Google declares its official stance on notches

Google lays down the law on notches so OEMs can’t screw them up

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.

First, devices must ensure that their cutouts do not negatively affect apps. Google is reassuring you that your next phone can have two notches. We already know that Android P is expected to offer official operating system-level support for the display notch - also known as a cutout - as well. They include limits on notches, or "cutouts", and specifications on where they can exist on the device. And with Android P being created to support the notch, Google is basically giving Android phone makers an incentive to come out with more notched phones.

So you can thank the Android maker for preventing handset makers from trying to cram three onto your smartphone or place them in weird locations.

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"A single edge can contain at most one cutout", it stipulates on its Android developer pages, adding that "a device cannot have more than two cutouts", and "cannot have cutouts on either of its longer edges". Google does not want notches placed on the long edges of an Android phone. And it says, "By default, in fullscreen or landscape orientation, the entire cutout area must be letterboxed". Aside from the rumors that the Pixel 3 XL will have a giant cutout for dual cameras at the top of the screen, the upcoming Android P update will usher in full notch support as well, so developers can ensure their apps won't be truncated or otherwise diminished by varying degrees of blank space.

Google has rolled out guidelines to help OEMs and app creators develop for smartphones with display notches. With Apple going for the notch on their flagship iPhone X, the notch has been considered as the guideline for narrow-bezel- design displays this year. So far, the most popular solution is a screen cutout.

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