Currently, apps tend to ignore the notch area on smartphones as far as the matter on display is concerned, which means that potentially useful data could be on screen, but simply hidden under the notch.
Since Essential rolled out their PH-1 with a notched display a year ago, rivals have followed suit by adopting display cutouts to maximise the real estate of the screen.
But although it's accepted the notch, it's now set ground rules for Android P to prevent bad experiences for users.
In an effort to make sure that Android apps work across a variety of different devices, especially those that are starting to toy with design a bit more, the system is created to handle things automatically. Google states that "the app's window is allowed to extend into the cutout area if the cutout is fully contained within a system bar".
Devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device.
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Google took to its developers blog on Monday and revealed that it has some rules it wants phone manufacturers to follow in regards to using notches on their Android devices. Manufacturers who are not bound by Google's restrictions can still incorporate multi-notch devices, though it is highly unlikely as most phones are "device manufacturing partners" with Google and deploy Play Store and other Google services as a "built-in" feature in their phones.
As for where Google says these notches can be located, so long as there aren't multiple cutouts on a single edge (top or bottom sides) or cutouts on the left or right long edge of phones, it's all fair game for manufacturers. Nonetheless, we could find out soon enough, and even see stable versions of the software on some phones in August itself. "In this release we have also reviewed and set limit for the system icons".
Given the explosive growth of the notch, it's no surprise to see some major industry players express an interest in reigning in the trend.
We've seen quite a few different Android-based smartphones with a notch design up to this point, and it stands to reason that we will more than likely see quite a few more in the future. Official support would make it possible for apps to register that a part of the screen is "cut out" and display accordingly.
Are you happy with Google's rule for limiting notches?