The existing iPhone notch
UPDATE: Jon Prosser
has revealed what appears to be the official layout of the iPhone 12 Pro notch. The updated story complete with extra images continues below:
We received word recently that Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup would feature a smaller notch. Now, after leaking the iPhone 12 Pro camera design, Twitter user @choco_bit
and Jon Prosser
are back with sketches that reveal the downsized notch. As per usual, however, do take everything below with your usual grain of salt.
Nothing major, but still a welcome change
The differences in size are far from anything drastic, as initially reported, but the changes are nevertheless still welcome and noticeable. Apple has been using the same notch since it introduced the iPhone X
way back in 2017 and fans have been requesting a size reduction virtually every year since.
To achieve this smaller size, Apple has moved the in-ear speaker towards the edge of the frame to make more room for the Face ID sensors. It has also chosen to integrate the microphone within the speaker grill.
Despite all of the rumors, though, Apple doesn't seem to have reduced the size of its Face ID components. Whether that means there will be no upgrades to the system this rear remains to be seen, however.
Shrinking down the notch is a necessary step this year. That’s because Apple is planning to add a LiDAR Scanner to the back of the iPhone 12 Pro.
Adding extra rear sensors doesn’t usually cause any major issues, but Apple’s latest implementation forces it to move the ultra-wide-angle camera to the top-right corner of the camera module. This, in turn, would cause an overlap with the current-gen Face ID sensors, hence the changes.
The new notch resembles an early iPhone 11 prototype notch
Rather interestingly, the new notch design looks very similar to the one being tested in early 2019 on one of several iPhone 11 Pro
prototypes before it was scrapped. That indicates Apple may have already been working on the required technology for over a year at this stage.
What went on internally remains unclear, but Apple could have planned an introduction on the iPhone 11
Pro before scrapping the idea in favor of an iPhone 12 Pro debut to maximize the differences between the two models and make the latter seem like a bigger upgrade.
Another possibility is that the upgraded notch and Face ID layout simply wasn’t ready for the iPhone 11 Pro, forcing the company to delay it by one year.
Expect widget support in iOS 14
Accompanying the revised iPhone display will, of course, be Apple's latest software – iOS 14. The company is believed the be focusing on performance improvements rather than adding new features this year, but that doesn't mean there won't be any new additions.
Courtesy of the same people, a separate sketch shows Apple's plans for widget implementation in its next operating system. These can reportedly be moved around freely across the home screen like an app and presumably introduce a whole range of functionalities.
Potential examples include an Apple Music widget that allows users to play/pause and skip/shuffle music from the home screen. Currently, this is only possible from the lock screen, control center, and Apple Music app.
Another possibility includes a Calendar app that highlights your schedule for the day or week. That would stop users from having to open the app to check what's next in your day.
Of course, what Apple has planned for the final version will remain to be seen. But this is a feature that has been available on Android for years, so Apple will have to come up with something incredibly useful to really impress.