Amazing iPhone X : First Impressions Of The iPhone X

The Notch

If you’re worried about the notch, that little cut out tray of sensors at the top of the iPhone X’s screen, the good news is you’ll have some time to get used to it. A lot of apps aren’t ready yet for the new phone dimensions, so the notch is hidden by black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.

Of the apps that are updated, I mainly forgot the notch existed, until I didn’t. Once I was in an app, my eyes would be drawn to the content and the notch disappeared, but every time I entered or switched apps — iOS 11’s bright colours and heavy use of white menus really draws attention to the black bar — there it was again, staring at me.

I’m still not convinced about Apple’s decision to “embrace the notch”. It reminds me of the old screenwriting tradition of “hanging a lantern” on something; that is, when there’s a moment that feels incongruous in a screenplay, rather than ignore it, you draw attention to it. The theory is by drawing attention, you’re telling the audience: this is not a mistake, this is here by design.

By drawing attention to the notch, is Apple wanting us to think about the technology up there in that sensor? Do they feel it’s a more honest design to draw attention rather that to mask the notch? Or do they just want a new, easy to recognise icon that means “iPhone”, now that “rectangle with small circle at the bottom” no longer works?

A lot of people have asked about the “notch” in landscape mode. The notch is normally hidden in apps that display images or video, thanks to black bars on either side. It does show up in some apps, like Chrome, as a noticeable bite taken out of the left side. But then I have my phone locked to Portrait at all times, so I can’t really comment.

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