How the Latest Apple Event Impacted Designers

The latest Apple event brought the expected announcement of a new iPhone and all the details about what it offers. Although many of the features are for the general population, there are some things designers will be excited about.

Each time a new generation of Apple mobile devices releases, designers get upgrades that help them do their work better. At times, it’s the camera and sometimes it’s speed, connectivity or new apps. Even if you watched the announcement, you may feel a bit confused about what exactly the new products offer and how it will change the way you design.

Why the Focus on Apple Products?

Apple has long had a strong presence in the design world. For years, their design software worked best with a Mac computer, iPhone or iPad. Educational institutions often used Mac computers to train students in design.

According to Statista, around 27.88% of global cell phone users own an iPhone. The percentage is likely much higher for those in design and development. If you don’t yet own an iPhone and you’re thinking about making the switch, here’s what you need to know about the latest Apple news.

Most designers create apps or websites that function on any type of mobile device. Understanding the differences in the new models gives you an opportunity to tweak your designs for iOS.

What Is Apple’s Dynamic Island?

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max come with an interesting feature called Dynamic Island, which resizes the notch at the top of the screen. The space now contains additional information to make multitasking easier. The interface is quite interesting and may inspire other designers to think outside the box about ways to improve user interface (UI).

Third-party developers can also use the notch when designing apps. Think about how to send alerts, grab user attention and make your app more functional. You may find you’ll have to try different tactics as Apple releases operating system updates. Testing will become important as you figure out the best way to design and use the new interface features.

Apple Watch Series 8

Apple also announced at the same time that they were releasing some updated smart watches. For those designing for the Apple Watch, nothing changes. That’s good news for developers as they won’t need to change interfaces or make any adjustments.

Those designers already familiar with the Apple Watch sizing and functions, they can shift their attention to creating new apps rather than adapting the ones they have. The design may change with the next event, but for now, everything stays the same.

Apple Watch Ultra

Rather than calling this version “Pro,” Apple goes with “Ultra.” The Ultra is meant for heavy use in situations such as outdoor survival, underwater or while skydiving. Designers who create apps for extreme sports enthusiasts, adventurers, explorers, divers and athletes will want to get their hands on this and figure out how best to adapt their designs. There is an action button that makes it a bit different than the traditional Apple Watch.

The iPhone 14

While the size and look of the phone doesn’t change much, you can now give users that ability to access new widgets via the lock screen. This gives developers an opportunity to prompt consumers with prompts to participate in live activities.

Designers will want to make sure they have one of the latest phones to gain access to the better camera for product image shots for e-commerce websites. Fortunately, the trade-in value for your old iPhone may cover a lot of the cost of this new model.

iPhone 14 Pro

Where designers will experience the biggest changes is in the Pro lineup. The big announcement about Dynamic Island changes the entire way the screen looks and functions. Apps will need to be adapted to take advantage of the multifunctionality.

Mobile apps are big business. By 2025, experts estimate mobile apps will bring in $612 billion in revenue. Designers aren’t going to stop creating just because the iPhone Pro interface is a bit different.

The new design is brilliant in a number of ways but they all impact designers.

1. Masking the Face ID “Hole”

The hole in the screen needed for facial recognition isn’t pretty in previous versions of the iPhone. However, the new Dynamic Island helps mask the area and makes it functional at the same time. It’s a brilliant tech design move that just about any artistic soul can appreciate.

2. Notifications Go Animated

You’ve probably noticed more and more designers using animations. One thing that’s interesting about the new iPhone 14 Pro is how the notifications take on animation. The phone is even more of an experience than ever before, taking interactivity to a new level.

3. Looks and Feels the Same

The iPhone 14 doesn’t have much of a different appearance from the 13 as far as size and outer shell. As always, Apple introduces new colors while keeping popular ones. There is something to be said for holding on to the familiar as users adapt to technology changes such as Dynamic Island.

Exciting Changes

The latest Apple event brings some exciting and somewhat unexpected changes. The iPhone Pro series will see the biggest shifts for designers. Developers who create apps are most likely to have to adjust what they do for the latest models.

If Apple has taught designers anything, it’s to be ready to pivot. Once you learn how to interact with the new island feature, be ready for the next generation of gadgets and how you may have to adapt to those as well.

Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.