When Apple revealed that its new MacBook Pros have an iPhone-like camera notch along the top of the screen, the initial reactions were pretty funny. But now that those MacBooks are shipping, the response from early adopters is both amusing and useful.
Consider, for instance, a new app called TopNotch, which makes the entire menu bar black so the notch no longer stands out. It’s just a cosmetic improvement, but a welcome one. It also works just as well with notchless MacBooks if you prefer a jet black menu bar anyway.
Users have also noticed that the MacOS cursor disappears behind the notch when you scroll into it. If you’re unsatisfied with that default behavior, a $4 app called Newton makes the notch more interactive. You can either enable “Notch Portal” mode, which makes the cursor instantly jump from one side of the notch to the other, or “Notch Wall” mode, which blocks the cursor from moving underneath.
everyone's trying to "hide the notch"
so I made a Mac app called "Split Screen" to do just that: pic.twitter.com/001kotIrMj
— Jordan Singer (@jsngr) October 27, 2021
Alternatively, you can put the notch to better use with a $1 app called NotchCam. Once installed, the app lets you click the area behind the notch to pop open a quick preview of your camera. The app can also simulate a notch on other MacBooks if you desire the same camera preview functionality.
Users of notchless MacBooks needn’t be left out of the fun either. With the free Notch Simulator app, you can add a notch that matches the size of the real thing, or add one that’s five times wider for some reason. It even includes an option to cover up the fake notch with fake duct tape.
Not everyone is taking the notch’s arrival in stride. On Twitter, Snazzy Labs Media owner Quinn Nelson pointed out that if an app has lots of menu bar items, the notch can sometimes hide them from view. And while some apps have already worked around the notch in response, that in turn results in less space for icons on the other side of the menu.
WTF HAHAHAHA HOW IS THIS SHIPPABLE? WHAT IS THIS?! pic.twitter.com/epse3Cv3xF
— Quinn Nelson (@SnazzyQ) October 26, 2021
Those kinds of issues will likely become less pronounced over time, as app makers condense their menus to compensate for the new camera cutout. But the notch itself isn’t going anywhere—not if we want slicker laptops and better webcams all at the same time—so we might as well get used to it.