Google Lays Down the Law on Notches

Up until now no manufacturer has unveiled a smartphone with more than one display cutout

Up until now no manufacturer has unveiled a smartphone with more than one display cutout

Given Android's open source nature, it's not like Google can actually stop a manufacturer from making a smartphone that has three notches on the display for some odd reason.

First, devices must ensure that their cutouts do not negatively affect apps. But before Android manufacturers start getting into a razor blade-like war of oneupmanship-"You did two notches?"

It is already known that Android P will support cutouts of various sizes so that apps are better optimised for any and all notches. They include limits on notches, or "cutouts", and specifications on where they can exist on the device. Google's Pixel 3 is also rumoured to feature a notch cutout as well, which is why the Beta build of Android P features support for notches. Moreover, Android P will support notches only on the top and bottom of the display, not along the left and right edges.

Notches, which are a way to achieve an edge-to-edge experience, suddenly cropped up in the industry after Apple made it mainstream with the iPhone X. Many users have shared aggravation over the feature, but with Google's latest development all such worries shall be put to rest.

Android P

Google has said that "devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device", further clarifying that multiple cutouts on a single edge will also be banned, and that cutouts on the long edge of the device are similarly on the banned list. And in a recent Android Developers Blog post, Google described in greater detail what it's doing to enhance the functionality of modern displays, both with and without notches.

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

The next version of Android could be mere weeks away at this point, although we still don't know what the "P" stands for. While we have seen the number of notched Android phones growing increasingly this year, consumers are still divided on the notch.

Up until now, no manufacturer has unveiled a smartphone with more than one display cutout.

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