Google sets some ground rules for notch displays

Aug 03, 2018, 11:05
Google sets some ground rules for notch displays

First of all, the notches (or cutouts as Google calls them) can not negatively affect any apps.

It was always unlikely, but this rules out the triple-notched Android phone you've all been dreading. Additionally, Google also highlights that in order for cutouts to not intrude or negatively affect apps, two requirements are needed. Originally, there were three options to choose from: narrow (like the Essential Phone), tall (like the renders of the Pixel 3 XL), or wide (like the iPhone X). This comes due to the new display notch trend that has hit the smartphone industry, ever since the launch of the iPhone X a year ago.

If you fall into the "hate" camp when it comes to notches and cutouts it may be hard to convince you to buy such a phone, but for everyone else, Google has set out some new ground rules stating how many a phone can have, and where they can be located.

What this means is that there are four potential screen types envisioned by Google: those without a notch, those with a notch at the top, those with a notch at the bottom, and those with notches at the top and the bottom. Until someone can develop a way to build a smartphone camera that can properly see through pixels, the only way to extend the screen to the top edge is to wrap it around the camera. This is a logical restriction, given that one of the central promises of notched phone designs is additional uninterrupted screen real estate. A bottom notch makes no sense but I guarantee someone will do it.

All of this is odd because we have yet to see a smartphone that has more than one notch, but it isn't an entirely unimaginable thing.

This shouldn't be a problem that needs to be addressed, but unfortunately it is.

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.

And notches can only be on the short edge of the display.

So thank you, Google, for drawing the line somewhere.

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