This whole notch thing is quite the thing. Maybe. It could possibly be just a thing in tech circles or Silicon Valley or among developers.
Either way Google has weighed in with its new notch law.
Android phones — or at least ones that aim to run Android P, the version coming later this year — must have two notches or less. The word came out via a blog post here. To recap: an Android P can have zero notches, one notch, or two notches. But not three, four, or twenty.
If you’re late to the party, the notch is that now infamous gap Apple introduced at the top of the screen on the iPhone X. The space has no screen and is instead used to place components such as sensors and the speaker. Apple designers split the information bar, with traditional notifications and wifi/cell strength appearing on the left, and battery life and time on the right. It works just fine. In fact, some might even say that the break in the bar adds a certain bit of style. No wonder that so many competitors are copying the notch screen design — even when they don’t need to. Such is the influence of Apple design.
Ironically, at least a few analysts have suggested that Apple will remove the notch sometime in 2019. But then I’m told some tech bloggers were worried about it disappearing. How would they get their stories onto Techmeme?
The goal of Google’s new restriction limiting the number of notches on Android P is so that apps are programmed to display properly. According to The Verge, “The real point of these restrictions is to make sure that apps display properly, no matter what device you pick up… By default, Android P will expand the status bar on the top of the screen so that it takes up the entire notch, rather than cutting off part of an app. And in landscape mode, the notch will be blacked out.”
All this sounds perfectly reasonable.
Android P and phones running it with 2 or fewer notches (0, 1, or 2!) is expected to ship at the end of summer.