Google Details Display Notch Guidelines for Developers and Manufacturers

A smartphone with a list of notch options on its display

A smartphone with a list of notch options on its display

If any of you insane phone makers are thinking about building a phone with three or more notches, probably don't do that. 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.

You won't see multiple cutouts on a single edge, or more than two cutouts on a device.

That said, Google has now stated that while it is fine to have one or even two display cutouts in Android devices, having more than that is definitely not permitted.

Some Android phone makers may still deviate from Google's cap on two cutouts, but they'd probably do so at the risk of falling foul of Google's compatibility definition document that outline rules for Android device makers. And in fullscreen or landscape orientation, the entire notch area has to be letterboxed. For that, Android P beta devices with a cutout like the Essential PH-1 are recommended.




In portrait orientation, the status bar must extend to at least the height of the cutout. While we have seen the number of notched Android phones growing increasingly this year, consumers are still divided on the notch. This is done both to help simplify the status bar and help with digital wellbeing of our users.

Phones with notches are incredibly divisive, but since Apple launched the iPhone X complete with a little screen cutout, there have been endless copies from other handset manufacturers. Basically, it's the new Coke of Android screens. Official support would make it possible for apps to register that a part of the screen is "cut out" and display accordingly.

However, one of the most striking points in the guidelines is a limitation of the number of notches that a manufacturer can implement on an Android smartphone.

Up until now, no manufacturer has unveiled a smartphone with more than one display cutout.

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