There has been quite a stir around the notch of the new MacBook Pro. Without going into personal opinions about its design, the issue was the behavior of the system before especially long menus. Some videos on the net showed how these were hidden behind the notch, inaccessible, But this is not the case.
A bug from a version prior to macOS Monterey 12.0.1
The quick answer to how the menus behave with the notch of the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pros is simple: very good. The system manages the available space and does not allow anything to be placed below the notch. We can see it in the video that Pedro Aznar has published on Twitter, a prelude to the complete analysis of these computers, with a section dedicated to the study of the notch.
As Pedro explains, “the items on the right menu never go beyond the notch”. If there are too many macOS, it gives preference to the system icons, so that we can always access the key functions. Meanwhile, if the application menu is too long macOS just “skips” the notch. The system creates a safe zone and avoids placing items there.
So what about videos that teach otherwise? Very easy: computers were running a non-updated version of the operating system. The official and release version of macOS Monterey is 12.0.1. The new MacBook Pros, however, came with macOS Monterey 12.0, a version that is not possible to access unless we have been among the first to receive our Macs.
It is always a good idea to update the system of the devices that we release. In the end, it is very common for these to arrive with an older version, since, due to manufacturing dates, it is not possible to deliver them with the final version. In the case at hand, let’s remember that macOS Monterey was launched on October 25. The first Macs arrived on October 26, yes, having left the warehouse a few days before.
The errors of a version of the operating system still under development.
In this context, it was not possible for the Macs to arrive with the final version. A version in which Apple fixed the notch management bug that was present in an earlier, in-development version of the operating system.
Between both tweets we can verify that the system behaves perfectly with the notch. This does not represent an impediment to the menus or the controls on the right side of the bar. It simply skips the part that it occupies and nothing else, something very similar to what already happens with the safe areas of iOS and iPadOS that avoid both the notch and the area of the bottom bar that we use to exit the applications and switch between them .
In the end, everything is in that the software is aware that this is an area in which it cannot locate content. Fortunately, it is the operating system that controls the drawing of the menus, so with macOS 12.0.1 no application will place things under the notch.