Why Does Apple’s New MacBook Professional Have a Notch on the Show?

With several new products announced at Apple's October 18 event, one controversial design decision rose to the top of social media chatter: the notch. MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch models have expanded displays, but you can't have a bigger screen without sacrificing a few. Let's discuss why Apple chose the notch route on its new MacBook Pro range and explain why the decision isn't that bad.

Face ID is likely coming to the Mac

Face ID is Apple's face recognition technology used in its iPhone and iPad Pro products. With a compatible model, you can use this useful tool to unlock your device and authorize purchases, payments, and other actions. The technology offers security and privacy and has quickly become an integral part of modern iOS devices. But Mac users keep missing out as Face ID is missing even on the iMac.

Your Mac needs a TrueDepth camera for Face ID to work, and Apple has so far neglected to include this technology in the most recent Mac versions. However, several signs suggest that Face ID for Mac is on the way.

Image source: Apple / YouTube

First, code discovered by 9to5Mac in an early iteration of Big Sur references certain features and keywords related to face recognition. This suggests that Apple has long been preparing to include the technology in its Mac products.

Related: Face ID: Can Strangers Unlock Your Smartphone and How Can You Prevent It?

Next up is the recent reveal of the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, including notches. Apple wouldn't design such a wide notch if it didn't have something to hide – like a TrueDepth camera, for example. While the new models don't have Face ID technology, the extra camera space at the top of the screen means Apple can add the appropriate hardware when it's ready. At this point, we've all gotten used to the big black tab invading our displays.

Apple knows incremental changes will hold the masses, and the broad notches on the new MacBook Pro models give an idea of ​​what's to come: Face ID and a TrueDepth camera.

MacBook Pro 14- and 16-inch models have more screen space

Technically, Apple didn't put a notch in, it just reduced the frame sizes on its new MacBook Pro models, and you're now only losing 3.5mm on the edges of your display. Hence, we can view the notch as an innocent by-product of Apple's attempt to provide more screen real estate.

The new 14-inch MacBook Pro has a 14.2-inch display and the 16-inch model offers 16.2-inches. As you can see, you don't lose anything on Apple's Notch, but you gain a significant amount of extra screen space. That's a win for many of us.

In practice, your top menu bar wraps around the notch, and only the most cluttered menus run the risk of bumping into the empty black space. For most of us, the notch will be an inconspicuous landmark in a spacious area.

Image source: Apple / YouTube

However, when you run apps in full screen mode, you lose the benefits of a larger display. Apple's marketing material suggests that the expanded portion of the screen will go black to prevent the notch from entering your work, which means those of us who run full-screen applications will lose some of the benefits of the redesign. But for general macOS usage, many will appreciate the additional storage space.

Image source: Apple / YouTube

For those who can't stand staring at the evil notch, Apple suggests using Dark Mode to hide what some see as disfigurement. It's a cheeky suggestion from the company, but one that should be considered.

Apple doesn't do anything without good reason

Apple doesn't make arbitrary design decisions, and the notch exists for a reason. Even if the purpose had been to create chatter on social media, the company would have been successful. However, the new display notch of the MacBook Pro is more than a topic of discussion and discussion.

The new design suggests Face ID is likely on its way, and Apple is laying the groundwork for introducing the feature to its Mac lineup. In addition, many of us will benefit from the extra screen space the redesign provides. Apple designs its products on purpose, and its controversial hack has a place and a purpose.

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About the author

Matt Moore
(25 articles published)

Matt is an Australian freelance writer with a degree in creative and critical writing. Before his studies, he worked in technical support and gained valuable insights into the technology and its users. His real passion is storytelling and he hopes to one day write a well-published novel.

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