Leaning Into the Notch

So I’ve had the MacBook Pro for a while now, and while I usually use it connected to an external display, there are also plenty of times that I bask in the brightness of that high frame rate HDR screen. As laptop displays go, it’s the best I’ve ever seen.

There is, however, the question of that notch. It took some getting used to and made the installation of Bartender a must, but I barely notice it at this point. So I thought it’d be fun to lean into the Notch a bit and see what developers are doing with it. My favorite Notch-adjacent app is Notchmeister.

Close-up of the MacBook Pro Notch with 8 small alternating purple and blue bulbs hanging below it.
Notchmeister’s Festive Theme

Notchmeister from The Iconfactory and Craig Hockenberry isn’t practical but loads of fun. The app lets you plus up your notch with effects like Glow, Plasma Leak, and Nano Radar. They even have a Festive theme that strings lights from your notch.

It’s a silly little app, but it also brings some whimsy to your Mac. That used to be commonplace, but these days not so much. I wish there were more.

Notch Evolution

The rumor mill is at it again. For some time now, it’s been apparent that the new iPhone Pro will be using cutouts instead of the notch found on previous iPhones. Leaks indicate it is something like a sideways lowercase “i”.

iPhone 14 Pro with lower case i notch.
Image from 9to5 Mac

It’s always looked a little funny to me, and I wondered what on earth they’d do with the very few pixels between the two notches.

Now we have an entirely new set of rumors that they’ll paint those pixels black, effectively connecting the two cutouts to make one long rounded rectangle. The only thing they’ll light in those pixels is the indicator lights for active audio and video recordings.

iPhone 14 Pro with single notch.
Image from 9to5 Mac

If true, this makes a lot of sense. I think it looks better this way, and the indicator lights right next to the camera lens hopefully make it more apparent what function they serve. (I suspect a lot of iPhone owners have no idea why those lights show up on their iPhones.) This is one more example of how rumors can lead Apple enthusiasts astray. So many people were upset about the two cutouts looking awkward and silly. Apple likely had the plan to connect them all along.

In terms of additional screen real estate, this new cutout doesn’t really give us much more than we had with the notch, but it does show progress and is one more step toward getting rid of notches and cutouts altogether.