But XDA Developers managed to spot a new app in early access called DynamicSpot, and after taking a look at it for ourselves, this might be the perfect solution if you’ve been craving a Dynamic Island visual experience on Android phones – specifically, those with center-mounted cameras Like Google Pixel 6 series or Samsung Galaxy S22. The app is the brainchild of developer Jawomo, also known as Bixby button remapper and notification light app for OnePlus phones.

Once installed, the lightweight app creates a black pill-shaped bar that surrounds your screen’s camera cutout with notification icons. You can zoom in on the island with a long tap on the pill, while a short tap connects you to the notification app. If that sounds counterproductive to you, a little IAP allows you to change those interactions around you. As you would with any other notifications on Android, you can swipe up to mute, and if the pill is gone before you reach the alert, just open the trusted Notification Center.

To start using DynamicSpot, you’ll need to give it permission to read your notifications and draw on top of other apps. We also suggest turning off Power Saving Restrictions, so that the process doesn’t stop in the background. The developer notes that the app doesn’t connect to the Internet itself, which seems fine for privacy, but the lack of other permissions, such as Bluetooth and GPS, means that it loses the ability to display alerts when Bluetooth devices are connected – a feature seen on the iPhone 14 Pro.

For an app that’s still in early access, DynamicSpot is already quite capable. It supports notifications for all installed apps, complete with finer controls for each, and quick action buttons for some.

The customization app’s clean user interface includes a switch to toggle notification island on or off, as well as settings that allow you to adjust portrait, width, and height, so it aligns perfectly with the punch-hole camera. There’s even an easy-to-use Test button, so you don’t have to wait for your friend to call you just to see how your notifications will look. What the application does not contain is any kind of slider to adjust the file accidental The island’s location, so it doesn’t support phones that have selfie camera cutouts in the corner, like the OnePlus Nord 2.

If you cough up the small fee for the Pro version, you can control how long the pill lasts after the notification arrives, as well as how the island behaves when the screen is off. You can also unlock alerts when the battery level drops below 15 percent and when the phone is fully charged.

For an app that’s supposedly developed in such a short amount of time, DynamicSpot really does deliver an impressive level of polish. However, we understand that this is a beta version in progress, and users can expect some hiccups while working on the speed. For example, you will initially see notification popups along with pill icons, creating a duplicate, but the remedy is simple – disable floating notifications for installed apps. You’ll probably want to set that manually, because while DynamicSpot has a toggle to do it for you, it’s another paywall-protected Pro feature (plus it doesn’t seem to work).

The floating notification must be disabled if you want to use the pill alone

Other minor annoyances include incorrect media duration display on either side of the playback progress bar, absence of quick action buttons for some notifications, and incorrect system time and date displayed in the charging indicator.

Most importantly, returning to the home screen on your phone doesn’t reduce a running app’s access to the island, which is one of the biggest behavioral changes that’s different from the Apple app. It would be great if we saw apps like this taking advantage of stronger integration with Android launchers like Nova Launcher, because they control the app launch animation. We wouldn’t be surprised if the developers behind the up-and-coming launchers incorporate some sort of island-style features into their own apps as well.

It would be unfair to expect iPhone island-wide dynamism and refinement from Android replicas in development within a week or two, but apps like this one are already well on their way to becoming the ultimate solution for personalization and iOS style enthusiasts. budget. The developer promises to add more custom animations and interactions and improve app support, but we hope they’ll fix minor issues with it as well. If you like how all this looks and are interested in giving it a glimpse, you just need an Android device to install DynamicSpot on an OLED screen – and all the best Android phones come with one.

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