We are days away from Apple’s Far Out September 7 event that likely will see the launch of the iPhone 14 series, among other products such as the Apple Watch 8 and AirPods Pro 2. And this year, Apple’s flagship phones are said to get one of the biggest design overhauls this year — dropping its infamous notch.
The elimination of the notch would come just a year after Apple reduced the size of the notch on the iPhone 13 by 20% from previous models. That change affected all four iPhone 13 handsets, but this time around, the company’s plan to retire the notch altogether is only supposed to involve the iPhone 14 Pro.
Under this scenario, the iPhone 14 would look similar to its predecessor, retaining the classic look Apple gave to its phones starting with the iPhone X. Meanwhile the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would see the notch replaced with a cutout.
As our iPhone 14 notch timeline shows, initial rumors suggested circular punch-hole and pill-shaped cutouts in the center of the iPhone 14 Pro’s display; the former would house the camera while the latter would take of Face ID sensors for unlocking the phone. But a last minute notch rumor details a different approach, with Apple using a single cutout for both the camera and Face ID sensors. This will be a single, pill-shaped design.
Assuming Apple goes with this single black, inconspicuous cutout for the iPhone 14 Pro’s display, it’s great news for users. Right off the bat, such a change means more display real estate.
Having pixels between the punch-hole and pill-shape cutouts wouldn’t be of much use, as it disrupt the flow of the screen just like the notch did. Joining the cutouts together minimizes the interruption in the display, while opening the doors for many redesign possibilities amongst apps. Some of those redesigns are already being hinted at in a few reports.
One such report has suggested that Apple is probably doing this to redesign the phone’s privacy indicators. According to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), privacy indicators — one for the microphone, the other for the camera — could be relocated to the black cutout on the phone. those let users know if the camera or mic are in use.
In fact, tapping on a live indicator could then tell users which applications are using (or have recently used) the camera and microphone, alerting you if you’re being tracked without your knowledge. That’s a winning solution from a privacy standpoint.
An elongated pill-shaped cutout would also leave a lot more space for apps to have additional settings or redesign the control bar. The 9to5Mac report mentions that the camera app could apparently get a redesign — the camera controls could shift and sit just below the pill-shaped cutout, leaving a larger view for the camera preview.
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will likely feature 6.1 and 6.7-inch displays, respectively. Those sizes along with Apple’s beautiful display panels and this new elongated pill cutout, could translate to a stunning display for the Pros.
Rumors of a new look for the iPhone 14 Pro display come at the same time the device has been tipped to get an always-on display as well. The iOS 16 also brings back the battery percentage icon on the top, which would easily fit in on the large screen of the iPhone 14 Pros.
That’s a lot of display changes, and the single cutout may be the most welcome of all. It’s a more practical way to utilize space — so much so that we wish the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max would adopt the change as well. That’s apparently not in the cards this time around, though, but at least the new look is a step in the right direction for half of Apple’s new phone lineup.