When the iPhone X was released, the device’s notch quickly became its most distinctive characteristic. Now, companies from around the industry are attempting to imitate Apple’s design, leading to an assortment of clones. Even Google is embracing the display notch in the latest version of Android.
In the first developer preview of Android P released on Wednesday, Google details how apps can take advantage of the latest trend:
Now apps can take full advantage of the latest device screen with fullscreen content. We’ve added display cutout into the platform, along with APIs that you can use to manage how your content is displayed.
Cutout support works seamlessly for apps, with the system managing status bar height to separate your content from the cutout. If you have critical, immersive content, you can also use new APIs to check the cutout shape and request fullscreen layout around it.
With so many new Android phones—including releases from ASUS, Huawei, and LG—opting to adopt the notch look, developers will have their work cut out (no pun intended) for them.
Whether Google releases a phone, like the Pixel 3, with a notch remains to be seen. But it’s clear Apple started a trend with the iPhone X, validating its decision to embrace the notch as a design feature, rather acknowledge it as a flaw.
Google on Wednesday released the first preview of Android P, giving developers the opportunity to see what’s new in the search giant’s next mobile update. As expected, the software introduces notch support and a number of other exciting features, such as revamped notifications, a multi-camera API, and improved power efficiency.
Google has a full list of everything that’s new in Android P right here
Many of the features listed in the preview pertain primarily to developers, like ImageDecoder for bitmaps and Neural Networks API 1.1, so don’t get too excited just yet. Even Google acknowledges the nature of this release is too technical for consumers, saying it’s meant for developers to start preparing for the software’s eventual release.
Google bills Android P as a release designed for “simplicity, speed, and many new ways to extend your apps.”
As mentioned, likely the feature that will grab most headlines is Google’s “display cutout support.”
Android P offers support for the latest edge-to-edge screens with display cutout for camera and speaker. The new DisplayCutout class lets you find out the location and shape of the non-functional areas where content shouldn’t be displayed.
Ever since the iPhone X was released we’ve seen a number of clones with a similar notched design. As the trend continues, Google wants to ensure its software allows developers to support the design choice.
Google is also tweaking how it handles notifications. Android P will now display images in messaging notifications, along with SmartReply, giving users the opportunity to reply to messages right from the notification screen, rather than jumping into an app.
It looks clean and useful alongside what appears to be a slightly tweaked quick settings menu.
Other features mentioned by Google include indoor position with Wi-Fi RTT, HEIF image compression, autofill framework, and security enhancements.
We’ll be pouring through Google’s newest software over the coming days to see what else is new. Developers with a Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL can download the first Android P developer preview right now.
Similar to how Google handled Android Oreo, it’s likely we’ll learn more about the company’s next software update at I/O in May. According to Google, today’s release is “not intended for daily or consumer use,” so be careful if you do decide to take Android P for a spin.
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