Apple probably didn't leak a MacBook Pro with a Dynamic Island, but I wish it had

A 2023 14-inch MacBook Pro on a wooden counter, near a retro lamp.
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

There was quite the kerfuffle a few days ago when someone noticed that Universal Control in iPadOS 17.0.2 now shows a very unusual image when people connect an iPad to a MacBook Pro. That image shows a laptop with what appears to be a Dynamic Island, just like the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro.

Of course, there is no MacBook Pro with a Dynamic Island. Not yet, anyway. In fact, the only devices with a Dynamic Island are the aforementioned new iPhones as well as last year's iPhone 14 Pro. So what's going on?

Unfortunately, it's unlikely that Apple has just "leaked" its future MacBook Pro update, and we likely aren't going to see the Dynamic Island come to Apple's laptop lineup anytime soon. But that doesn't mean that such a thing wouldn't be cool because it really, really would.

(Probably) no Dynamic Island for you

First, we have to deal with the bad news by taking a look at what we're seeing here.

The whole thing started when one X user shared a screenshot of what appeared when they used Universal Control with their iPad and MacBook Pro. You can see it below, and it's been backed up by someone else who shared a similar screenshot further through the X thread.

The image appears to show a MacBook Pro with a Dynamic Island — the darker area at the top of the screen — but in reality, it's probably just the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro's notch. It really does look like a Dynamic Island, I'll say that. But I think it's much more likely that Apple made a mistake and created an image that is just bad, rather than any hint at updating product plans. We've seen products and services leak like this before, but usually in beta updates and via someone code-diving to see what they can see. This? This seems like some sloppy image work rather than any hint as to what's coming up. It's as if Apple wanted to make it clear you're seeing a MacBook Pro with a notch and never thought people would read too much into it.

But how cool would it be, though?

iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island showing Music

(Image credit: iMore)

But all of that being said, there's no denying that a Dynamic Island on the Mac would be a great idea. Right now the notch is fine and as anyone with a modern MacBook Pro will tell you, it soon disappears when you're using your laptop. Its place in the Menu Bar helps there, so you aren't really losing any display. You could say you're gaining it because Apple simply moved everything up around the notch rather than moving the notch down into usable screen real estate. Either way, it's fine.

But imagine a notch that had information in it. We know that the notch itself is relatively big but the hardware inside it is small. There's room for Apple to create a Dynamic Island with a hole-punch FaceTime camera, if it so wishes.

It'd work like the Dynamic Island on your iPhone, so you'd see progress bars, what's playing in the Music app, and more. Media controls could live there, too. Imagine it as a sort of Touch Bar, but not. It'd be cool, right?

Unfortunately, even if Apple is working on bringing the Dynamic Island to the Mac, you'd likely have to wait a while for it to ship. You'd need an OLED display for it to work properly and rumors have that coming no sooner than 2027.

Still, we can all agree that once it does arrive, it's going to be pretty awesome indeed.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.