Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Google to Manufacturers: No More Than Two Notches Per Device, Please

Google to Manufacturers: No More Than Two Notches Per Device, Please

We haven't really seen any devices with more than one notch so far. 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.

Among the other notch-related requirements that are spelled out so that devices with notches don't negatively affect the way apps run, the status bar has to extend to at least the height of the notch in portrait 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.

Display notches allow Android OEMs to optimize their display area by housing sensors in a small cut-out, rather than the black bar that typically occupies the top portion of their phones.

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. Therefore, some of these rules might not make sense, unless Google has something secret planned for a launch later this year with multiple cutouts.

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Are you happy with Google's rule for limiting notches? As a matter of fact, there can be only one notch per short edge, and there can't be multiple cutouts on the same margin. Nonetheless, we could find out soon enough, and even see stable versions of the software on some phones in August itself.

Some Android phone makers may still deviate from Google's cap on two cutouts, but they'd probably do so at the risk of falling foul of Google's compatibility definition document that outline rules for Android device makers.

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.

Since Apple released the notch, there has been much derision cast toward the feature.

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