Google declares Android phones can have two notches at most

by Linda Olson August 3, 2018, 11:06
Google declares Android phones can have two notches at most

Manufacturers who are not bound by Google's restrictions can still incorporate multi-notch devices, though it is highly unlikely as most phones are "device manufacturing partners" with Google and deploy Play Store and other Google services as a "built-in" feature in their phones.

Google said the move is to ensure consistency and app compatibility with devices that do have cutouts.

Given that three notches on a phone is more far-fetched than reality at this point, the framework in this blog post seems slightly unnecessary, except from the standpoint of Google wanting to spell out limits that just ensure a smooth app experience never mind the device being used.

Although notches are present on smartphones running Android Oreo, the upcoming major release Android P offers official platform support for the notch.

Specifically, Google is limiting the number of notches - or "cutouts", as they're technically called - to two.

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In short, that means the maximum number of notches you should ever experience on an Android device is two, with those notches being located at the top and the bottom of the device (when viewed in portrait mode). There's nothing the company could do to prevent handset manufacturers from making phones with any number of notches they want - but it could make life hard for anyone who made a decision to ignore the guidelines.

Google now counts 16 Android phones with cutouts from 11 manufacturers, including ones in the Android P beta program, such as the OnePlus 6, and says more are coming.

In one of the latest posts on the Android Developer Blog, Google has outlined all the methods to implement the notch for various apps. To that end, Google says you "won't see multiple cutouts on a single edge, or more than two cutouts on a device", and you "won't see a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device".

The company has also given app creators Android SDK tools to help them develop for notches of various sizes and locations. Apps by default will have to be letterboxed in the landscape mode; although developers can make use of the space around the cutout in landscape mode, with content around the cutout. This gives app developers the power to account for notches during the design process. Nonetheless, we could find out soon enough, and even see stable versions of the software on some phones in August itself.

Like it or not, smartphone notches are a thing. With Apple going for the notch on their flagship iPhone X, the notch has been considered as the guideline for narrow-bezel- design displays this year.

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