Give Apple CEO Tim Cook credit, he has been willing to alter the core design of the iPhone since stepping in to replace the late Steve Jobs, and for the most part the market has reacted positively. And for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, Apple released the iPhone X with an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display that covers the entire front. Well, except for that quirky notch at the top. It is a weird design to be sure, underscored by an app in the App Store that aims to mask the notch.
It is appropriately called Notch Removed, developed by Axiem Systems and sold for $0.99 in the App Store. Notch Remover is compatible with a wide range of iPhone and iPad devices, but is clearly intended for the iPhone X.
“Notch Remover lets you remove the notch from the status bar! Notch Remover modifies your wallpaper to adjust for the notch. Check out some of the amazing results in the screenshots!,” the app’s description reads.
The app effectively compensates for the notch by adding a solid black status bar along the top on both sides of the notch, on the Lock screen and Home screen, creating a top bezel. By the letter of the law (Apple’s law, that is), this should be a violation of the developer guidelines, which prohibits these kinds of workarounds to certain features.
“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,” Apple instructs developers.
Despite what appears to be a pretty blatant violation, Notch Remover managed to slip through by way of careless vetting, or Apple willingly allowed it. The latter would indicate an admission of sorts that Apple’s design is flawed, though do not expect the iPhone maker to ever admit that.
To be clear, the notch exists as a way to house Apple’s TrueDepth camera, a key component to the company’s highly touted Face ID feature. It has been mocked by Samsung, and now concealed by a developer, provided Apple allows Notch Remover to remain in its App Store.