Technology

This app adds Dynamic Island to your Android smartphone, but we have some security concerns

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro lineup has been pretty polarising to say the least, with it featuring the Dynamic Island, one of the biggest design changes Apple has done to their smartphone lineup in a number of years now. The cutout replaces the old notch, and has been integrated into the UI allowing you to put widgets and notifications there. If you’re an Android user, you might’ve seen the ads for it and thought of getting an iPhone 14 Pro yourself too.

However, before you do, there’s actually an alternative that won’t cost you a kidney. Just take a look at the Google Play Store and you’ll find a plethora of apps, promising to add a Dynamic Island-like notification widget to your Android smartphone. We even tried it out in the office, downloading and adding one of these apps called dynamicSpot onto a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Upon actually trying it out though, it’s… not great. For starters, while the actual ‘island’ part is there, when you do get a notification the Samsung One UI pop up appears below the island, separated rather than joined together. Instead, to get the Dynamic Island-esque pop up window, you need to let the Samsung One UI notification dismiss itself, then tap and hold on the dynamicSpot island to expand it. You can though use it to control things like your music for instance, by again tapping and holding on it to expand the island, turning it into the Spotify widget.

So okay, there’s definitely some integration issues with the Samsung One UI itself, but that’s not even our biggest problem with dynamicSpot, and the other copycat Dynamic Island apps for that matter. Rather, we have some security concerns with these apps, because by installing and using them, you’re actually giving them quite a bit of access to your device.

For starters, dynamicSpot will get full access to your notifications. This means it can read your messages which include personal information like names and the message’s contents. It will also be able to access your notification settings like Do Not Disturb and dismiss notifications. Furthermore, dynamicSpot will also get full access to view and control your screen, and view and perform actions too. In other words, this app will be able to read everything on the display, and track your interactions with other apps and sensors on your smartphone.

As such, while it may be a cool little widget to add, we don’t really recommend using it due to the security concerns we have. Besides, it also doesn’t really look as cool as something that’s fully integrated into the software like the actual Dynamic Island. Nevertheless, if you still want to try it out, it’s available on the Play Store here, and when you do set it up you can choose to only give it permission to certain apps like Spotify rather than all your apps.

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