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‘Who designed this?’ – Video shows MacBook Pro notch problem with status bar items

A video has been posted illustrating a MacBook Pro notch problem in which status bar items can end up hidden beneath the notch.

A separate video shows how extended menu bar items wrap around the notch, which also reveals an inconsistency in the way macOS handles the mouse pointer …

Snazzy Labs owner Quinn Nelson tweeted a couple of videos. The first, entitled ‘Who designed this?!’ illustrates that what happens in an app with enough menubar items to go past the notch. macOS handles this well, simply positioning the remaining menus to the right of the notch. However, there is an inconsistency.

If you have one of these apps in focus, then you cannot move the mouse pointer ‘behind’ the notch. If you move right, then the pointer jumps across the notch. If you try to move up into the notch, the pointer just bumps against it.

However, if the Finder is in focus, then the behavior is different. The pointer can be lost/hidden inside the notch. Neither is wrong, it’s just not great UI to have this kind of inconsistency.

Nelson also complains that apps with a lot of menus steal space from the status bar icons, but that is normal behavior that happens with or without the notch. The worst accusation you can make in this regard is that it will happen more often, given the space taken by the notch.

Watch the bottom video first:

One reply suggests that Apple is doing this to prevent older apps from inadvertently using that space.

The second video does, however, reveal an actual bug. When you extend status bar items, then they can end up fully or partially hidden behind the notch.

He illustrates this with iStat, whose developer confirmed that they are not doing anything unusual with their app.

We are just using standard NSStatusItems, as most apps would be for their menu bar status items.

Verge executive editor Dieter Bohn summarized the apparent reason for the problem:

Soooo the team in charge of Menu Items in apps was read in on the notch, but the team in charge of Menu Status items was not? lol

This obviously doesn’t rise to the level of a ‘-gate,’ and will be an easy fix, but it is rather embarrassing that Apple failed to spot the problem in testing.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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