We’ll get used to iPhone X’s ugly notch, even if we don’t end up liking it

“Everyone and their grandmothers working for or with Apple on the iPhone X is no longer afraid to use the already announced phone out in the wild,” Chris Smith writes for BGR. “We’ve seen numerous iPhone X units in use around the world.”

“Someone posted a brief iPhone X video on Reddit that shows the phone opening an app. It’s just a 10-second clip, but it’s enough for any iPhone user to recognize a significant issue: the notch user interface,” Smith writes. “As you can see in the video at this link, the current version of the Instagram app looks absolutely horrendous on the iPhone X. The top screen elements are way too close to the ‘ears’ and the notch itself. That’s because we’re looking at an application that has not been optimized for the iPhone X.”

Apple's iPhone X is notchtastic™.
Apple’s iPhone X is notchtastic™.

“Well, Instagram is probably working on a new iPhone X design that will be made available once the phone launches, or soon after that. And hopefully all your favorite apps are going to get similar updates that will make everything look good, or at least bearable,” Smith writes. “You’ll get used to the notch, we all will, even if we don’t end up liking it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, “bearable.” That’s exactly why we line up for Apple products… Oh, wait. It’s not.

The “notch” is ill-conceived. It’s a design abomination. It’s an inelegant kludge. It requires developers to do extra work to literally design around it.

If it’s intended for branding uniqueness, it’s at least as ill-conceived as it is in terms of UI/UX, for it’ll be knocked off by the Korean dishwasher makers and the Chinese fake iPhone peddlers in approximately 32 seconds, if it hasn’t been already. As we all know, protecting Apple’s trade dress is hardly the top priority of the world’s legal systems.

Oh, wait. Our 32-second estimate was days too long. Say “hello” to China’s innovative and unique Android-based Hotwav Symbol S3:

The Hotwav Symbol S3 reminds us of something. So much for branding via notch.
The Hotwav Symbol S3 reminds us of something. So much for branding via notch.

Each and every day, we pray that we’ll be afflicted with Notch Blindness™ on Day One.

Sloppiness: Apple’s inconsistent iPhone X design guides show attention to detail is no longer a priority – October 13, 2017
It’s not all screen: Apple’s stretching the truth with iPhone X marketing – October 3, 2017
Joshua Topolsky: Apple is really bad at design – October 1, 2017
Apple’s botched ‘notch’ atop iPhone X’s display is a design abomination – September 15, 2017
Apple is turning a design quirk into the iPhone X’s defining feature: Leaning into the notch – September 14, 2017
The lessons and questions of Apple’s iPhone X and iPhone 8 – September 13, 2017
Apple embraces that ugly notched cutout in OLED ‘iPhone’s display – August 30, 2017
It’s time we embraced Apple’s notched/cutout OLED iPhone display – August 11, 2017


  1. Remind me again of your credential,s qualifications etc for industrial design? Suggest critics wait until have an iPhone X in the hand before making qualified comments. Am amazed how so many ‘experts’ are passing judgement before the fact…

    1. Ah yes! Credentials! The omnipresent stylistic listener’s mantra. You don’t need credentials to think it sucks, okay!
      Sometimes Gourmande is bullshit for “crap you would never eat if you knew what it was”. Sometimes it isn’t.

      1. Nobody needs credentials. In fact, experts suck. They are frequently wrong, contorting markets with their misbegotten opinions. In the same way, ancient shamans dictated policy to gullible rulers and precipitated trade wars, religious wars, and wars of conquest. Idiot heads of state are fine, as long as they don’t listen to their sleazy advisors. These advisors are responsible, more than kings, for the crucible of history.

      2. I’m a designer and I like the notch. It’s an interesting profile. Reminds me of car grills, two people look at the same grill and one loves it the other hates it.

        1. I personally think the notch would have been fine as a distinctive feature on the lock and home screen – but will be obtrusive and distracting when in applications and therefore should have made to black out as soon as an application is opened. No usable space would have been lost, as the status bar at the top could have changed to white on black. Apple would still have had their distinctive feature and virtually everyone would have been happy.

          1. I don’t see a thing wrong with the notch. It is neither good nor bad – i.e. the king’s new clothes. My guess is the notch is there because it has to be for the camera and sensors, etc, and the decision was made to use the space on either side for active messaging. The other choice would have been to leave the sides blank and not get the extra display area.

            1. @BenG – MDN’s (and others’) idea for the notch was a good one, and lines up with what you’re imagining here. Reserve the “ears” for OS status info (battery, signal, etc.), do not allow apps to use it (except to blank it), keep the area black so the notch is not visible.

              Since the area is 99% to be used for iOS status data anyway, you are left with the same result and a much cleaner look.

              The fact that existing apps are rendered badly on the X screen is an oversight that will hopefully be corrected before the device actually ships, but it does make prototypes & test units look pretty bad in the wild.

            2. The notch appears to be at its worst in landscape orientation, when watching movies for example. I seldom hold my phone like this so I don’t think it’ll be an issue.

      1. A fine sentiment, especially as it rises from a deflated Yankees dugout. Never fear, the base is solid and valiant, and will pursue the Dodgers to perdition. Likewise, Alexander the Great bided his time, and crushed the forces of Darius. So proclaims the Delphic Oracle, the Breath of Apollo.

        1. Verlander is a franchise by himself…the best team won. I don’t see the Dodgers beating Astros.

          Did pretty dang good for a “rebuilding year” though. I was sadder that it was Sabathia’s last Yankee game than I was for the series loss.

  2. knock it off MND, would you prefer solid black band across the top, rear touch ID w/o face ID, what’s your brilliant solution? apple will provide a setting in the future to black-out OLED (true black) as an option, if they did so at launch the cynics would go more ballistic than now.

      1. A solid black band across the top will likely be available is settings shortly after launch if not on the first day, at least for the main screen. It’s called wallpaper.

        Any application that wants to forego some screen for a black bar can easily make that standard or optional as well.

        No big deal. I just got pre approved and hope to beat all of you out on Friday.

        1. “Any application that wants to forego some screen for a black bar can easily make that standard or optional as well.”

          Just FYI, but pushing a new app to the App Store is like playing Russian roulette. The app reviewers have a nasty habit of finding problems with apps, even when the allegedly-problematic features have been in the app for years. These nits are based on subjectively-interpreted rules, so there’s often no way to refute them. Basically, app devs can expect that 1 in every 5-10 submissions, they’ll end up having to do thousands of dollars of work just to be able to appease whatever app reviewer has a bee in his bonnet. So while it might seem easy to just push an update, it is a risk every time an app is submitted.

      1. That’s the absolute perfect solution to get rid of the UGLY in your face notch. A thin, elegant black band that incorporates all the necessary elements — DONE.

        Melvin’s incessant excuses are hilarious and ridiculous non-reasons. Typical fanboy rage that will not cover for an Apple design mistake …

            1. That’s the botvinnik I know and love: Solomon to his irrepressible critics, belying the tragic loss to upstart Houston. But unlike the tech biosphere, no one is saying fire Girardi like they say fire Cook. Or are they? One thing is for sure certain: there are more critics than artists on this planet of ours, more naysayers than yeasayers, more fantasy-league geniuses than bona fide marketplace winners.

      1. The reason is obvious: to be able to bitch about Apple. So many of us desire to do that, even without owning Apple products. It is strangely fulfilling, almost narcotic in the thrill of exercising free speech maliciously and irresponsibly, targeting a large and monolithic corporation, picking off its senior officers with a sniper rifle whilst camping on an obscure ledge. Easy pickings. Bonus points if your criticism happens to be valid.

            1. You should try sometime to post a LEGITIMATE gripe. Everything I see from you is just empty whining, name-calling and generalizations. Just because you are having what passes for emotions in that swirling petulance doesn’t mean the whine has any legitimacy.

  3. At least Apple offered us another option. After much consideration, I have just ordered the 8 Plus. I just don’t want to look at that notch every day and also dislike the letter box display ratio of the X.

  4. If you like the notch, or think people are making too much of it, you probably are ok with wearing stripes with checks…and not with the intent of looking like a dork.

    1. And if you think that fashion-aware people are the only people who are worthy of making a judgment with respect to the notch, then you are a dork.

      You and MDN and the rest of the notch haters can buy an 8 plus or an Android for all I care. Really. I don’t care. Find somewhere else to hate. The incessant negativity is nauseating.

      I believe in insanely great products and I believe that Apple should strive for perfection. But Apple products were not perfect in Steve Job’s day, either. The good old days were not that much different. People (and MDN) need to get some perspective.

      1. King Mel: you’re so cute when you get ruffled. I sure would like to see you with your red face with high check pants and striped shirt. Btw, I have some perspective…it’s a design mistake. For the 10th anniversary marking one of the centuries design wonders produced by a company that’s design-acclaimed, one would expect/hope the notch would have remained on the drawing board. Nope, this one got through. see your face getting red again.

  5. Not just each App developer has to accommodate and redesign but every website who wants to provide the best experience on iphone X..
    Its a huge Ask.

    Its preplexing… but i would like to BELIEVE(?) Apple did some experimenting with other alternatives and settled on this …..
    I take the notch to have face id but believe there could have been better solution.

    In the last few years there have been quite a few real stupid, elementary, and fundimentaly wrong decisions made at Apple… both in design/ ergonomics and marketing .
    How did/do some of these choices get approved and how did those who approved them land a job at Apple ?… isnt a supposed to be that you have to be te best or Apple is not your

    1. Most websites are already craptastically screwed up with ads and links and menus and such already, Do or Die. The notch won’t make it any worse.

      Mask out the “ears” on with side of the notch and you have no problems in portrait or landscape. Dedicate those areas to core indicators on a black background. Problem solved. Move on.

      1. King i agree that it offers a cleaner solution of sorts…
        But what is iphones effective screen size once ears are not counted in ?
        How about just a slightly longer iPhone to accomodate for a slightly thicker bazel at the top and a larger, clean notch free screen realestate.

  6. $1,000.00 and the first thing you have to do is get used to this ghastly abomination at the top of the screen. Something that’s omnipresent, effecting every facet of the user interface. The first thing your eyes will be drawn to when you take it out of the box.

    Can’t wait.

    1. Then don’t buy it. You have probably wasted $1000 worth of your time complaining about it. Wait for a year – maybe next year’s model won’t have a notch. Buy an 8 plus. Whatever.


        1. Sean, did you really think that people who complained about the butt ugly notch are going to buy this abortion? Of course not, Sean. Maybe a retard like youself has to remind himself not to purchase something that you find offensive. I mean, someone offered you a shit sandwich and you bought it, ate it, then said to yourself,”Man, I’ll never buy and eat a shit sandwich ever again – they’re horrible.”

    2. Blessings upon you. I sympathize with this abomination you have to deal with. My children merely have parisites eating their eyeballs. I volunteer to swap my life for yours.

  7. It’s very simple, if you don’t like it don’t buy it, or If you are unsure then buy it and give it a chance. You can always return it if you cannot live with it. None is forcing anyone to live with anything

    1. Actually that is exactly what corporations like Apple do by degrees. They determine what you will buy because the sheep have no choice. Did you like the cheese grater Mac? Well hang onto it because the planned obsolescence visions Apple is pushing will remove your options. When Apple loses interest, it might just drop you altogether. Right, Mac Server and Aperture users?

      It is amazing how superficial design and convenience are worshipped and hotly debated while the biggest issue is Apple is forcing a walled garden thin client on everyone, slowly killing the Mac which up to now offers complete user control.

      Also, the iPhone X is fugly and overpriced. Not interested at all.

  8. When I see the notch, I am reminded of the story of Steve Jobs putting the developmental iPod into water to make a point… This product, like that one, was not finished or well thought out and never would have been released under Jobs.

    Similar to the current ATV remote, a good idea with horrible implementation.

  9. The notch was enough to put me off (and the price!) So got myself an iPad Pro 12.9 and Apple Pencil. Couldn’t be happier. They’re about the same price and I’m still running my iPhone 6, which is fine, but got my new shiny incredible Apple device to play on until next years notch-less iPhone. The thing’s a machine!

  10. Hey MDN: If you don’t like the notch, don’t buy iPhone Xs for your staff. I’d like a shot at getting one without having to get up at 2:55am. If everyone harping on the design skips it, those of us who don’t care have a better shot.

  11. It seem to me that with the iPad Pro 10.5” Apple got it entirely right. I have not heard a single person say they prefer the older 9.7” version. It a pity Apple did not do such evolution of the iPhone, rather than rush through a complete design change which causes so many of their most loyal customers to be dissatisfied.

      1. The answer is to stopvinnik from constant worry about Timmy’s pipeline. It’s an unhealthy obsession. He’s doing pretty damn well for apparently being so useless – imagine what Blackberrian Windows Mobile worlds of lost confidence would quick have appeared had Tim Cook actually been bad at his job!

        Instead we have today’s Apple, and while it could always be better, as could anything, Apple has done stunningly well post the loss of Steve Jobs, and Timmy has kept his pipeline clean in between all of the things that have come out of it, such as new Macs, new iPhones, new iPads, new Apple Watches, and plenty more.

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