Several companies will be announcing foldable phones next month in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress. But is Google ready for it? The Android operating system which runs under the hood of all these devices, is not ready for prime-time, developers say.
During the Android Dev Summit, last November, Google announced that they’re expanding support in Android to include foldables, in preparation for upcoming devices from hardware partners like Samsung. But this effort is in the early stages. Most developers have not updated their apps accordingly.
Fold – Unfold
On this new form factor, applications should transition from one screen size and ratio to another automatically, when folding and unfolding the phone. For example they should change from portrait 1080×1920 to landscape 2160×1920 resolution. But many of the prototypes shown have different screen resolutions and hardware specs.
Samsung’s upcoming device for example, has a secondary display on the outside which should switch to the main inner display when opened. But Xiaomi has shown a screen that changes between a portrait small size, to a large almost square size when folded out. And no secondary display.
On the positive site, Android 9 is software compatible with foldable displays and Samsung have released an emulator for their upcoming device. With a bit of extra work, developers can adapt their apps to the era of foldable phones.