Many people don’t like the camera cutouts that take up space on our smartphone screens. We’ve seen some ambitious applications for these cutouts in the past, like turning it into an old-school notification LED, but Apple takes the creative cake with the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island. And while it’s entirely possible thatGoogle is working on something similar for Android, you don’t need to wait to find out—developers are already hard at work bringing the feature to your smartphone.
One such example is Pixel Island, but since it’s in early stages of development, it isn’t available to download on the Play Store. However, we now have a Dynamic Island app ready to go: Android developer Jawomo seems to be the first to officially bring a Dynamic Island-styled notification banner to non-Apple phones with their app dynamicSpot.
How to install DynamicSpot
DynamicSpot is free to download, easy to setup, and does what it sets out to do. If you’re curious about bringing Apple’s defining 14 Pro feature to your Android phone, dynamicSpot is a neat way to try it out. Keep in mind, though, it’s still in testing, so you might run into a few hiccups here and there. (Fun fact: Jawomo is the same developer behind the aforementioned utility that turns your camera cutout into an LED alert system. It seems Jawomo is a fan of notification hacks.)
When you first install and open the app, you’re greeted by a simple walkthrough to get everything set up. You’ll need to choose which apps on your phone DynamicSpot can work with (there’s an easy “All” option you can choose). You’ll then need to grant dynamicSpot notification privileges by tapping the option, choosing dynamicSpot from the “Not allowed” list, then enabling “Allow notification access.”
Next, you need to allow “Draw on screen,” which is what allows dynamicSpot to actually display notification alerts. While dynamicSpot claims no data is collected or shared, as it “has no internet access,” you will need to grant the app full access to your phone for it to work. That might cross a privacy line for some users, so keep that in mind before tapping “Allow.”
If all that works for you, you’re in! In the app’s “Popup settings,” you can tweak where dynamicSpot actually appears on your display. By default, it shows up center along the top of your screen, just as the 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island does. That works especially well for phones with a cutout in that position, but you can move it around your display as you see fit via the Dimensions settings menu.
While you can get dynamicSpot up and running without paying a cent, there are a few Pro features you might want to consider. For $4.99, you can see dynamicSpot on the lock screen, open apps with a single tap of the dynamicSpot, auto hide the expanded popup after a certain period of time (you can choose to auto hide the expanded popup when tapping outside of it for free), and, most importantly, block system popups to move everything to dynamicSpot.
It’s a fun utility to play around with. I like opening my Pixel to find a little rain icon embedded in the dynamicSpot, a subtle reminder that it is, indeed, raining. A long-press expands the spot, and a tap brings you to the relevant app. Even without the Pro features, it’s very useful, especially if you tweak the dimensions to fit your particular phone.
Is it for everyone? Probably not. But if any Android OEMs follow in Apple’s footsteps, as many as so often do, you might want to get used to it.