Ever since the Essential phone and X were announced, do you find yourself staring longingly at your fully rectangular display (rounded corners don't count) and wish, just hope, that part of it would disappear and you'd get a black notch up top? Something to hide that ugly middle of the notification bar, something to make you feel as if only 3 or 4 icons on each side of it mattered, and anything else can go to hell? Information overload is real, you don't need to see everything your phone can display so you can just skip the middle part. Like any okay movie, it's the start and the end that will stick with you.
Well, your hopes and your wildest realized thanks to two apps. Actually, one of them only does the iPhone X notch while the other can also emulate the Essential PH-1 notch.
XOutOf10 is the first app. It needs permission to overlay the iPhone X's notch on your display, including the image of the front cam. The notch stays there, regardless of what you're doing, and doesn't move when you go to landscape, until you stop it from the app. It's surprisingly well thought-out for such a... superfluous... app. I'm impressed.
Left: Smartphone upgrader 2017. Right: XOutOf10.
Smartphone upgrader 2017 is the the whole thing to a more ridiculous level. Normally serious developer Damian Piwowarski lets you choose between an iPhone X and an Essential phone shaped notch, change its size with a slider, and you get a bonus cover of 4 Non Blondes' What's Up playing while your screen flashes rainbow colors. It's psychedelically awesome (for the first 10 seconds). All you have to do is back out of the app and the notch will stay on your screen. Since it's only a black background and not an image, this one doesn't completely block out your notifications and signals so you can still see them over the notch. It kind of ruins the trick a little, in my opinion, but it's better for long-term usability. (I won't judge.) Wait, WTF, I will judge... why are you using this long-term?!