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Android is getting native support for the foldable displays

Google proactively wants to avoid further Android fragmentation

  • Published: November 8, 2018 5:58 PM IST
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Image: Google


Google is turning out to be a quick learner and proves that at its on-going Android Developer Summit 2018 in Mountain View, California. Today, Google at the Android Developer Summit 2018 promised to add native support for foldable displays. Calling the foldable screens bearing devices as Foldables, Google proactively intends to avoid fragmentation by opening up the software support and working closely with the interested manufacturers.

Following the iPhone X launch last year, things spiral up quickly to turn the notch into a trend. Before Google could react quickly, there were at least a dozen phones out in the market sporting a notch. To accommodate them and the upcoming models, Google introduced support for the notches in Android 9.0 Pie with a new name – Cutouts.

However, Google did not share how it will deliver the support for foldables other than working with the manufacturers directly. Instead, Google wants the Android developers to start using the existing Android features to warm up to the new line of foldable phones.

Google illustrates the use of existing feature dubbed Screen Continuity in Android to augment the elements to match up with the changing screen size when a device is rotated. Now the onus is on the developers to ensure the implementation of the feature correctly.

To make it simpler for the developers to understand the transition between folded and unfolded display, Google has named them appropriately. Google calls Unfolded display as two-screens and folded display as one-screen. And the idea is to make the transition between one-screen (phone mode) and two-screen (tablet mode) more seamless regarding animation and usability.

Take this as the precautionary announcement by Google to prevent any chaos caused by each foldable maker introducing their own set of solution. A lot of details about the arrival of the feature, the usage of a home screen, notifications, drag-and-drop support, seamless resizing of app windows, and many other aspects remain under wraps.

After teasing us for months, Samsung finally showed off its foldable smartphone with the Infinity Flex display technology. The Korean electronics giant is working closely with Google to integrate the Android APIs to benefit the foldable smartphone design. Both are still at a near-production stage.

Google is yet to clarify whether the support for Foldables will be introduced as a significant update or will be an incremental one.

  • Published Date: November 8, 2018 5:58 PM IST