No more than 2 notches on display: Google directs manufacturers

Google was criticised for deeming apps containing sexual and violent themes to be suitable for children

Google was criticised for deeming apps containing sexual and violent themes to be suitable for children

As per a latest blog post for developers, Google is making it clear that Android P phones will not have more than two cutouts.

Specifically, Google is limiting the number of notches - or "cutouts", as they're technically called - to two.

It was always unlikely, but this rules out the triple-notched Android phone you've all been dreading. But perhaps the biggest takeaway is that Google is putting a hard cap on the total number of notches Android will accommodate, saying that "devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device" and that users should not encounter gadgets with "multiple cutouts on a single edge" or "a cutout on the left or right long edge of the device".

Google said the move is to ensure consistency and app compatibility with devices that do have cutouts.

Here's the thing. The notch at the top of the screen has a goal.

In the aftermath of their announcement of launching notch support into the forthcoming Android P, Google has now laid down the ground rules for phone manufacturers setting two notches as the limit.

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This means giving app creators the tools to develop for phones with multiple notches (a top and a bottom, for example) and notches in different sizes and locations. Until someone can develop a way to build a smartphone camera that can properly see through pixels, the only way to extend the screen to the top edge is to wrap it around the camera.

Phone makers have already started to do weird things with their notches.

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. A bottom notch makes no sense but I guarantee someone will do it. While many are seemingly already upset over one (get a load of the comments section), it appears we should be more anxious about the possibility of two notches.

This shouldn't be a problem that needs to be addressed, but unfortunately it is. That means no notch support on the side of the display.

Display notches allow Android OEMs to optimize their display area by housing sensors in a small cut-out, rather than the black bar that typically occupies the top portion of their phones.

So thank you, Google, for drawing the line somewhere.

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