I’m avidly waiting for Apple’s new iPhone X, just like many others, but one of the controversial qualities about the upcoming handset is the ‘notch’ at the top of the display; this is where Apple keeps its TrueDepth camera system and many of the iPhone’s other vital sensors.

Because the iPhone X has a gorgeous edge-to-edge OLED display, I’m thrilled to see how developers will adapt apps to work with the notch. Apple will unquestionably govern for how developers will be allowed to interact with or ‘hide’ the notch, so it should be fascinating to see how creativity will manifest itself.

Landscape mode: Yea or nay?

I think landscape mode will have the most significant impact on how the notch impacts app usability. Developers will either need to space their apps’ text far enough away from the notch that it won’t conflict, or they’ll have to come up with something more innovative.

Apple shows off a lot of landscape mode for games and videos on their website, but not much to the effect of everyday text-based apps, like Contacts, Notes, etc. As an example, here’s a screenshot showcasing a video game scene:

Things really don’t look that bad in this case, and video playback looks next to the same as you see above, but Apple isn’t showing very much real-world landscape use on their website.

Because people don’t know how everything’s going to look from one app to another, this could be the single most significant reason behind all the uncertainty regarding the notch. With that in mind, it’s worth looking at some concepts.

As you can see in the example below, there’s a lot of potential for landscape mode on the iPhone X to be a complete disaster:

Adding more fuel to the fire, web pages viewed in Safari on the iPhone X might be forced to display unsightly white bars on the sides just so the notch doesn’t interfere with web content:

On the other hand, if app developers can utilize the notch in imaginative new ways, then there’s potential to change the negative connotation associated with it. Case in point, this conceptual animation underscores how a fluid scrolling effect can make text-based apps in landscape mode look great whenever the notch is situated on the left side:

While it’s a little quirkier than most iPhone users are probably used to, the animation seems pleasant to me.

So that brings up another question: The right side of the screen is usually dedicated to the scroll bar, so what if the notch were situated on that side instead? Well, here’s another concept:

Again, it’s a little more bizarre for those used to rectangular screens, but I still like the concept.

Is the notch a problem for you?

Most of what you’ve seen here is nothing more than artist renditions and concepts and in no way detail Apple’s final plans. On the other hand, the notch remains a controversial part of the iPhone X because it’s ‘different’ from the norm.

One person’s opinion will differ from the next, but while I do think the notch could spark a polarizing experience for existing iPhone users, I’m also ready to embrace the change. For all we know, it could be exciting to see how developers will move forward with the times.

Do you disagree? Share your thoughts about the iPhone X’s notch and how you think it might impact your landscape mode experience in the comments below.

  • I am

    It basically boils down to this. Will people actually NOT buy iPhone X because of this? And would Apple listen or do anything about it if people complain?

    Answer to all questions is NO. So this article is pointless. People who want to buy this phone r going to buy this irrelevant of ANYTHING.

    I think lack of headphone jack is probably more important issue than the stupid notch. There is a simple software fix for this as implemented by the Essential phone.

    • Jack Wong

      I have been using BT since iPhone 6, Anker has it at a very affordable price, not sure why people still go crazy about this headphone jack, it is more like a CD-ROM to me.

      The headphone jack is just another port to get water damage, it won’t really damage your phone but there is a water sensor paper there, Apple technician would check that and see if it is damaged by water…

      • Blip dude

        My 3DS, Switch, nor surface 3 will connect to Bluetooth. Sure I understand that it’s a hardware issue on the surface 3 but you still did not explain the main point, why is necessary for someone who doesn’t want nor need Bluetooth to be forced 2 care 2 types of earbuds because one is useless outside of 2 devices, one of which still has a headphone jack.

      • Urname

        3DS I understand, but there’s really no excuse for the Switch or Surface not to have Bluetooth compatibility. And that’s certainly not something Apple should or would ever care about.

        You can just carry one pair of 3.5mm headphones, and use the dongle (as many people have already mentioned). You say you’ll lose the dongle – and that’s really the crux of your problem. If the majority of people don’t have issues with carelessness, then I’m afraid it’s not Apple’s job to make sure you can’t lose them.

      • Blip dude

        Who said it was Apple’s responsibly??

        Carelessness may not have anything to do with it, but I won’t completely disagree there.

      • Jack Wong

        The reason to get rid of the 3.5mm plug, as I know, it could save more room for battery or other things, also for water resistance.

        Apple has a solution for it, the adapter but then people will complain that I can’t charge my phone and listen with earpieces at the same time…

        I will have no more response after that… because the 3.5mm plug is gone, this is the fact, find a solution for that instead of asking why.

        Didn’t Pixel2 get rid of that too?! Did they explain why?!

      • mickey

        ^This. We know Apple is not willing to sacrifice thinness to create space and the headphone jack was the first to go. Imagine how much more battery we’d get without the camera bump…

        Blip dude, understand your frustrations but if you’re not blaming Apple than who? Their concern isn’t any other devices/ecosystem except their own. You’re already carrying multiple devices, I’d imagine a couple small adapters is a minor annoyance.

      • Anonymouse

        Well I think you said it all. The fact you use a device that clearly is missing a W at the beginning to listen to music that has zero quality and then complain about water damage to an opening a little over 3mm yet carry a Wanker device with larger openings that are subject to water damage just demonstrates how Apple is singlehandedly turning morons into bigger morons. A feat I thought not possible but I stand corrected

      • Jack Wong

        How can you speak for everyone? I am not picky about sound quality at all.

        I am using AirPods, I have been saying if you care about sound quality, go for something else.

        I can’t wait for you to bring up the battery can’t be swapped lol

        Moreover, Google is also turning everyone into moron with the same thing lol welcome aboard~

      • Anonymouse

        You’re not picky about sound quality and I am. There was a method for listening to superior sound with current technology. Apple removed it and replaced it with an inferior method with current technology. Apple has never done this before so why do it now? As for swapping batteries, that’s never been an iphone fearure.

      • Jack Wong

        There is no BT earpieces that can make you happy?

        Then too bad, you will have to look for another phone.

    • Syjic_666

      Nope I completely disagree, I personally may decide to rather just buy the iPhone 8 instead, although there are many other factors involved, advantages & disadvantages to consider, if I don’t like how the notch gets adapted it would be the defining factor in my decision to not purchase it. However if not for the iPhone 8 existence – admittedly it will be a very different story so I do see your point. 🙂

    • There has been controversy over the iPhone X’s notch for weeks, and many people have opted for the 8 because of the notch, so the answer is surprisingly “Yes” to your question. While the vast majority of people are bothered by the notch, this article is here to spur discussion and help alleviate the controversy, so I disagree that it’s pointless. (Just my honest opinion)

      Because of the wireless and Lightning-enabled headphone options available today, I would disagree that the removal of the headphone jack is that important. I haven’t used a wired headphone now for over a year, but I use a variety of Bluetooth speakers, AirPods, Beats Solo3, etc. Off-brand Bluetooth devices aren’t very expensive on websites like Amazon.

      • Blip dude

        “Because of the wireless and Lightning-enabled headphone options available today, I would disagree that the removal of the headphone jack is that important.”

        Yeah, it is!! Because outside of the iPhone those EarPods are freaking useless!!! Our pet just completely tore up the only lightning EarPods available in this household so I’m stuck with bringing Bluetooth headphones plus earbuds for other devices.

        Please explain how having to carry 2 earbuds makes any sense for someone who doesn’t want or need Bluetooth headphones??

      • You shouldn’t have to carry two types of audio devices with you. Apple includes a tiny and insignificant adapter in the box of your iPhone 7 or iPhone 8, so you can still get away with typical 3.5mm headphones.

        Then again, what other kinds of devices are you using these days that don’t support Bluetooth? I wouldn’t carry two different headphones with me; I’d find a unified solution. There’s a very large headphone market out there.

      • Blip dude

        So, carry a dongle?? Adding to user inconveniences?

        I wouldn’t call the 3DS, Switch and Surface 3 ancient. The Dell desktops I have to use a work?? Sure, pretty old computers. The Surface 3 having a hardware problem?? Definitely. But nevertheless the fact that even MacBooks don’t have lightning ports makes the lightning EarPods semi useless.

      • I keep my dongle stored ON my pair of wired headphones at all times. It won’t get lost that way and it almost feels like a part of the existing wire. I don’t see too much user inconvenience in that. My opinion is you’re making a big deal about it for nothing, your opinion is that it’s outrageous. Noted – lol. I’m not here to tell you that you’re wrong for doing things your way, but I definitely do things a different way. For example, I find carrying a small dongle more convenient than carrying two separate pairs of headphones, which undoubtedly use more space in any bag I’m carrying.

      • Blip dude

        “I keep my dongle stored ON my pair of wired headphones at all times”

        Which naturally wouldn’t be a problem except you risk loss when using 3.5mm buds on other devices. If you don’t own a Nintendo Switch, 3DS or forced to use old computers at work, then naturally you wouldn’t understand the hassle behind this.

        If the lightning EarPods did work on other device or if there was even a dongle to use lightning EarPods for uses on none lightning devices then there wouldn’t even be an argument but it’s obvious what the true stunt is here, it’s about money, not courage or even wireless.

        Just wish Apple had a big enough of a pair to admit that they pulled this more for the money than the future of wireless itself.

      • Bill

        If you’re taking video games to work, then you have bigger problems.

      • Justin Poynter

        I think the better question would be why do devices in 2017 not have Bluetooth not why does the iPhone not have a 3.5 mm headphone jack. The only place I still use a headphone jack is on an airplane with screens in the headrest

      • Blip dude

        Cause it’s not quite ready for Prime Time.

        Let’s face it, it doesn’t matter if one or 2 companies don’t support it, if there isn’t 100% support then it isn’t universal, period. Same with USB-C, it’s the future, and I love the idea of one cable rules all, but the future isn’t here yet, is it??

        Don’t get me wrong, I love what Bluetooth 5.0 WILL offer, but NOT even the new Beats studios support it yet.

        Do you really think all this is regarding the future of Wireless??

        Lastly, (sorta) off topic but software updates on headphones, really??

      • Anonymouse

        You can afford to fly aren’t you fortunate or does the company pay? The even betterer better question to ask is why the codec used on most bluetooth devices still producing music that sounds like the proverbial crap? Ok so Apple are cheapskates and won’t pay the licence for Aptx but yet haven’t got a better sounding alternative. So until they do, put the f***ing headphone jack back.

      • Blip dude

        A) it’s actually allowed during slow times believe it or not, and B) where in the F did I even state that in my previous comments?? I said at work we use old Dell computers at work which actually have no Bluetooth at all and my Surface cannot connect to Bluetooth (which I am aware is a hardware issue).

        I only mentioned that I need 3.5mm earbuds on my 3DS and Switch because Bluetooth headphones don’t work. Do you compute??

      • jacjustjac

        I’ve used Bluetooth headphones since 2009. But I coach figure skating, and every coach at the rink doesn’t use an iPhone 7. So we’re constantly having to bring our adapters to plug into the rink sound system, and try get lost, stolen, etc. Most of us have gone through five adapters or more in the last year.

        I tried using an Airport Express with AirPlay, but it’s not easy when you have ten coaches all trying to use the music. And the coach with the Galaxy S8 has to unplug it anyways.

      • Anonymouse

        You clearly aren’t to put it colloquially an ‘audiophile’.That’s ok they’re your ears and you can listen to shite quality music on any bluetooth device you want with or without a dongle. But please get your eyes checked or stop sucking up to Apple and trying to ram doen our gullet the term bezeless. You’re kidding no one except fellow morons and in the process your credibility drops to the level of a snakes belly. Bezeless bull***t.

      • I am

        Read Nilay Patel’s article on Verge about the headphone jack. he is spot on. Where is your objective analysis? if someone takes something away from you and gives something which is technically infirior, do you always take it without analysis and question?

        If you dont then thats definition of you being in the “Apple Bubble” where ppl dont hear objective truth but only what Apple tells them. No one is taking away your choice and Apple’s choice. But dont confuse it with objective truth. cuz altho u dont known it, u are lying to yourself.

      • Anonymouse

        Are you saying Apple removed the headphone jack and replaced it with a superior method for listening to music with headphones and superior sound?

    • The Zlatan

      I think you underestimate people and the look of the phone with the notch..

  • mplsdude

    Why not just code the software to display that whole left side above and below the notch in black so it just looks like it’s the true edge of the phone and is one straight line down the side of the phone?

    • Galaxy Life

      That’s exactly what they will do. The notch is not a problem.

      • Apps that do this will not be allowed admittance into the App Store. Developer guidelines forbid it.

      • Galaxy Life

        Apple will have to change the policy to accommodate their change in display.

        I think most people will like whatever the results will be.

      • credulousgeek

        I am not ranting but imo apple is forcing people to love somethimg which is a mistake i am design engineer myself i know how important even design is we never had seen any display like a cut out altho eventually we all will embrace it but truth is this notch is hideous thing.

    • Developers can’t do that because Apple’s guidelines make developers “embrace” the notch. That said, they’re /not/ allowed to hide it. Apple considers the curves of the display to be a ‘work of art’ of sorts, so they want developers to show it off.

      • Blip dude

        Developers can’t do that because Apple’s guidelines make developers “embrace” the notch.

        I wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you. Does Apple not realize that developers can simply tell them to piss off, screw the consumer and all this can theoretically turn out to be a huge disaster for them??

        The fact that Apple is forcing developers to work with the notch should raise a flag.

      • “Does Apple not realize that developers can simply tell them to piss off,
        screw the consumer and all this can theoretically turn out to be a huge
        disaster for them??”

        Sure – but then the developer bars themselves from one of the largest smartphone markets and their income gets slashed. Consider it a double-edged sword – either develop for the new phone, or don’t get paid

      • credulousgeek

        imo we shiuld hope some work of art by jailbreak community in coming months i am sure they will bypass apples restriction and make the display naturally curved imo i think something went wrong during final design testing it may be that apple had lost track of time thats why they created this notch thing by mistake and now is forcing devs to embrace it while i do believe it might be a mistake by apple designers like if i was a designer i would never compromise on showing notch while watching videos i highly doubt it its a mistake apple made i may be wrong but i would never make such a deliberate mistake tjo notch indeed is obliterating the whole design.The apple ios deisgners must have worked on blacking out the notch or the hardware design team might have created some more space to even the notch.

      • Urname

        Technically the guidelines say “placing black bars at the top and bottom of the screen” – which suggests to me that they’re thinking of this issue when the phone is vertical. And that they don’t really mind for horizontal use cases to hide the notch, because Apple does that themselves with horizontal video playback.

  • As a web developer, this notch has been the subject of many discussions in the office and online.
    Apple created meta tags to use on pages to account for the notch so that extra spacing is placed around the notch. But we still have to add extra padding and margins to properly work with the notch. The main question we’re asking is whether or not we’ll bother to support this one device, and the answer so far is largely a flat no. If in the future the notch becomes more prevalent, then we’ll start to work with it rather than ignoring its existence, but until then, be damned with it.

    • Galaxy Life

      I’m sorry but I don’t think you’re being honest–you will fully embrace the notch.

      Samsung got a patent on the notch design back in 2016 and Android fans are spreading rumors that it will be on the S9 and it’s that’s true it will mean that the top 2 OEMs have flagship phones with a notch and there’s simply no way developers can or will rebel against it.

      • Urname

        You literally did not read what ConductiveMammal wrote.

        Last sentence in his/her post – “If in the future the notch becomes more prevalent, then we’ll start to work with it…”

    • Adam

      Hahahaha god sounds like you’ve “developed” a half arsed effort! But hey if it’s too hard for ya……
      I’ve seen some interesting concept uses to fill in those notches, but then again some people like to be creative and try something different

  • Galaxy Life

    It’s not going to be a problem at all. If you ever bothered to look at other phones with minimal bezels you would have seen how the solve the problem and I don’t see why Apple can’t do the same.

    Apple could do one thing or several to solve the problem.

    They could simply not display all the way to the edges–just fill both sides with black and it looks like traditional bezel.

    They could also do fill the area with the same color as the app so it blends.

    It’s kinda hard to explain this in a way that you understand it but if you examine the S8 you can see multiple ways Samsung disguises the rounded corners and I think Apple will so something similar.

    You’re not even going to notice the notch at all.

    • Because of App Store guidelines, app developers will not be allowed to hide the notch with ‘black bars.’ Apps submitted with such qualities will get rejected. Apple wants developers to innovate around the notch, embracing its design and working it into the app’s UI.

      Directly from Apple:

      “Don’t attempt to hide the device’s rounded corners, sensor housing, or indicator for accessing the home screen by placing black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Don’t use visual adornments like brackets, bezels, shapes or instructional text to call special attention to these areas either.”

  • Cerberus The Wise

    I’m not getting the X because of the notch. Probably not a huge problem for most but would really bug me. Waiting for next years edge to edge notch free iPhones.

    • Anonymouse

      If they put a notch on all four sides would that make it look better. It certainly couldn’t look worse.

  • Im still undecided. Im going to buy it regardless. Ill make up my mind after it comes I guess

    • I think that’s probably where most people are at. It’s something you really have to see and feel in person to make any real decisions. Some screenshots and early reviews just don’t do it any justice.

      • Isn’t it not in stores on display yet?

      • credulousgeek

        nope it was just showcased after Apple event you see we will get usto this notch sooner or later.

  • Alexander S

    iPhone X infuriates me the most with its #notchgate, absence of Touch ID technology and 2nd generation #donglegate aka no headphone jack. Some of Apple’s recent hardware decisions make me cringe. Now developing for iPhone X is not only a pain in the neck from a design perspective, it ruins every app’s look. While there are guidelines and restrictions to what we (developers) can and can not do, the only way that we can adapt to the new change (have the app look great) is to make apps run black background (or have an option) to eliminate the transitions of the notch edge. This is similar to how black iPhones with black screens and black bezels make those bezels invisible vs white bezels and black screens.

  • OneBigInFiniteJoinT

    I am really confused by the notch, they will be in store Nov 3 where I can check it out if I like the design flaw or not.. but then if I do like it I can’t buy it till sometime next year cuz the damn pre-orders start on Oct 27.. so WTF do I do ? fu apple !

    • Urname

      Pre-order. If you don’t like it – cancel your pre-order, or if you’ve already gotten the phone – you can return it or sell it to another person for profit.

      Pretty simple really.

  • Costas O. Papazachariou A

    We want landscape mode on home screen to the iPhone X, like iPhone 6/6s/7/8 Plus.
    Please Apple add to next iOS update.

  • FastTrack

    Sounds like typical crApple bullsh!t to me. Take something stupid and shove it down everyone’s throat and MAKE THEM LIKE IT! lol

  • M_Hawke

    Spend a Grand to get a notch? I don’t think so. Adding cosmetic white or black bars gives you back the bezels. Bezels are bezels, hardware or virtual. So what was the point of making a $1000 “bezel-less” phone?

  • thenonhacker

    You do realize that the animated concepts are sarcastic about the notch?

  • Jordan Smith

    #NotchGate lol

  • Bacillus

    Oh man, I adore the notch already.
    Can’t be without it.
    Can’t wait for a jb tweak to have a sw notch NOW to make it mainstream – so webdevs can make the jump.
    Looking for a rough cutter to attack my homebutton later this week…anybody?

  • Eric Castro

    I hate the notch, but realistically speaking on a normal day I use the phone 95% of the time in portrait mode. So is it really a big deal? Well I guess I’ll know after a few weeks of use