Video Highlights Menu Bar Behavior in Apps Not Updated to Accommodate MacBook Pro Notch

Apple's new MacBook Pro models were unveiled with a notch for the camera to be housed in the thin display bezel. Many observers raised concerns about third-party apps placing additional content across the menu bar. This could include dropdown menus that extend from left or menu items that extend right.


Extended menus and menu items within the menu bar could be accidentally hidden behind the notch, which was a concern. New video evidence shows that this is the case at least for non-updated apps which make extensive use menu items. However, it does not appear to be the case with apps that have extended dropdowns.

Quinn Nelson, a YouTuber at Snazzy Labs, shared two videos on Twitter praising the effect that the notch is having on two versions of third-party apps. These apps have not been updated to accommodate the notch. The first video shows menu bar items from popular app iStat Menus partially hidden behind the notch, but still easily accessible with the mouse pointer.

In contrast, Nelson launches an older version of DaVinciResolve in the second video. He discovers that the extended dropdown menus of the video editing app avoid the area concealed by the notch and that the mouse pointer cannot enter the hidden space.

Apple has made this behavior a deliberate move. This disables the active space below the notch and blocks the mouse pointer so that older apps cannot display menus in this area. On the other side, the mouse can enter the notch, which can be hidden. This behavior is also applicable in fullscreen mode

Nelson complains that DaVinci Resolve extended menus are taking over the menu items on the right-hand menu bar. Although this is normal in macOS on any Mac, the notch reduces the menu bar space for both sets.

Monterey uses a "compatibility mode", which disables the active display area of the camera housing, to ensure that app menus appear on both sides of the notch. Bjango, who developed iStat Menus doesn't believe adding compatibility support would alter the behavior of its app's status items when they are displayed in the foreground. This is not likely to resolve the problem shown in the video.

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