Google warns Android device manufacturers against having more than two display cutouts

Google warns Android device manufacturers against having more than two display cutouts

Google warns Android device manufacturers against having more than two display cutouts

Someday the screen notch will be a distant memory, but until it is, we're going to have to deal with the notch as a design element to be lauded, not the necessary stopgap we all know it is.

Since Essential rolled out their PH-1 with a notched display previous year, rivals have followed suit by adopting display cutouts to maximise the real estate of the screen.

"A single edge can contain at most one cutout", it stipulates on its Android developer pages, adding that "a device cannot have more than two cutouts", and "cannot have cutouts on either of its longer edges".

Xiaomi's new flagship Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the first Android phone with the iPhone X's 3D face unlock. Google says it worked with device manufacturer partners to establish a set of practices for notch implementation so that the hardware design won't conflict with software rules built for app devs. Currently, apps tend to ignore the notch area on smartphones as far as the matter on display is concerned, which means that potentially useful data could be on screen, but simply hidden under the notch.

It was always unlikely, but this rules out the triple-notched Android phone you've all been dreading.

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Devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device. The other is that the entire cutout area must be letterboxed in fullscreen or landscape mode.

In a blog post on its Android Developers website, Google detailed how developers should modify their app's code in order to incorporate up to two notches, and displays with 18:9 or more aspect ratios.

What this means is that there are four potential screen types envisioned by Google: those without a notch, those with a notch at the top, those with a notch at the bottom, and those with notches at the top and the bottom.

People might credit iPhone X for bringing the notch into our lives; Essential did it before Apple with its PH-1 Android smartphone.

The guidelines have also thrown up a few rules for Android OEMs. I'm quite certain that somewhere there's an Android phone maker experimenting with a double top notch just so their phone will be different.

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