Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Iphone Apple

Developer Marco Arment Shares Thoughts On iPhone X's Notch ( 194

Developer Marco Arment writes about the infamous notch on the iPhone X, which Apple has told developers to embrace rather than ignore: This is the new shape of the iPhone. As long as the notch is clearly present and of approximately these proportions, it's unique, simple, and recognizable. It's probably not going to significantly change for a long time, and Apple needs to make sure that the entire world recognizes it as well as we could recognize previous iPhones. That's why Apple has made no effort to hide the notch in software, and why app developers are being told to embrace it in our designs. That's why the HomePod software leak depicted the iPhone X like this: it's the new basic, recognizable form of the iPhone. Apple just completely changed the fundamental shape of the most important, most successful, and most recognizable tech product that the world has ever seen.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Developer Marco Arment Shares Thoughts On iPhone X's Notch

Comments Filter:
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @11:31AM (#55225381) []

    Please note:
    I have an iPod, iPhone, Mac mini and Apple TV. This is not a troll, only the truth that can be seen even by Apple users.

    • Those guys could’ve made an entire video just mocking the “ears” on the iPhone X-moji.

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @12:18PM (#55225651)

      The funny thing about the notch to me is I don't really care about it, it seems like non-Apple people are making a bigger deal out of this than the Apple people...

      I thought Apple people were the ones who cared about superficial looks, but that does not appear to be the case.

      On a side note I didn't get the part of the video where he was swiping up to home, he was pretending he meant to scroll instead? But who does that from a tab bar, honestly. The rest of the video was amusing though.

      • The most important part of the video, the reason I linked to it, is the part where that notch is clearly obtrusive when watching photos or videos.

        • But even there he had to circle the thing in big lines to call it out. In real use after a week or so you'll not even notice the thing is there.

          In real use people rotate phones rarely, even looking at photos they are more inclined to zoom to see a landscape image than they are to rotate.

          In watching videos most people rotate, but if you consider how tall the screen is doesn't it seem like most aspect ratios for movies / tv shows will have black bars at the sides of the screens anyway? It's only video shot

          • by TimMD909 ( 260285 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:21PM (#55226047) Homepage
            You people who don't rotate end up shooting videos vertically. You are the root of all that's evil in this world and YouTube. Rotate your damn cell phones.
            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              What's the best way to shoot horizontal video of a vertical subject, especially in a room too small to fit the entire subject vertically in the frame of a horizontal camera?

              • by mlyle ( 148697 )

                This is the one time that vertical video is OK, but even so-- most of the time you would still be better off with a horizontal framing of the subject.

                Yes, losing the bottom sucks. But compared to giant black bars when anyone not on a phone views it, it's the lesser sin.

                • I partially agree with this, but where you can only zoom so far digitally and it isn't always practical to "zoom out" using your feet, in a small room, etc. portrait/vertical shooting is the obvious solution.

                  What DOES need to die is the godawful trend of framing portrait/vertical videos with sidebars of blurred portions of the video; this kills the ability to properly enjoy the video; rotate it and you don't get much of a zoom, and you can't zoom in to the video in portrait mode because of the fucking blurr

        • In the iPhone X simulator, if you load up YouTube and play pretty much any video, then go full screen - you get black bars at both sides of the screen because most videos are not that wide...

          A few really wide movies (like Hateful Eight) would probably go under the bar. But most widescreen movies would not.

        • by seinman ( 463076 )
          Not shown in this video: the fact that it's an optional view. The other option? Video zoomed out enough to not be cut off by edges and corners, with black bars where necessary. Since the phone has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and most videos are 16:9, the unobscured view will be the default view most of the time anyway.
        • The notch only obscures the video if you zoom in, otherwise you get black bars.

      • I care when they start trying to shove IE6 levels of stupidity into the browser-wars.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The Essential Phone was the first to do a notch, although it is much smaller. It generally seems to be fine, not annoying or problematic or distracting.

      • by c ( 8461 )

        I thought Apple people were the ones who cared about superficial looks, but that does not appear to be the case.

        I suspect more than a bit of it is turnaround for the ribbing the Apple people were giving to the Moto 360 watch's "flat tire".

      • It's not even a "notch"; its substantial width precludes that term being the correct way to describe it, except in the poorly educated mind of the journalist who first referred to it in that fashion. It's a sensor bar that doesn't extend all the way across the phone, with little display areas extending up on both sides for some reason. And getting worked up about it seems like a tempest in a teapot. It is remotely possible that it is a marketing ploy to gain mindshare/free publicity.
      • Duct tape (Score:5, Funny)

        by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:39PM (#55226529)

        I just put a piece of duct tape over my old Iphone 6 so everyone will think it's an iphone X

      • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:41PM (#55226539) Homepage Journal

        I thought Apple people were the ones who cared about superficial looks, but that does not appear to be the case.

        This is how a fanboy admits that Apple really fucked up the aesthetics.

        But who does that from a tab bar, honestly.

        "It's not bad ergonomics if I can train myself to stop doing it."

        • "It's not bad ergonomics if I can train myself to stop doing it."

          So to scroll up on a table on screen, you start by pressing on a tab bar below the table then swiping up?

          Even on UI for existing phones, that would select a different tab before it scrolled anything... so if you do that you must be a blithering moron.

          But then, you are an Apple Hater so I guess that goes without saying.

        • Swiping from the edge has always been a different gesture from swiping fully on he screen. Up to now, swiping from the bottom edge brings up a settings panel. So no, no one would ever have used that gesture to scroll. The video is jut wrong.

          But then it was made more for laughs than accuracy.

      • The funny thing about the notch to me is I don't really care about it

        It's interesting to see the very mixed responses. Some people don't care, others (like me) think it's a blemish. It's like something is stuck to the screen and I can't get it off.

        It would be interesting if there's any relationship between these views and typical screen designs the viewers are used to. e.g. I have rectangular screens on all my devices. I wonder if someone with e.g. a Galaxy Gear watch or similar device with a non rectangular screens feel the same way. But personally it looks wrong, and the m

  • by fred6666 ( 4718031 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @11:32AM (#55225385)

    with a unique, identifiable and recognizable shape for their phone is an idiot. Just like anybody who needs everyone to know what phone brand they use.

  • I bet they've already trademarked that shape / design.

    • I bet they've already trademarked that shape / design.

      For once, I approve of the broken trademark and patent systems.

      At least this will prevent the spread of this... less than optimal design.

    • I bet they've already trademarked that shape / design.

      I'd bet not, since you can't trademark a product design. You're likely thinking of a design patent, which basically functions like a trademark (rather than utility patents), except that it's used for product designs instead of logos, slogans, and other trade marks. If they did trademark anything related to the iPhone X, it would be the iconography associated with it (i.e. the illustration of its outline shown in the linked blog post), rather than the product design itself.

  • by that this is not und ( 1026860 ) * on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @11:43AM (#55225447)

    And why should we care?

    Has Apple trademarked 'the notch'?

    At times in the past, Apple has chosen to blatantly 'wear' mistakes they have made. Will this be the same? Will there be further generation 'notces' even when the notch is even less necessary?

    Will 'screen protector' stickers with a darkened 'notch' area on one side become the trendy thing to stick on your older Apple Gadget?

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      And why should we care?

      He ended his blog post with "courage", which takes courage.

    • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @12:03PM (#55225561)

      Marco Arment was the original developer behind Tumblr, the original developer behind Instapaper (i.e. the first big "read it later" service on mobile), is currently the developer for the Overcast podcast app and service, but is probably most well-known in Apple tech circles these days as a blogger [] and podcaster (he hosts a few podcasts, the biggest one being the Accidental Tech Podcast [] with John Siracusa and Casey Liss).

      As for why you should care? You shouldn't. Mind you, I read his blog and regularly listen to his podcasts, so I'd lump myself in as a fan of the things he has to say (which isn't to say that I agree with them, just that I like hearing them). I was fine with Slashdot covering his blog entry last year when he railed against the quality of software that Apple was putting out, because even though he later regretted having made that post, it still did an excellent job at coalescing and reflecting a broader sense of dissatisfaction among Apple users at the time. But his random thoughts on the shape of the iPhone X? Even I don't think that warrants Slashdot coverage. It was something I enjoyed reading yesterday, but it doesn't warrant reposting here.

    • Will iTunes be the only place we can buy Ninotchka?

    • Has Apple trademarked 'the notch'?

      Cue iPhone cases with vaginas on 'em in 3..2..1

    • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:41PM (#55226177)

      And why should we care?

      I care about this for the same reason I care about the headphone jack: I fear that other manufacturers will copy this shit from Apple.

    • Has Apple trademarked 'the notch'?

      oh oh oh PLEASE! They should trademark removing headphone jacks as well. Maybe then the stupidity will stop.

    • Has Apple trademarked 'the notch'?

      It's likely they will, in the past Apple has used design patents to protect that kind of thing, and they've won lawsuits with them.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @11:43AM (#55225457)

    I’ll be sticking with my notch-less iPhone 6S for a while longer.

    While there are certainly different tiers of smartphones, we’re really at the point where these are more or less commodities. They’ve been powerful enough to keep using multiple years for some time now.

    So sorry, Mr. Veblun, but I won’t be spending $1000-1200 on a phone.

  • Ever since Schiller's said that word, it's nearly lost all meaning.
    • Ever since Schiller's said that word, it's nearly lost all meaning.

      I'd say it's gained a meaning. In addition to "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery ..." [], the word now also signifies "defensiveness about one's flawed logic and poor aesthetic sense, arising from a grandiose persecution complex".

      • by Sebby ( 238625 )

        Oh yeah, Apple is "courageous" for dropping the headphone jack; but firefighters? Nah, they're not "courageous" like Apple, they just do their jobs, which is run into burning buildings.

        All those WW soldiers? Bah! They're not "courageous" like Apple, they just went out to fight some bad guys.

        I could go on....

        • by Sebby ( 238625 )

          (damn submit/preview crap - when is /. gonna implement live preview of comments!?)

          My point (and I get yours) is that Schiller and by extension Apple, has totally insulted a large group of people, both present, past and future, when they called themselves "courageous".

  • There are a lot of FaceID detractors - that is to eb expected of course, since what Apple does is wait until they can make technology not suck before they include it. Before Apple added TouchID, the only experience people had with touch sensors was very poor sensors that mostly didn't work. But now TouchID is beloved and people fear its removal..

    FaceID is the same way. Some phones now have face recognition, but it's so primitive it can be fooled with a picture - and even then it often doesn't work reall

    • 1) Most important - it will work for the elderly.

      Which is pretty important... []

    • FaceID is also going to work great for government agents trying to get access to your device. Now all they have to do is have you look at the phone. It's just as bad as the fingerprint reader is as far as legally compelled unlocking goes (at least in the U.S.).

      I get that FaceID is really for the people who wander around with their phones totally unlocked, but lets not pretend it's a secure way to protect your device. You also open yourself up to being remotely surveilled by not blocking the forward-faci

      • FaceID is also going to work great for government agents trying to get access to your device. Now all they have to do is have you look at the phone.

        You are actually exactly backwards on this issue:

        1) If you just shut your eyes or look away it will not unlock.

        2) On the TouchID phones you can put it in passcode only mode with five taps on the lock button. But with the X, you just squeeze the power and either volume button at the same time as you are handing the phone over to someone, and it goes into passco

    • by krkhan ( 1071096 )
      When your #1 justification for a controversial design decision by fucking Apple involves the elderly, clearly they're on to something.
  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @12:03PM (#55225559)

    Marco Arment said:

    Many Apple fans were amused when Phil Schiller explained the removal of the headphone jack on last year’s iPhone as “courage”. But that was nothing compared to what happened last week.

    Since we're using "courage" as a synonym for "stupid" these days, the removal of the headphone jack took more "courage". The cutout has mostly an aesthetic impact. The headphone jack removal has a functionality impact.

  • by swell ( 195815 ) <jabberwock@[ ] ['poe' in gap]> on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @12:04PM (#55225567)

    Isn't it obvious? The 'notch' screams QUALITY so loud that even non techies are eager to part with their $1,000. Combined with the clearly identifiable Apple Watch, these proud owners will turn their noses up at the rest of us unwashed common folk.

  • I enjoyed the article, until the last line: "That’s courage." Really? Reminds me of this ... []
  • It looks like those old remote controls. The Notch is an unwanted blemish IMO.
    I would rather see developers hide it.

  • TFA provides a Rorschach Test [] -- no not the guy from Watchmen -- of mobile phones, but with right and wrong answers..

  • by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:05PM (#55225947)
    In the past few years, cell phone makers appear to have "embraced" the fashion design world, in the manufacturing of a tool, namely the smartphone. Watch just about every announcement, read pretty much any story about a new smartphone, and what's typically the #1 thing they announce? How fashionable, stylish, colorful and slim it is. Heck, if they even mention it, it is at the BOTTOM of the article, on how well it works in it's name...AS A PHONE. You have stupid stories about how "ugly" bezels are, how it detracts from the design to have a hideous camera bump on the back. Instead of having a good tool, they have relegated the smartphone, to the red carpet runways of the hollyWEIRD crowd. It's now nothing more than a status/fashion symbol. Can't wait for the low attention span crowd to move on to something else to screw up, and the smartphone will be off it's silly diet, allowed to wolf down a few pizzas, some cheese fries, gain some WEIGHT. Thicken up the smartphones, put back the LARGER batteries, add some slight bezels to hopefully stave off any impact to the edge of the phone, cracking the screen, place a retractable 5-10x zoom lens and larger camera sensor on the back. This fashion icon crap, is nothing more than a way for manufacturers to jack up the price even more because morons continue to buy into the "fashionable/slim/colorful/stylish" crap. With build costs of the flagships (Apple/Samsung) of around $300 dollars, but "commanding" prices above $1,000 dollars now, you'd thing people would demand the price come back down. Heck, people claim pharmaceutical, oil companies and other are ripping people off, but no one blinks an eye, to overpay for a smartphone.
  • I don't know about you all but I find it really hard to tell my Samsung phone from an iPhone these days. Maybe to a designer a circle versus oval home button jumps out like a flashing red light. To me, a mere mortal, I have to look carefully to tell which is which. They're both white rectangles with a button on the bottom and a rectangular screen.

    As to the notch making an iPhone instantly recognizable again, that sounds like wishful thinking. They're still both going to be rounded white rectangles with a re

    • No, it's not just a rectangular screen: The X has a screen with rounded corners that fit with the rounded corners of the case in such a way that it has a bezel with a constant width all around (except the notch of course).

      Especially with AR apps this helps with creating the impression of not looking at a display, but through an empty frame.

      It's actually a clever design and definitely highly recognizable. You will be able to look at half a dozen smartphones with (in some way) minimal bezels but you will imme

  • Marco Arment is an idiot Apple fanboy. Great, thanks Slashdot!

    "Most important, most successful, and most recognizable tech product that the world has ever seen" my ass. Fuck you, Marco. You don't seem to have a clue what your'e talking about. What a disgusting sellout to the king of proprietary software.

  • That’s why Apple has made no effort to hide the notch in software

    Please, Marco, elaborate more on this idea.
    I am really looking forward to eat you...

Two wrights don't make a rong, they make an airplane. Or bicycles.