This iPhone X App Fixes Its Most Glaring Design Flaw

Notch Remover has a simple goal.

A new app promises to hide one of the iPhone X’s biggest design changes. Notch Remover, a $0.99 product released Saturday, hides the shape at the top of the screen that houses the face recognition system by extending a black bar on either side of it, filling in the top of the phone’s screen.

That notch has become one of the most controversial changes made to the 10-year iPhone line. The new phone houses a 5.8-inch screen in a phone the same size as the 4.7-inch iPhone 8, and it accomplishes this by removing the home button and extending the display closer to the edges. But the TrueDepth front-facing scanner, which enables the Face ID authentication system, cuts into the phone along with the camera and speaker component.

The app, developed by Axiem Systems, fixes this by taking advantage of the phone’s OLED screen. Unlike LCD, which has been used on every other iPhone, the new technology enables the phone to stop light emitting from pixels entirely. This means that black areas of the screen appear truly black, unlike on regular screens where light still appears to shine through.

This means that, when a black bar is displayed at the top of the wallpaper, the notch becomes almost indistinguishable from the screen on either side of it:

Notch Remover in action.

It may not stay live on the store for long, though. Apple’s own guidelines discourage developers from making such changes:

Don’t mask or call special attention to key display features. Don’t attempt to hide the device’s rounded corners, sensor housing, or indicator for accessing the Home screen by placing black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Don’t use visual adornments like brackets, bezels, shapes, or instructional text to call special attention to these areas, either.

Apple also seems rather proud of its new design. The company’s chief design officer Jony Ive has referred to the phone as “a new chapter” in the product line’s history, suggesting that big changes ike the notch are here to stay, at least for now. Still, perhaps next year’s phone, which is rumored to include a rear laser scanner, will adjust the notch to make it slightly less prominent.

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