Google declares its official stance on notches

Google tells phone manufacturers that only two cutouts are allowed on an Android phone

Android's manufacturer army was quick to follow the trail, and now there are 16 devices from 11 OEMs featuring display cutouts.

First, devices must ensure that their cutouts do not negatively affect apps.

In the lead-up to the launch of its Pixel 3 smartphones (which allegedly include a notch-sporting Pixel 3 XL), Google has posted a Developers Blog entry detailing its rules for display cutouts, and how they'll be supported on its upcoming Android P operating system. Google wants to make sure that won't happen, and most importantly, that the full-screen experience won't be different on a notch-less Galaxy S9 versus a notched LG G7.

Moreover, for developer testing and users who want to try the notch before buying a smartphone, Google has already added a notch simulator that you can access in the Developer Options. "You won't see a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device". There's nothing the company could do to prevent handset manufacturers from making phones with any number of notches they want - but it could make life hard for anyone who chose to ignore the guidelines.

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

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The point of creating the rules is to ensure app developers can create a consistent experience across variations on devices with one or two cutouts on Android P and devices with 18:9 and larger aspect ratios.

Google has released the cutout rules as it moves closer to the Q3 final release of Android P and gives developers preview versions to test their apps for these and other Android designs through the Android developers preview releases. But it's always possible we see some insane designs with a lot of different notches from a manufacturer that doesn't have to follow those rules.

And notches can only be on the short edge of the display. This comes due to the new display notch trend that has hit the smartphone industry, ever since the launch of the iPhone X previous year.

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

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