Google sets down ground rules for notch support on Android P


Of course, these rules apply only to Android, so if Apple wanted to create a phone with notches on all sides, it theoretically could, though that probably won't happen.

Android P introduces official platform support for display cutouts, with APIs that you can use to show your content inside or outside of the cutout. In the blog post posted by Megan Potoski, Product Manager, Android System UI, highlights that Google is working with device manufacturers to mandate a few requirements. While most smartphones with notches - i.e. display cutouts a la the iPhone X - have just one, Google is anticipating a scenario where phone makers have the brilliant idea to put several of them on a single device. Google states that "the app's window is allowed to extend into the cutout area if the cutout is fully contained within a system bar".

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The company is keen to support device makers in the production of future smartphones, but it also needs to ensure there's a consistently great experience across all Android phones.

That said, Google has now stated that while it is fine to have one or even two display cutouts in Android devices, having more than that is definitely not permitted.

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Apart from giving developers tips on "taking advantage of the cutout area" and testing their apps with the cutout, Google notes that it ensured that hardware partners will also follow certain rules for efficient app compatibility across all phones with display notches. That means no more than two cutouts on a device, and multiple cutouts can't exist on a single edge. First of all, the notches (or cutouts as Google calls them) can not negatively affect any apps.

To say the smartphone industry's decision to begin adding "notches" to its flagship smartphones has been a controversial move would be a massive understatement.

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Like it or not, notched phones are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. While we have seen the number of notched Android phones growing increasingly this year, consumers are still divided on the notch. Jack Wallen ponders this and plays devil's advocate for the new world display order.