I’ve never been a big supporter of the iPhone notch that houses the selfie camera and Face ID sensors. This has always been a hindrance for me, but after a lot of rumors and speculation, Apple announced the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro which both feature a smaller notch, the first major improvement in this department since its debut in 2017 with the iPhone X.
I always understood why the notch was there, but never liked it, even after three years of owning a iPhone X. I tolerated it because of the quality of Face ID compared to Touch ID, mainly because of the ease with which the device scans your face to use the iPhon without lifting a finger.
However, as my iPhone X was showing signs of willingness to relocate to the great iPhone graveyard in the sky, I waited for the announcement of the new iPhone 13, which eventually happened. While Touch ID hasn’t made a comeback as some had hoped, a smaller notch has arrived instead, meaning I can be less distracted by it.
When Apple typically downsizes a feature, like phasing out 3D Touch in iPhones, that usually means they’re already planning to get rid of it in time, and I can’t wait.
A distraction to the next level
IPads with Face ID never had a notch due to the heavy bezel design (compared to iPhones) meaning a notch was never needed – the border can obscure real cameras that allow face identification and selfies for Apple tablets.
The Face ID authentication system works with three cameras in the notch – all of these work together to make sure it’s your face when scanning, so it can give you access to the iPhone.
However, we were in a simpler time before that, with Touch ID just requiring your finger or thumb to authenticate access, which is still the much simpler method when using ApplePay.
However, with every major iPhone model launched towards the end of the year since 2017, there has been an ever-present notch that has hosted Face ID, hindering my content.
Stretched across the top of the screen, every iOS app has to adapt to it, with video apps like YouTube giving you the ability to zoom in, covering the screen, and making no exceptions to the notch. While some proudly exclaim that they don’t notice it after a while, I do. It’s a constant annoyance and it hurts the quality of the iPhone X and subsequent iPhones.
But the iPhone 13 series now has a notch which is 20% smaller horizontally, while the height is slightly longer, with applications not needing the extra work to accommodate this smaller design.
I rejoiced. While I had planned to upgrade this year anyway, a smaller notch sealed the deal even more, reducing my pain point from three years by 20%. But I am still not completely satisfied.
What could be next?
Apple is a company that thrives on the elegance of simplicity, reducing certain steps or peripherals so that you can access features faster.
Getting rid of the headphone jack with the iPhone 7, removing the home button entirely with the iPhone X, and replacing Touch ID with Face ID are just a few examples.
The smaller notch is another example, with more screen area now available for the apps you use every day, regardless of the minute the iPhone 13 series is off.
But in the other city of the smartphone world, many Android devices have already gone from a notch and even the smallest “punched” design that was the size of a single circular camera lens.
The Samsung Z Fold 3 for example has a front camera below the screen, so the entire screen is now notch-free.
While this feature still has a long way to go, it shows what could happen with a future iPhone if Face ID were behind the screen, getting rid of the infamous notch altogether.
A smaller notch in the iPhone 13 series is a good start, but it is clear that Apple is starting to work towards a fully displayed iPhone, with nothing to stand in the way of what is displayed on the screen, similar to iPads. but in a 6.1 format. and a 6.7 inch screen.
The iPhone X has been used over the years, but with the iPhone 13 series finally having a smaller notch and a much improved camera compared to the X, that’s a sign to me that my next upgrade to the l ‘iPhone in the distant future will hopefully include. a notch-free display
I’m already looking forward to the day when this happens, so we can finally train our muscle memory to forget about the little lip at the top of our iPhones.
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