Google to Android Phone Makers: Don't Go Crazy With the Notches

Google lays down the law on notches so OEMs can’t screw them up

Google lays down the law on notches so OEMs can’t screw them up

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.

Inside the Android SDK, developers are able to simulate various notches on their test devices to see how they affect their app's appearance.

The last rule would be an odd choice for manufacturers given the whole point of edge-to-edge screens is exactly that.

Most importantly, Google states that there can be no more than two display cutouts (notches) on one device. And in fullscreen or landscape orientation, the entire notch area has to be letterboxed.

Apparently, some Android phone designers designers were thinking that if one is good, two is better, and three or more is best of all. Google's primary concern is users, ultimately, and in suggesting restrictions on the number of notches, what the company is trying to do is to make life easier for developers and ensure a consistent experience for users.

Since Essential rolled out their PH-1 with a notched display previous year, rivals have followed suit by adopting display cutouts to maximise the real estate of the screen. This second rule is to ensure no app content is displayed in the cutout area. For that, Android P beta devices with a cutout like the Essential PH-1 are recommended. Nonetheless, we could find out soon enough, and even see stable versions of the software on some phones in August itself.

Xiaomi's new flagship Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the first Android phone with the iPhone X's 3D face unlock. This comes due to the new display notch trend that has hit the smartphone industry, ever since the launch of the iPhone X past year.

HTC continues to release Android smartphones and the new U12 Plus skips the notch to focus on what HTC does right.

Why have a notch when you can cut holes in a full-screen smartphone display?

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

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