Video Shows How Poorly macOS Monterey Handles the Notch on the New MacBook Pro

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 27 Oct 2021

Early adopters of the new MacBook Pros are discovering firsthand that macOS Monterey hasn’t been optimized for its notched display. The results are hilarious, annoying, and certainly don’t help Apple’s reputation after the bug-laden iOS 15 debut not too long ago.

In a couple of videos posted to Twitter, Snazzy Labs owner Quinn Nelson demonstrated some of the teething troubles with the notch. Firstly, he showed how the Status bar items on macOS are obscured by the notch when the bar’s contents come closer to the middle of the screen. In this tweet, he joked the MacBook Pro shouldn’t be shipped to customers with software in this condition.

His second video opens by saying “the plot thickens” and boy does it thicken. On apps like DaVinci Resolve that haven’t been optimized for the notch, he was not able to take his cursor into the notched region. macOS blocks off the space so applications can’t display menu items under the notch. However, the behavior is inconsistent.

Nelson switched to iStats Menus and showed how the system battery indicator can be dragged behind the notch to be hidden too. The iStats Menus developer told The Verge that the program relies on standard status items because Apple’s guidance for developers “won’t solve the issue presented in the video.” Nevertheless, the experience isn’t what a paying customer would expect.

Our Take

If an app is in focus, you can’t move the pointer behind the notch. If you move the cursor to the right, the cursor jumps across the notch but if you try to enter the notch from the bottom edge, the cursor simply bounces off the notch’s edge.

These inconsistencies shouldn’t be associated with polished stable software shipping to customers who want a seamless user experience from their MacBook Pro. We fear Apple has stuck its foot squarely in its mouth with this one, given how prominent the notch is and that everyone is going to toy around with support for it baked into macOS Monterey. A software fix had better be on the way.

Would you buy the new MacBook Pros despite this glaring oversight on Apple’s part? Let us know in the comments below.