General Question

2davidc8's avatar

What is the so-called "notch" on an iPhone?

Asked by 2davidc8 (10127points) 2 weeks ago

And why do people hate it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is a small cutout in the screen, where the front facing camera is located.
It is hated, because it reduces usable screen space at the top.
Imagine a webcam on top of your monitor, but instead of being actually on top, it hangs down into the screen, obscuring part of it.

Zaku's avatar

I have a Samsung from a few years ago that has sensible black bars top and bottom that aren’t part of the screen or touch surface, where the camera and some system buttons are, which also nicely means there are rectangular corners on the display.

The Samsung phones released after that went insane with a technology stunt and not only removed those, but curved the display and sensitive areas around the edges of the phone, because stupid (I already have trouble touching my phone without doing some unintended touch gesture that does something random). Many of those phones got broken edges.

The current Samsung phones have retreated from having the screen melt around the edges, but they still have the camera and system buttons inside the screen area, which has me not want to upgrade (not that there’s any good reason to upgrade, either).

rebbel's avatar

@ragingloli is 99,9% correct.
But where he wrote “small”, there should have be written “bathtub sized”.

gorillapaws's avatar

@ragingloli ”It is hated, because it reduces usable screen space at the top.”

This is a glass half-empty interpretation. Some feel like there are 2 extra zones of screen space that otherwise wouldn’t be there if the notch went completely across the entire width.

Forever_Free's avatar

I am of the glass half full side. It’s a front facing camera. They used the space on either side wisely as opposed to a “non sensible” blacked out bar.

What else would you suggest?

product's avatar

@gorillapaws: “Some feel like there are 2 extra zones of screen space that otherwise wouldn’t be there if the notch went completely across the entire width.”

And those people are silly.

rebbel's avatar

@Forever_Free Pop-up camera.
Hole punch camera.

Zaku's avatar

@Forever_Free I would suggest a non-sensitive, blacked out bar, which allows a normal rectangular screen with no “notch” in it, and a place the device can be touched without responding to the touch.

zenvelo's avatar

This is really a non-issue.

Before iPhone X, iPhones had a white space aross the bottom and the top of the phone. Its where they placed teh button to activate the phone. Then they went full screen except for the notch which is not even noticeable when using the phone and people like @product get all butthurt.

product's avatar

@zenvelo: “people like @product get all butthurt.”

I don’t Apple and I don’t notch, so butt is ok.

That said, I don’t think the notch takes away much from the UI of an iPhone. iOS doesn’t have the productivity features of Android, so removing much of the status bar area doesn’t really matter.

Out of curiosity – those who prefer to pretend that their screens are larger than they are (and accept the notch), what’s it like watching video? Does it shrink the visible video display size so you don’t lose part of the movie/show?

ragingloli's avatar

They could just get rid of those selfie cameras. No need to fuel instagrammer’s narcissism.

zenvelo's avatar

@product My apologies. But the notch is really not a bother. If you don’t have an iPhone, no need for you to denigrate those who do.

I have watched a lot of movies on my iPhone, and the notch does not take away any really valuable real estate. A cinematographer that puts something meaningful in that space would not make anymore movies because it would not show wellin a theater or on a TV.

canidmajor's avatar

Never even noticed it. Not noticing it now. Don’t care.

Forever_Free's avatar

@rebbel yeah, no. the goal is simplicity and longevity. I cringe at the thought about failures, breakage and long life for a pop-up camera.

almost everything has been integrated into an app on the phone now (shy of a hole punch).

Forever_Free's avatar

@Zaku real estate is everything, especially the face of your phone. There are next to zero devices on the market anymore that have anything other than glass on the front.

The place for no response would be the back currently. Yet, there are developers (samsung leading the way) with both sides doing something. Even a see through device when not in operation like a pane of glass.

Zaku's avatar

@Forever_Free “real estate is everything, especially the face of your phone.”
– Maybe for you. Not for me.
– I prefer having areas on the front of my phone with space that is not touch-sensitive, square corners on my display, and no non-display space in the middle of my display.

” There are next to zero devices on the market anymore that have anything other than glass on the front.”
– Next to zero? Isn’t the iPhone SE a pretty current model, with a nice square display and no-touch areas on the ends?
– Even if most new designs do have notches and no insensitive front areas, so what?
– Is conformity to the current norm also really important to you? If so, why?

“The place for no response would be the back currently.”
– In order to hold and object, pressure needs to be applied to opposite sides. Having one side impossible to touch without being interpreted as a signal, just seems like obnoxious design mistake to me. Maybe if I must get such a device, I can get a case that provides hand holds.

rebbel's avatar

@Forever_Free Granted, I don’t use my front camera as much as my back camera (although I use it at least every day to video call with my overseas girlfriend), but my pop-up camera on my Xiaomi Mi 9T still works flawlessly (19 months old now).
But I get your concern.

Forever_Free's avatar

@Zaku The SE came out in 2016. The 8 was the first apple phone to have “the notch” in 2017
People rebelled because there was no ‘home’ button on the front. People didn’t want to have face recognition to unlock your phone. People are finkle for the most part.

“Even if most new designs do have notches and no insensitive front areas, so what?”
– I agree with so what. To each their own. As a hardware engineer, I understand why one mfg may do things one way and another mfg do another way. They are all trying to differentiate somehow and still make decisions on changing the technology as they move forward.

“Is conformity to the current norm also really important to you? If so, why?”
– Conformity in certain areas are important. There are standards (IEEE) to be concerned about. As earlier mentioned, they are trying to differentiate and bring something innovative to the market. Some manufacturers are happy with being a clone.
I am agnostic to a product in the end.

Forever_Free's avatar

@rebbel very cool design.

zenvelo's avatar

@Forever_Free ”...People are finkle for the most part.

The best descriptor of flutherites I have seen so far.

JLeslie's avatar

Never bothered me.

I kind of miss not having a place to put my thumb at the bottom. Sometimes my thumb winds up just below the world on the bottom left and the keyboard freezes. I don’t know if everyone has a world there? I use the Spanish keyboard, but have both Spanish and English dictionaries turned on.

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