The notch. It's been subject to scrutiny since it was first available on the iPhone X. Some people like it; some people don't, but regardless of your personal opinion, it's been on every flagship iPhone model since 2017.
While the newest iPhone 13 models shrank the notch a little bit compared to previous iPhone models, recently, there's been a ton of rumors that the next flagship iPhone will get rid of the notch altogether. If it's true that the iPhone 14 will get rid of the notch, I'll be a little sad. Not totally sad, though; here are three reasons I'll miss the notch and the one big reason I won't.
Reasons I'll miss the notch
1: It brought us Face ID
There's no denying that Face ID is incredible. It's fast, very accurate, as secure as it possibly can be, and it's the only biometric authentication available on flagship iPhones since its inception. I'm not sure that without the notch, we would have gotten Face ID as good as it is today.
Heck, Face ID has even been improved over the years, to the point where Apple is testing out the ability to use Face ID with a mask, which is pretty damn cool if you ask me.
I know that Face ID isn't going anywhere, even if the notch disappears, but there will be a part of me that will miss the notch for nostalgic reasons. The notch gave us Face ID first, and therefore it holds a special place in my heart.
2: The TrueDepth camera may not exist without it
It's important to remember that Face ID doesn't just use the front-facing camera but rather several different sensors to function properly. These sensors — along with the camera, microphone, and speaker — make up what Apple calls the TrueDepth camera, housed entirely in the notch.
The TrueDepth camera has not only given us Face ID, as I already mentioned, but it's also the reason we can take Portrait Mode selfies and the reason they typically look pretty good. Of course, the technology has to do a lot with what the TrueDepth camera does with software —and Apple does use computational photography as well — but Apple's hardware-combined-with-software approach is somewhat unique. It's the notch that made that possible.
Once again, I don't think that the TrueDepth camera is going away, but I'll always love the notch for bringing it to us first.
3: It gives the iPhone a unique look
Whether you like the look of the notch or not, you can't deny that it gives the iPhone a specific look — it's part of the iPhone's visual footprint.
Look at the image above. The three Android phones look awfully similar, don't they? If the screens were off, and there was no branding at all, I think anyone would have a hard time identifying those Android phones just by looking at the front of the phone. But, the notch makes the iPhone instantly identifiable, even more so when the screen is turned on.
I think Apple was smart going with the notch and sticking with it for as long as it has because its visual impact is so strong. In essence, the notch is branding — strong branding at that. You can pick an iPhone out of a crowd in seconds just by seeing that notch, and that kind of uniqueness is super valuable for any brand.
If Apple was to throw that all away and just put a hole punch camera on the front, I would certainly miss the notch and its specific look. It's why I hope whatever design Apple moves onto for the iPhone 14 and beyond is somehow just as visually impactful as the notch has been.
The big reason I can't wait to get rid of the notch
I miss the option to have the battery percentage on in the top corner of my iPhone. I know, it seems like a small thing, but an actual percentage readout is just so much more precise than the battery meter will ever be.
Yes, you can put the batteries widget on your home screen and get a readout of your battery percentage, but it's not a particularly nice-looking widget.
There was some hope with the smaller notch on the iPhone 13 that the option to display the percentage would be back, but unfortunately, that never came to pass.
If you get rid of the notch, I'm begging you, Apple, give us that feature back on the next best iPhone.
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.