Google sets down ground rules for notch support on Android P

Android P notch

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.

In one of the latest posts on the Android Developer Blog, Google has outlined all the methods to implement the notch for various apps. But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that Google is putting a hard cap on the total number of notches Android will accommodate, saying that "devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device" and that users should not encounter gadgets with "multiple cutouts on a single edge" or "a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device". Google does not want notches placed on the long edges of an Android phone.

In fullscreen or landscape orientation, the entire cutout area must be letterboxed.

Another requirement, when the device is in portrait mode, the height of the status bar should extend to that of the cutout below which an app's content can be displayed.

Google has released the cutout rules as it moves closer to the Q3 final release of Android P and gives developers preview versions to test their apps for these and other Android designs through the Android developers preview releases. For that, Android P beta devices with a cutout like the Essential PH-1 are recommended. But it's always possible we see some insane designs with a lot of different notches from a manufacturer that doesn't have to follow those rules. This is done both to help simplify the status bar and help with digital wellbeing of our users. Unless, of course, more manufacturers design devices with pop-up cameras and sensors following in the footsteps of the Vivo NEX S and Oppo Find X. Basically, it's the new Coke of Android screens.

Whether we like it or not, the notch or display cutout isn't going away. Smartphone makers could go that way in the future, leading to smartphones that are filled with entirely unnecessary notches. It's a phone that can compete with the best and launches at a price a bit less than the Galaxy S9 Plus. Official support would make it possible for apps to register that a part of the screen is "cut out" and display accordingly.

This little black cut-out on top of the screen may look like an eyesore, but more and more phones are jumping on this trend.

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