iOS 17 omission is bad news for iPhone 15 — here's why

iOS 17 logo on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

A week after iOS 17 was announced at WWDC 2023, we've had enough time to digest everything that Apple showed us. And what that's revealed to me is that Apple totally neglected the Dynamic Island, causing potential trouble for the upcoming iPhone 15 series.

The Dynamic Island was a big deal on the iPhone 14 Pro last year, replacing not only the Face ID notch but also several different iOS pop-ups with its unique shape-changing interface. But beyond the introduction of Live Activities in iOS 16.1, a small alteration to how Wi-Fi and cellular connection levels were displayed alongside the Island in iOS 16.2, there have been no other changes made to the Dynamic Island by Apple itself.

There were no big iOS 17 announcements at WWDC relating to the Dynamic Island either. Some small changes have been noticed by users trying out the developer beta, such as the Clock app's alarm interface now having a Dynamic Island version (via Mark Gurman), but that's not much to look forward to in the stable release this fall.

The Dynamic Island is turning stagnant

iPhone 15 concept by 4RMD

A concept image of the iPhone 15, featuring a Dynamic Island on the display. (Image credit: 4RMD/YouTube)

That could make Apple's rumored move to Dynamic Islands on all iPhone 15 models, fall kind of flat. With the gap between regular and Pro iPhones steadily getting wider, having parity in this area should in theory be quite exciting for the average iPhone buyer. But instead what they're getting right now is a feature with a whole lot of wasted potential.

There's still hope though. Future updates to iOS 17 could of course add more Dynamic Island abilities after the iPhone 15's launched, with four to six point releases likely on the horizon. Third-party iOS developers could continue to bridge the gap too, although likely only in similar ways to what we've already seen Apple do. 

There may even be some Dynamic Island features exclusive to the iPhone 15 series, in which case Apple wouldn't be able to tell us about them yet. If that's the case though, iPhone 14 Pro users would likely be a little irked if they're skipped over.

Until the iPhone 15 launches this September (we would safely assume), all we can do is keep on trying the iOS 17 beta to see what changes Apple may have made to the Dynamic Island without telling us. I really hope there are some updates in the pipeline for the first all-Dynamic Island generation of iPhone, or otherwise I fear this neat feature could go the way of the dodo. Or the MacBook Touch Bar.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.