Apple’s new MacBook Pro notch is acting strangely. Early users observed differences in how Apple handles the notch across macOS and in specific programs, resulting in unexpected behavior such as status bar items being obscured beneath the notch. These inconsistencies give the impression that Apple has forgotten, in some areas of macOS, that the MacBook Pro has a notch.
Quinn Nelson, the owner of Snazzy Labs, has shared two videos on Twitter showcasing some of the early notch concerns. The main video shows what looks to be a macOS problem. When status bar elements are enlarged, they can become obscured beneath the notch, like as Apple’s battery indication.
Nelson shows this with iStat Menus, which can be concealed inside the notch or cause system components like the battery indicator to do so. While Apple has provided developers with information on how to work with the notch, the creator of iStat Menus claims that the app only uses conventional status items and that Apple’s developer guidance “would not solve the issue demonstrated in the video.” This does not appear to be the intended functionality, as the notch behaves differently in different programs.
Nelson also mentions how an earlier version of DaVinci Resolve avoids the notch. You can’t even slide your mouse pointer into it in apps that haven’t been updated for the notch. Apple has blocked this area so that older programs cannot display menu items beneath the notch. However, 9to5Mac notes out that this behavior is inconsistent throughout the rest of macOS, so if you have the Finder in focus, the pointer may become lost behind the notch.
The notch may potentially aggravate pre-existing macOS difficulties. Apps such as DaVinci Resolve (with extended menu items) can occupy the space previously occupied by system status items. According to MacRumors, this is standard macOS behavior, but the notch obviously lowers the amount of space for both menu items and status items. It’s a persistent problem that has given rise to tools like Bartender and Dozer to help manage the macOS menu bar.
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It is unclear how Apple will handle these inconsistencies, even if developers upgrade their standard programs to accommodate the notch. Fortunately, these issues will be quite unusual and will most likely emerge only in apps with a large number of menu or status items.
It’s odd that this wasn’t a design concern before to the MacBook Pro’s release. “Soooo, the team in charge of Menu Items in apps was read in on the notch, but the team in charge of Menu Status items was not?” says Verge executive editor Dieter Bohn.
In other words, don’t blame app developers, it’s notch always gonna be their fault.
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