Google puts its foot down: No Android phones can have three notches

Android Smartphone Notch Rules

That means no notch support on the side of the display. This design has risen in popularity since late previous year, helping usher in an era of 18:9 and 19:9 screen aspect ratios.

"Devices may only have up to one cutout on each short edge of the device".

Xiaomi's new flagship Mi 8 Explorer Edition is the first Android phone with the iPhone X's 3D face unlock. They could make such a device but Google would likely reprimand them for it.

According to Android System UI product manager Megan Potoski, Google's rules for cutouts were drawn up in an effort to ensure that developers' apps would be cutout-ready, asking them to consider such things as how their "content is displayed relative to the cutout". And in fullscreen or landscape orientation, the entire notch area has to be letterboxed.

It was always unlikely, but this rules out the triple-notched Android phone you've all been dreading.

Because Android is open source, Google can't truly stop any manufacturer from making a device with three notches for some reason (for the record, one should be the absolute maximum).

Among the other notch-related requirements that are spelled out so that devices with notches don't negatively affect the way apps run, the status bar has to extend to at least the height of the notch in portrait mode. In fact, even Google's upcoming Pixel handsets are expected to sport a notch, with the company also officially announcing support for it in its Android P developer previews. Now for the sort of people who can't stand notches, two cutouts probably already sounds like a lot, but at least Google is putting a limit on how much nonsense Android will support. But it also underscores the biggest problem with Android phones: unnecessary differentiation.

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.

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. Because as they say, there's no accounting for taste.

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