How to get dynamic island on any iPhone

Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are the company’s only handsets that natively support the Dynamic Island feature, and while a jailbreak tweak dubbed Dynamic Peninsula could bring a similar experience to notched devices, not everyone currently has access to a jailbreak — especially if they’re using iOS 16.

Interestingly enough, it seems that developer matteozappia has found a way to enable Dynamic Island on all iOS 16 devices by way of the MacDirtyCow bug. It comes in the form of a sideloadable app called DynamicCow.

The DynamicCow app has two settings built into it; one for the iPhone 14 Pro and the other for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Users should choose their option cases on the display resolution of their device to best fit their screen.

DynamicCow can be sideloaded onto any iOS 16 device with utilities such as AltStore or Sideloady. Older versions of iOS aren’t supported since Dynamic Island was first introduced in iOS 16. Obviously, as this is a MacDirtyCow bug add-on, any changes will revert upon a reboot.

To find out more about the DynamicCow app and to download it for yourself, be sure to check the developer’s GitHub page. No jailbreak is required to make use of the MacDirtyCow bug.

With the basics out of the way, here are the prerequisites to install the DynamicCow app and get Dynamic Island on your iPhone:

  • First, you need an iPhone running iOS 16.0 – iOS 16.1.2. Don’t download the latest iOS 16.2 update if you wish to use Dynamic Island features on your phone.
  • You will need a Mac or Windows PC to install AltStore on your iPhone. Yeah, you can install iTunes on Windows to sideload AltStore on your iPhone.
  • Lastly, you need a lightning cable to connect your iPhone to the Mac or Windows PC.

How Does The MacDirtyCow bug Work?

The DynamicCow app exploits the ‘MacDirtyCow’ bug (CVE-2022-46689) on devices running iOS 15 – iOS 16.1.2 and macOS 13.0.1, which allows anyone to modify all files that a sandboxed app can read. Thankfully, these changes are temporary, as you are writing to the cached data in RAM.

As exciting as it sounds, the process isn’t as simple as downloading an app from the App Store. You will need to connect your iPhone to a Mac or Windows PC to download AltStore for sideloading the DynamicCow app. But, it’s worth the hassle if you want to experience those cool Dynamic Island features and animations on iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, or iPhone 14 series phones. Moreover, it is only possible to get Dynamic Island on iPhones that are running iOS 16.0 – iOS 16.1.2 as Apple has patched the MacDirtyCow bug on iOS 16.2.

Currently, the app is in an experimental phase and the developer has promised to improve it further in the future. So, we recommend you try this at your own risk. If you are an iPhone 11 user, be ready to see a large red bar around the notch that blocks time, icons, and battery percentage. The developer of the DynamicCow app is yet to find a fix for this issue.

How to Sideload DynamicCow App on Your iPhone

Once you have successfully installed AltStore on your iPhone. It’s now time to sideload the DynamicCow app and get the Dynamic Island functionality on your iPhone. Here’s how you do that:

  • Open AltStore on your iPhone and sign in with your Apple ID.
  • Next, visit the GitHub page for DynamicCow on your iPhone. Then, scroll down to the “Releases” section and download the latest “.ipa” file for DynamicCow.
  • After that, open AltStore and move to the “My Apps” tab. Here, tap the ‘+’ icon and choose DynamicCow.ipa to install the app.
  • Once installed, open the DynamicCow app and choose between iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Max layout, depending on your iPhone’s model and screen size.
  • Then, tap the Enable button. If you own a non-Pro iPhone, we suggest you go for the iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island.
  • All done! Your notched iPhone now has Dynamic Island UI and functionality like the new iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.

Note: Remember to disable Dynamic Island before you uninstall the DynamicCow app or AltStore from your iPhone. Otherwise, you will have to re-install the app or update your iPhone altogether to get rid of it.

Now that you have learned how to get Dynamic Island-like functionality on any iPhone, it’s time to test out the feature. You can check out our article to see the list of apps supported by Dynamic Island. Alternatively, you start fiddling around with the new feature by installing some cool apps to use with Dynamic Island. I agree that the Dynamic Island UI you get using the DynamicCow app is not as aesthetically pleasing as it is on iPhone 14 Pro series and the native notch obstructs the time and cellular signal icons, but it’s worth getting your hands on the new feature without spending over 600,000 Naira in Nigeria.

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