One major feature of the iPhone X is how it can unlock the screen with just your face — also known as Face ID. It’s the new replacement for Touch ID, because there’s no longer a home button. Instead of chunky edges around the screen, you’ll have to settle for a “notch” at the top, where the front-facing camera and the sensors for Face ID sit.
But people have already expressed dissatisfaction with the notch on the iPhone X, and some don’t like it at all. In our day-to-day use, we generally liked the look of the operating system flanking the notch, but we did find it broke immersion when watching YouTube videos or movies on Netflix. It can be distracting.
iPhone X notch design
iOS splits the top status bar in two with information on both sides. On the right of the notch, we’ll call it a “shoulder,” you’ll see the battery, Wi-Fi, and cellular status. On the left shoulder is the clock. When the device is locked, the clock is placed in the middle of the screen and the left shoulder shows your carrier instead. The right shoulder is also where you swipe down to access the Control Center.
Apps need to support the iPhone X screen
Some social media apps already have added support for the iPhone X. When you open apps such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the interface blends in nicely with the notch. It will look the same as it does when you’re on the home screen or lock screen of your device, with all of the same information on its respective sides of the notch.
YouTube is another app that has already been updated to work with the iPhone X. The pinch the screen and the video will take over the full display, giving you an immersive experience. Doing this means you’re slightly cropping the video to fit the iPhone X screen, and that may mean cutting off the top of the video. With Netflix, you’ll need to double tap the screen to go into this immersive mode.
But there are still a large amount of apps that do not support the full display. These will easily stand out, because you’ll see large black bars on the top and bottom of the screen — making your iPhone X look like an iPhone 8. You won’t have trouble with Apple’s apps, but even Google has yet to add support for most of its apps. Slack, Trello, even Snapchat are just a few of the apps we saw that have yet to add support for the full display.
Apple told Digital Trends more and more apps are starting to submit updates adding support for the iPhone X, and we’ll likely see most apps adopting the full screen in the coming weeks.
For more about Apple’s latest flagship device, be sure to check out our iPhone X review.