Love it or hate it, the iPhone X has a non-removable sensor notch. But while Apple has embraced the notch, you don’t necessarily have to.
Over the weekend, Apple approved a new app by Axiem Systems succinctly titled Notch Remover. Of course, the app doesn’t actually remove the notch (which is physically impossible), it helps to mask it.
Basically, Notch Remover is a tool to add a black bar across the top of images, which can then be made a wallpaper for either the Lock or Home screen in Settings.
The result is a clean black bar across the top of the iPhone X, which removes the ears on either side of the top of the display.
The various status indicators on the left and right sides of the notch will still be there, they’ll just be incorporated into the “new,” solid black sensor bar.
But, as stated above, because the notch is a physical design feature, the app can’t actually remove it. The sensor notch will still be present in apps — both of the native and third-party variety — and when watching video.
Still, it’s interesting that Apple even approved the app in the first place. The company has urged app developers not to mask or hide the sensor notch in its Human Interface Guidelines for the iPhone X. In fact, those guidelines specifically state that developers shouldn’t “attempt to hide the device’s round corners, sensor housing, or indicator for accessing the home screen by placing black bars at the top or bottom of the screen. Don’t use visual adornments like brackets, bezels, shapes or instructional text to call special attention to these areas, either.”
On the other hand, the app doesn’t necessarily add any UI/UI elements per se. It’s essentially a simple image editor that finds a clever way to mask the notch. Apple’s guidelines apply to the UI elements of third-party apps: the loophole here being that Notch Remover doesn’t break Apple’s rules with its own interface.
Nevertheless, for those who don’t like the sensor notch, the app is a $1 investment that can help users desperate to see slightly less of it in their day-to-day activity. It’s currently available in the App Store for 99 cents.