Apple has released the first beta of iOS 17.1 to developers, bringing the Dynamic Island flashlight indicator feature to older iPhone models for the first time.
The Dynamic Island, introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, is the pill-shaped area housing the front camera and Face ID sensors. It displays notifications, alerts, and system status icons. On the iPhone 14 Pro models, it shows a small flashlight icon when the flashlight is on.
Previously limited to those devices, the flashlight indicator is now coming to older models with the Dynamic Island, including the iPhone 14, 14 Plus, and 13 Pro series. On those iPhones, iOS 17.1 beta 1 enables a flashlight icon in the Dynamic Island when the flashlight is activated.
This allows users to see if the flashlight is on even when the phone screen is locked or off. The indicator provides an at-a-glance way to check flashlight status and prevent it from being left on accidentally.
The Dynamic Island flashlight is made possible by the real-time notifications and system alerts shown in the Dynamic Island. Technically, there is no hardware limitation that restricts the feature to the iPhone 14 Pro models.
Apple has previously brought software features of new iPhones to older models. Last year, the battery percentage indicator was expanded to more models with iOS 16.1 after being exclusive to the iPhone XR and later initially.
The iOS 17.1 beta also includes several other new capabilities. Among them are enhancements to Apple Music, AirDrop via cellular, live sports scores in the TV app, and more.
The first developer beta of iOS 17.1 indicates the public release will likely come in October. This software update will extend the Dynamic Island flashlight indicator to millions of existing iPhone users.