By Dan Moren
October 29, 2021 1:51 PM PT
The Back Page: Notch your business
Reviews are in and the new MacBook Pros are a hit! Customers love the power, the battery life, the not totally garbage webcam, and the function keys that are actual keys. It’s hands down the best pro laptop Apple has made in years, and nobody could be disappointed by a single aspect of it.
Well. Except…the notch.
What used to be just a campfire tale warning children about the danger of those newfangled iPhones has now come for all of our Macs. Devouring our menu bars with no remorse. Consuming cursors with a vengeance. Concealing valuable, much-needed screen real estate.
Surely Apple, in its infinite loop wisdom, could have found a way to design around the notch. A company that can fit thousands of songs in your pocket? One that can pack so much power into smartphones that they can outperform expensive computers? That continues to make money with the efficiency of a machine designed only to make money? No, the idea simply beggars belief, which means there’s only one reasonable conclusion that any right-minded person can reach.
What is Apple hiding behind the notch? What truth lurks, obscured only by that seemingly innocent black, half rounded-corner rectangle?1 I’ve spent hours upon hours poring over obscure history books, ancient texts, and, naturally, the darkest corners of the Internet2, carefully sifting the incisive from the inane, the observant from the obvious, and the sharp from the batsh—well, you get the picture. After careful consideration of the facts, I’ve emerged with six contenders for the best theory as to what lies beneath…the notch.
Universal Control: Apple promised the feature in its latest releases, but it’s barely been featured in the beta releases. What gives? Simple answer: the control to enable it is hidden right under the notch. All you have to do is slide your cursor behind it, hold down globe-command-shift-option-control and click your trackpad three times while chanting “There’s no place like home.”
A better webcam: Just 1080p? Are you kidding? Of course Apple packed a better camera into its latest and greatest laptop. Even the $329 iPad’s camera is a 12 megapixel wide angle module with Center Stage, and it’s not like Apple would put a worse camera into a two thousand dollar computer. Pfft. The notch? That’s just the plastic cover that you forgot to peel off.
Siri: Your virtual assistant has to live somewhere! You know how the Keebler Elf lives in a tree? Basically the same thing. How else do you think they can hear you all the time?
A golden ticket: Tim Cook’s going to retire some day—perhaps sooner than later—and if we learned anything from classic tales of retiring if eccentric CEOs, it’s that the only equitable way to pick a successor is randomly…followed, of course, by an obstacle course of outlandish and innocent-seeming-but-surprisingly-deadly tests. (Trust me: whatever you do, do not eat the iPod shuffle.)
A map: I have it on good authority that the application of a little heat right beneath the notch will reveal the location of a huge lost cache of historical artifacts carefully hidden by the Freemasons. What, you think Apple got rich just from selling phones? Please.
More screen: It’s that simple. They just want to see who’s brave enough to check.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at email@example.com. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]