The smartphone industry is always innovating, and the new trend now is tall and super widescreen phones, and Google doesn’t want to miss it. It’s not that the search giant is developing a phone with a taller-than-usual screen; rather, it wants app developers to stay updated with the latest trend.
How Google plans to tackle super widescreens
The most recent example of such phones are LG’s G6 with an aspect ratio 18:9 and Samsung’s Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. Since apps are usually built for the more common 16:9 ratio, taller and wider screens can be a problem.
To address any such issues, Google is asking Android developers to make adjustments to the new ratio. In a blog post, developer advocate Neto Marin informs developers of the tweaks that are required to “take full advantage of the larger display formats. You should consider increasing your app’s maximum supported aspect ratio.”
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Marin goes on to illustrate a few tweaks needed for the super widescreen. This is not new, as Android apps already support scaling and resizing, and according to AndroidCentral, it is pretty easy (a few lines of code) to ensure that the app “uses the screen without being squished, stretched or sporting the dreaded black bars of nothingness.”
You can find the instructions and a bit of demo code at the Android Developers site.
Hardware design to blame
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus 18.5:9 aspect ratio can be attributed to its overhauled hardware design. The handset has an edge-to-edge “infinity” display with reduced bezel and rounded corners, thus maximizing the screen size. The phone may not look much larger in your hand, but the screen surely does look and feel wider and taller.
Along with the issues with some apps, this aspect ratio also creates a problem when it comes to videos. Since typical videos display at a 16:9 ratio, Samsung’s latest handsets could throw some vertical black bars on the left and right of the videos that are being watched, notes The Verge. Since Android automatically resizes apps to adjust to screen sizes, there are good chances that you won’t notice the issue much.
“But consider it a weird wrinkle in an otherwise gargantuan smartphone display,” says The Verge.
But even this wrinkle will be a thing of the past, as Google has taken necessary steps to combat this aspect ratio issue.
“As more super widescreen Android devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the LG G6, become available, you’ll have more opportunities to display more content and create more engaging experiences with your app,” the blog post reads.