The macOS cursor travels behind the MacBook Pro’s stupid notch

Apple’s new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros both feature a rather unnecessary notch, a first for the Mac, and seemingly Apple’s attempt to double down on design idiocy. That said, one question remains: How does macOS, i.e. the cursor, handle this inelegant kludge, this silly speed bump, bad design that accomplishes nothing?

The Mac is now one year into its two-year transition to Apple silicon.
The MacBook Pro now features a notch in the display

Sami Fathi for MacRumors:

The predicament about how the mouse pointer handles the notch has been a question floated across Twitter and Reddit over the last 24 hours or so since the new MacBook Pro’s announcement.

The new MacBook Pros will begin arriving next week, but thankfully, we don’t have to wait that long to get an answer. Linda Dong, an Apple designer, has confirmed on Twitter that the macOS pointer travels behind the notch, allowing users to essentially hide the mouse pointer from view.

Apple is taking steps to make the notch less of an annoyance for most customers in day-to-day use. When macOS apps are in full-screen mode, Apple adds an artificial black bar to the top of the display that hides the notch. Developers can, however, opt to allow their apps to make full use of the entire screen real estate, notch included.

MacDailyNews Take: Stupid and pure post-Steve Jobs Apple. But, we repeat ourselves.

“We couldn’t figure out how to do it elegantly (read: right), so we’ll spread it everywhere to make it look intentional” is hardly a winning design philosophy.

Or any design philosophy. It’s just bad marketing. “Unapologetically plastic,” as it were.

That Apple adds an artificial black bar in their apps to try to hide the notch tells you all you need to know.

The MacBook Pro’s unnecessary notch is literally a black mark on an otherwise near-perfect machine.

And, it doesn’t even deliver the benefit of Face ID. Ugh!

Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!

37 Comments

    1. The new MacBook Pros will sell like hot cakes but not because of the notch, no, despite the notch. It’s like the older versions sold well, not because of the missing SD card slot but despite.

    2. The stupid here does not begin with an N, rather a T.

      The notch has not stopped me from ordering, but it ruined and marred a near perfect product.

      What part do you not understand…

  1. Get over yourself! The notch is not a big deal. The mouse passing under makes sense btw, as the mouse stopping when it hits the notch, or simply jumping over it would be problematic. This why if you swipe past it, it just keeps moving and shows up again on the other side.

    MacDailyNews Take: Stupid and pure post-Steve Jobs Apple. But, we repeat ourselves.

    Yep, Ad nauseam!

    I for one will enjoy the extra screen real estate afforded by this change (which is use by the menu bar mostly) giving us a taller screen for content. Full screen stuff skips the notch altogether, so what is the big deal?

    1. The notch in itself is not a big deal, but it’s a symptom of the asymmetrical post-Jobs Apple.

      But then, like James T. Kirk, Jobs was known to change the rules to suit himself.

    2. “Get over yourself! The notch is not a big deal.” NO, Apple Apologist the notch is stupid and one of the biggest design flaws in Apple history ruining a near prefect product.

      “The mouse passing under makes sense btw, as the mouse stopping when it hits the notch” NO, if you can’t see it underneath the notch confusion reigns temporarily losing the cursor.

      Full screen is for photos, movies and presentations fanboy, not for for serious work…

  2. I wonder if the notch hating crowd has considered that Apple put a notch in the new MacBook Pros specifically to give them something to complain about.

    A little meaningless controversy is great for getting the word out, so while on idiots! My AAPL stock portfolio thanks you…

  3. I think the notch should be inaccessible. People will lose they cursor there. I would have been OK with the notch as a way to get a smaller bezel and more screen space, but for FaceID. the IDEAL application for faceID isnt the phone, but the laptop/desktop setup where your face is always in shot. Why was a notch necessary for such a mundane 1080p camera is beyond me.

    1. I agree… the only thought that comes to my mind is that maybe Apple intends to add face ID in the next iteration.. and putting the unnecessary (for now) notch there will allow them to do so without a design change?
      Otherwise a small hole would have done the job ….as some cellphones do already …

      1. Yes, I think they want to “save the space” and let the complaints run their course and introduce Face ID next year, but probably not Center Stage. They’ll reserve that as an iPad feature just to make sure you buy their full range of auxiliary devices.

  4. It’s obviously a notch above competitors and an in your face way to remind you you’re an Apple user.

    It does seem completely unnecessary though.

    Ultimately it is “NOT-ch” needed.

  5. And we go again. Remember the kerfuffle about the notch in iPhone X? Carried through to later models, and who complains about it these days? I fancy that history is about to repeat itself.

      1. It does suck, it’s not the notch itself for me on the iPhone, but the fact that it was used as an excuse by Apple to hide your battery %. Even with bigger phones and the newly “slimmer but taller” notch, they don’t show you that crucial info even though there is space.

  6. If the notch bothers your mouse use, get a real mouse running across the display. That way, you’ll have a “cursor” able to jump across the notch on the odd chance that you couldn’t find any other way to move your cursor across a 14 or 16-inch display without running up against the minuscule notch placed as out of the way as it possibly could be. The Apple critics who get their 15 minutes of fame by picking on the most stupid things to hang their criticisms on are, predictably, going to use another opportunity to notch up their online presence.

  7. What’s the big deal if the cursor travels behind the notch? There isn’t anything on the display behind the notch to select, is that right? The way I’ve seen it, the notch doesn’t interfere with anything on the display area except the Menu bar. All I know is that it won’t stop me from buying a new MacBook Pro which has far more positive features than negative features. Again, I say that no matter how much Apple tries to please consumers, there are some who will never be pleased. I suppose that’s just par for the course.

    Will laptops from other companies embrace the notch? Not(ch) likely.

  8. “It had been rumored, but did anyone really think even Apple would do it? Oh, they did it all right. The all-new MacBook Pro has a freaking notch.
    Not only is it ridiculous, but what possible purpose does it even serve?

    Especially when Apple itself is hiding it in most of the promo renders on its own webpage.

    The MacBook Pro doesn’t even have Face ID. That’s the biggest joke here.
    In its first incarnation, it’s literally a home for a webcam. And since macOS is all menu bar all the time across the top of the display, you’re really making the most of that extra few vertical pixels’ worth of space.

    The sad part is that the silliness with the notch distracts from some of the actual, serious work Apple has done under the hood with its M1 chips.

    Windows OEMs often try their best to mimic the MacBook style. Please don’t! This stupid notch is one trend we really don’t need anyone copying.

    Source: Windows Central

    “Imagine putting a piece of electrical tape on your laptop at the 12 O’clock position…permanently.”

    ”The notch is a distraction, as if someone left a barbecue sauce thumbprint in the middle of the top of my screen when opening it.”

    Source: Mac Rumors

  9. Two Options:

    Keep a big black thicker bezel on the top with the camera set embedded into it, just like the 13″ MBP.

    or

    Take the bezel up higher and leave a notch.

    Apple went #2, and rightly so. As the current #1 solution not only has a big black bezel on the top, the menu is also on the screen below that bezel, eating up more vertical screen real estate.

    With the bezel taken north to razor thin levels, the menu items are now where a waste of space black bar would have been – and is on the 13″ MBP. And now the display below the notch is all used for screen, not menu and then screen below.

    This notch design simply frees up more work space.

    1. Option #3: design a webcam that fits inside the slim top bezel or create a better implementation of an under-the-screen camera than your competitors, living up to the Apple Industrial Design Group’s reputation for excellence. The Stupid Notch™ screams cost-cutting, beancounter-Cook-approved placeholder.

  10. I ordered the new MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip. I can hardly wait. Concerning the notch misdesign, I hope there is a setting that let’s one choose to have only the display show below the notch so the notch would “disappear” – like in the full screen view. I don’t mind having a little less screen if I don’t have to be aware of the notch the whole time.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.