Google doesn’t want a notch explosion on new Android phones

Alex Kidman 1 August 2018 NEWS

Android architects are worried about a bevy of notches, so they've laid down new rules.

The presence of "notches" – typically black areas at the top of phone screens that house the front camera array but allow for screen space to the left and right – is a contentious issue amongst many phone buyers. While the Essential Phone was the first to market with a "notched" display, it really kicked into high gear with the arrival of the Apple iPhone X, followed by a bevy of different Android notched phones.

Google's been paying attention, and while we already knew that the upcoming Android P release will have support for notched display features, it's also laying down the law when it comes to any manufacturers who might be getting a bit, well, notch-happy.

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    In a Google blog post, Megan Potoski, Google's Product Manager Android System UI, lays down the Android P rules for devices, stating that

    devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device. This means that:

    You won't see multiple cutouts on a single edge, or more than two cutouts on a device.
    You won't see a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device.

    Which means unless a manufacturer is planning some kind of polyhedral device, that the most we might see on upcoming phones would be two notches, one at the top and one at the bottom.

    To date, we've really only seen one as the "standard", although some new designs such as the upcoming Oppo Find X make do with none thanks to the use of a pop-up camera instead.

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