The iPhone 14 Pro’s notch replacement looks increasingly like a mere relocation. Yesterday the news dropped that rather than two isolated cutouts, the two will be joined for a sort of elongated pill design.
This report, which felt a little dicey at the time, has since been backed up by the extremely well connected Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, who tweeted that “having that separation would look odd during use.”
This is true. It looks like one wide pill shaped cutout. Having that separation would look odd during use. https://t.co/SrAtYQsENxAugust 31, 2022
But it may not be purely aesthetic, with 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) providing an interesting insight into what else this new design could offer.
According to the site, a “source with knowledge of Apple’s plans” says that the space between the two cutouts will house two privacy indicator lights: one for the microphone and one for the camera. That way you can know if you’re being surveyed without your knowledge.
This isn’t strictly speaking new — it’s the relocation of existing privacy indicators. On current iPhones, two lights sit slightly to the right of the notch, with a green dot indicating the camera is on and an orange dot informing users that the microphone is running.
The new placement is far more obvious, and on top of that Apple reportedly plans to make them more useful: tapping a live indicator will apparertly tell users which applications are using (or have recently used) the camera and microphone, helping owners track down rogue software more easily.
Interestingly, this new layout will also lead to a redesign of the camera app interface, the site continues. The controls will be moved to the top of the screen to sit below and next to the camera cutout. Flash and Live Photo will apparently sit in the status bar, while “more granular photo and video settings” will sit below it.
The result is a larger view of the camera preview, as you can see from the site’s mockup, based on the new information.
This, combined with the improved 48MP main camera and larger pixels on the ultra-wide lens, should make the iPhone 14 Pro the photographer’s choice — assuming that early reports of weak low-light performance are wide of the mark.
The long pill cutout and changed camera UI makes plenty of sense, and the sources appear legitimate, so there’s not that much reason to doubt any of it. But we should find out for sure if it’s true very soon indeed. The Apple event is just a week away, and we’re expecting to see not just the iPhone 14, but the Apple Watch 8 and possibly the AirPods Pro 2, too.