New macOS 'Compatibility Mode' Lets Fullscreen Apps Use Area Around Notch

Apple released new Human Interface Guidelines to help developers and users accept the truth about the last-minute notch rumor regarding the MacBook Pros. They explain how developers can best make use of the larger screen area around the camera housing, if they feel their app would benefit.

The new documentation states that macOS Monterey's fullscreen mode automatically accounts for the housing. It places a black bar across top of screen to hide the notch, and prevent any app content from being placed there.

MacOS includes a new app compatibility mode for MacBooks, which has a notched housing camera housing inside the screen bezel. The new mode allows apps to use the fullscreen area, but not in the notch, and prevents them from finding content in that area.

The compatibility mode is available for Macs with a camera housing embedded in the screen bezel. This prevents apps from accidentally placing content in that area. The system will change the active area of your display to prevent the housing from being visible when this mode is activated. This new active area makes sure your app's contents remain visible and does not get obscured by the housing.

The Finder adds a checkbox in the Get Info panel of Macs with a notch. This allows you to enable or disable compatibility mode manually. Developers can also force compatibility mode by using new code properties. These properties define the safe area on the screen and allow developers to use the active content areas on either side.

Apple's inclusion of a notch allowed them to make the bezels of the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros much thinner than the 13-inch and 16 inch models. ProMotion technology is also featured on the new Liquid Retina XDR displays. This allows the screen to run at 120Hz and 24Hz respectively, just like the iPad Pro.

The new MacBook Pros can be ordered now and will ship next week. However, delivery dates for different MacBook Pro configurations have already fallen. Some 16-inch MacBook Pro models now list delivery dates from November 2 through November 16 instead of the original October 26 delivery date.