APPLE NEWS

‘Scale to fit’ mode temporarily reduces the screen of your MacBook Pro as a solution for non-comma-compatible applications


The comma has been a big point of contention since the announcement of the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. By increasing the height of the macOS menu bar to include comma height, Apple hopes that in most cases the comma is easily ignored and does not interfere with the content.

This turned out to be mostly true. However, Apple has included a temporary workaround to run the app, which exists as a backup in case users encounter incompatibilities. This mode is available as a switch on the Get Info panel, labeled ‘Scale to fit under the built-in camera’.

This option is turned off by default because most applications should work quite well. However, if you notice that the app is trying to put menu items or the Chrome app in place on a screen that is obscured by a notch (or ‘camera case’ as Apple calls it), you can enable this mode.

To enable customization mode, right-click on the app in the Finder and select ‘Get info’. In the Info panel, activate the checkbox labeled ‘Scale to fit under the built-in camera’, then launch the application. (As described in detail below, this check box may not always be available.)

When this mode is active, the entire macOS screen shrinks to fit in the proportional rectangular space below the top insert. This means that all four sides of the screen are temporarily reduced while using the application. As soon as you close all applications running in this compatibility mode, the full screen experience returns.

Since this is a bit of a workaround, Apple has still ensured that it has a really smooth animation that you can see in this demo video:

Because this setting is intended only as a temporary solution until developers have the opportunity to update their applications, this check box will not always be available. If a developer explicitly marks their application to say that their application is comma-compatible, the check box will no longer be displayed for that application.

Scale to fit mode would address the issues raised in yesterday’s viral video, which showed how menu items and status items are unkindly handled if there are too many of them. However, solving this problem should not require a solution for every application. Apple itself needs to update the menu bar layout code to more gracefully adapt to space-constrained situations, perhaps by making the status bar move.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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